- Museum number
Reid 4681. An illustrated book entitled 'The Pigeons. Dedicated to all the Flats, and Showing the Artifices, Success and Crimes of Gaming, Gamesters, and Gambling Houses. . . . ' Lettered on the title-page “By the Author of the Greeks. Ninth Edition. London: Printed for J. J. Stockdale No. 41 Pall-Mall. 1817.' (Nos. 12965-12970.) The verses are professedly by a plucked pigeon.” In marbled card binding with green leather spine, lettered in gold: “The Pigeons, Cruikshank.”
Plate 1, page 4. Reid 607.BM Satires 12965. 'Away Beauty goes' A courtesan waves farewell to a dandified man who sits holding a limp purse, dismayed at the departure. She trips to the door preceded by a grinning maidservant with box and bundle. On the wall is a picture of King's Bench Prison with men playing fives against the high wall.
Plate 2, page 29. Reid 608. BM Satires 12966. 'Throws down his purse in a rage.' A rouge-et-noir table is partly cut off by the left margin; a croupier rakes in notes. Three men sit at it while a 'Greek', holding the arm of a plucked and distressed 'pigeon', makes a bogus scene, overturning his chair and flourishing an empty purse. On the wall are pictures: (1) Hell, with the Devil and flames, &c. (2) Birds of prey in a wintry landscape. (3) A pigeon-house on a pole.
Plate 3, page 38. Reid 609. BM Satires 12967. 'He threw out of life as he call'd his last main.' The dying man propped on pillows drops dice and box, an astonished doctor sits on the bed, dice-box in hand, a fashionable companion stands by. On a table are medicine-bottles, decanter, and cards; on the ground, wine-cooler with bottles, cards, and coins. He is 'Lord F—d' with clues pointing to Viscount Falkland, 1766-96, a rake and gambler who died at the White Lion, Bath.
Plate 4, page 39. Reid 610. BM Satires 12968. 'A bride with a suicide husband.' A man lies on a couch, his face covered with a blood-stained cloth, a pistol on the floor. A despairing woman kneels beside him.
Plate 5, page 47. Reid 611. BM Satires 12969. 'The last losing trick.' A funeral procession from a church to an open grave in the foreground. The coffin, that of a Greek, is carried, preceded, and followed by rooks. On it are cards and dice-box. Beside the grave a two of spades leans against a skull. A warning to Greeks: 'And the "last-losing" trick that turns up—is the "spade!"'
Plate 6, page 116. Reid 612. BM Satires 12970. 'Rare avis nigro simillima cygno.' A bookseller's shop-front; over the open door 'Stockdale', this is flanked by windows with the inscription: 'Publisher & | Bookseller'. The panes are filled with books, including 'Greeks' and 'Pigeons'. There is also a very large Knave of Clubs ('Pam'). In the doorway stands a huge black swan, apparently representing Stockdale. Stockdale (1770-1847), to be notorious as Harriette Wilson's publisher, see vol. x, was son and successor of the John Stockdale caricatured in BM Satires Nos. 6609, 9186.
21 August 1817
Hand-coloured etched illustrations to a letterpress book
- Production date
Height: 100 millimetres (approx. page size)
Width: 171 millimetres (approx. page size)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
Titles (not indexed) from 'Directions for placing the Plates', p. 167. Reid, Nos. 607-12, 4681. Cohn, No. 648.
- Not on display
- Associated titles
Associated Title: The Pigeons
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number