- Museum number
- Object: The Coalition Dissected
A whole length figure divided vertically, half (left) representing North, the other half Fox.
The head appears to be copied from Sayers's Mask, see BMSat 6234, reversed. The figure is nude except for a pair of short breeches, and the organs of the body from the neck to the waist are exposed. Common to both is the inscription, "Pro privato lucro" across the forehead, and the protruding tongue inscribed "Truth" in reversed or looking-glass characters. North's hand holds a bag inscribed "Whipcord" (see BMSat 6254, &c). On his arm, as if tattooed, are guineas and the word "Finance". On Fox's arm are a dice-box and two dice inscribed "Industry". Fox's hand, inscribed "Goodwill", pulls at a cord labelled "Anodyne Necklace"; this comes from the lungs of the body, which are inscribed "Oratorical" (right), "Lungs" (left). The Anodyne Necklace was a much advertised object supposed to prevent the convulsions and teething disorders of infants (cf. Johnson, 'Idler', No. 40). North's ribs are inscribed respectively "Place", "Pension", "Sinecure", "Contract", "Loan", "Title", "&c. &c." Those of Fox are 13 Stripes in allusion to his attitude to the American war, cf. BMSat 6207, 6229. Each side has a heart inscribed "Union", and other organs inscribed "Touch-Wood", "Love", "Honesty". The central artery common to both is "Self-interest", branches from this deviate into the respective breeches-pockets of the monster. On both sides of these are inscribed "East India Bill" and "P------ of W-----'s Establishment". The pockets into which these conduits debouch are full of guineas and are inscribed "Pickings". 12 August 1783
- Production date
Height: 346 millimetres
Width: 254 millimetres (trimmed)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
The debate on the Prince of Wales's establishment took place on 23, 25, and 26 June, when it appeared that Fox was in favour of a grant of £100,000 a year to the Prince by parliament; the king, with the approval of Lord John Cavendish, having proposed to allow the prince £50,000 a year from the Civil List, a disagreement which shook the Ministry. 'Parl. Hist', xxiii. 1030 ff. Wraxall, 'Memoirs', 1884, iii. 108 ff., see BMSat 6258, 6259. Fox's India Bill was not brought in until 11 November, so that the inscriptions relating to India must have been added for the reissue in December. A globe, in place of the stomach, common to both partners, is inscribed "Indostan", and (below) "Great (in reversed or looking-glass characters) Britain", to indicate (as in the case of the tongue inscribed "Truth"), that Britain was the reverse of Great.
The sides of North and Fox which partly cover the exposed ribs are inscribed "Green Fat". North's foot, inscribed "Affection", tramples on a fox which is excreting. Across his leg (left) is written "Hypocrisy", across that of Fox (right), "Prostitution". See also BMSat 6213, &c. For the India Bill see BMSat 6271, &c.
This plate is also found in a broadside version: see 1948,0214.781.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number