- Museum number
- Object: Quelle noblet [sse], - virtue et opera
Lord Fife, in profile to the left (copied from No. 14264), drives Mlle Noblet in a curricle or gig with a lowered hood. A groom sits in a dickey behind. The lady, composed and demure, holds a fife and a paper: A New Divertissement called Five Hundred pr Ann.m or the Humours of Five principal Da[ncers] Made N . . Madlle F . . . She says: I can play upon de Fife any ting I like. The groom holds a letter: To Madle Bias. The base of the design is on the level of the traces, the hind-quarters and docked tails of the horses being on the extreme left. Part of the ground floor of a large corner-house forms a background. After the title:
"Against such Lewdsters and their lechery,
"Those who expose them do no treachery.
Shake [Merry Wives, v. iii].
1821 or 1822
- Production date
Height: 246 millimetres
Width: 342 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- In the title, 'noblet' has been altered to 'noblesse'.
(Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
Fife's attentions to opera-dancers and especially to Mlle Noblet who was in London in 1821 and 1822 were well known. He lavished a fortune on her, and in return 'asked nothing more than the lady's flattery and professions of affection'. Gronow, Reminiscences, 1892, i. 121, 304. See also Ebers, Seven Years of the King's Theatre, 1828, pp. 66 ff. Fanny Bias was also a famous French danseuse. The title embodies the Fife family motto. Cf. No. 14549, &c.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number