- Museum number
- Object: A Pair of Polished Gentlemen.
Two heads emerge from the highly-polished boots of their respective owners, which face each other. They are finished portraits of Skeffington and Montagu Mathew, inseparables, see BMSat 9699. Skeffington's boot (left) is a tasselled Hessian; its pointed toe rests on the foot of Mathew's spurred top-boot. Both wear round hats of slightly differing shapes. Skeffington's dark hair is short, falling over his forehead; he has a large whisker. Mathew's fair hair is long and powdered, and tied by a ribbon at the tips; he has a small whisker. Round the two boots are grouped blacking materials. A large open book (left) is 'Essay on Blacking'; by it are bottles labelled 'Mr Broomhills Recipe' and 'The Princes Recipe', and a mixing-pot. Two volumes (right) are 'Chemistry'; on them are bottles labelled 'Pine Apple' and 'Spirit of Salt'. There are also two brushes, a polishing pad, a cake of 'Holdsworth's' blacking, and a broken bottle of 'Royal Blacking'. 10 March 1801
- Production date
Height: 355 millimetres
Width: 253 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
For uncoloured impressions see 'Caricatures', v. 30.
In 'London und Paris', vii, 1801, p. 77, the excellence of the portraits is noted, with the mania of the pair for strolling up and down St. James's Street in highly-polished boots. Cf. Lord Petersham's obsession with boot-blacking, Gronow, 'Reminiscences', i. 285.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number