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A Will o' th' Wisp; or Jack o' Lantern!

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    2001,0520.26

  • Title (object)

    • A Will o' th' Wisp; or Jack o' Lantern!
  • Description

    Satire: grotesque lantern-carrying ghost being chased by man and old woman in churchyard at night. 9 June 1795 Hand-coloured etching and aquatint

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1795
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 246 millimetres
    • Width: 349 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Signed, dated and lettered on plate with title, production and publication detail, "50 Oxford Street".
  • Curator's comments

    In a later state the will o' the wisp's hair stands up higher and there are changes to the sky. See also Alexander 144 and 167. Will o' th' Wisp and Jack o' Lantern are popular names for ignis fatuus (foolish fire), a phosphorescence that flits over marshy ground due to the spontaneous combustion of gases from decaying vegetable matter and deludes people who try to follow it.

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  • Bibliography

    • Alexander 1998 169 bibliographic details
    • BM Satires undescribed bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XVIIIc Mounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    2001

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    2001,0520.26

Satire: grotesque lantern-carrying ghost being chased by man and old woman in churchyard at night.  9 June 1795 Hand-coloured etching and aquatint

Satire: grotesque lantern-carrying ghost being chased by man and old woman in churchyard at night. 9 June 1795 Hand-coloured etching and aquatint

Image description

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Object reference number: PPA35554

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