- Museum number
- Object: The Treasury ladders, or, political gapers.
A man wearing the order of the Garter, probably intended for Portland (who had no order, cf. BMSat 6251), stands with his arms folded within an open bow window, a yoke across his shoulders, from each end of which hang bunches of grapes. To this window two long ladders ascend, at the top of which stand Fox (left) and North (right), both grasping at the grapes. Below them on the ladders are others gaping for the spoils of the Treasury. Below Fox stands Sheridan, gaping for the excrement which falls from Fox, this process is repeated by each climber on the ladders. Fox says, "Gape wide Sherry". Sheridan says, "This is better than the School for Scandel". The man below Sheridan says, "These are golden Drops". North says, "I have still a Finger in the Pye". The man below him says, "Shite away my Lord, my mouth is open", and the man below again says, "I shall never have a Belly full".
At the bottom of the design the ladders are supported by groups of men (half length), who gape upwards for their share of the spoil. The ladders stand against a high brick wall, across which is engraved "Treasury", every brick being indicated.
Beneath the design is etched:
"Some people may think this a comical Farce is,
To see them a gaping at each others A------s,
Tho' strange it may seem, its the trick of them all,
For one still to catch what another lets fall.
Such is the Oeconemy of our wise nation
Yet dunces will grumble about reformation;
The people may stare, but in spite of their wishes,
State Vultures will eat both the loaves and the fishes." 5 July 1783
- Production date
Height: 352 millimetres
Width: 252 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
See also BMSat 6195, 6223, 6240, 6251.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number