- Museum number
- Object: The Smoaking Club
Elderly men sit and stand, all smoking long pipes; large clouds of smoke issue from their mouths, but little or nothing comes from the bowls of their pipes. Most sit or stand silently morose; two standing men (left) appear to be puffing smoke in each other's faces. One leans back, apparently asleep, but smoking. An ugly man seated on the extreme right takes the hand of a pretty young woman who stands opposite him; he holds a large key. She slips a note into the hand of a fierce-looking military officer who stands with his back to her. On the wall (right) is a placard: 'At a general meeting of this Society, it was resolv'd by a Majority of Independent members, that any member may be Indulg'd with having the Key brought him, by his Servant or hand-maid, but on no pretence whatever be followd by that bane of good fellowship calld the White Sergeant.' Above the door are framed Rules:
'Ist No Gemman to be a member of this Society who cannot smoke three pipes at one sitting -
NB no Spitting
2d No members pipe to be more than 14 Inches nor less than nine unless permitted so to do by the Landlady
3d Every member to find his own Stopper
4th Any member who puffs designedly in the face of another, to be find sixpence or be puff'd at in return by the whole company
5th All fines to be spent in Porter
T. Twig Secy'
On the back wall is a large print of Sir Walter Raleigh seated smoking (right) while a servant raises a bucket to fling at the smoke. 10 January 1792
Etching and stipple
- Production date
Height: 388 millimetres
Width: 491 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
'A man fetched from the tavern or alehouse by his wife, is said to be arrested by the white Serjeant.' Grose, 'Dict. Vulgar Tongue', 1796. Cf. BMSat 8206.
A print of this composition and title, very much resembling the present print, exists with the artists given as 'Bunbury, Delt / C. Knight, Sculp'. An impression, cut before publication line, was in the possession of the Regent House Gallery in 2011 (information from Nick Underwood Thompson).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number