- Museum number
- Object: A sketch at St Albans-or-shaving the new maid dutchess!!!
The Duke of St. Albans (left) stands over his wife who is moustached, holding her chin, a razor in his right hand. He wears a coronet, a short striped jacket, knee-breeches, and a barber's apron with comb, curling-tongs, &c, in the apron-pocket. Behind him on a stool are a jug of shaving-water and a bowl of lather with a brush. Mrs. Coutts looks up at him with appraising affection; in her right hand is a cheque for £50,000, in her left a Cheque Book. She wears a frilled cap topped by a small coronet, and an elaborate morning gown with jewels. From the back of her chair hangs an oddly shaped bag (as in BM Satires 15443) inscribed Philosophers Stones. She says: My dear young Shaver, here's £50.000 for you but you must dress my Beard once a day at least, do whatever I desire you, and never dare to contradict me. He says: My dear Dutchess your chin wants mowing sadly, and you should be properly lather'd first, but I fear I have not strength to do it. On the extreme left is a wig-block, carved to represent the head of Coutts; from its mouth issue the words: When I bought that Melon, I never intended any one to taste it but my-self. On the wall behind is a cuckoo clock, the bird saying Cook Coo! Cook! Coo! Above the Duke's head are antlers. On the right, with his back to the couple, a stout masked parson in a surplice sits at a table covered with moneybags, one inscribed 5000. He clasps them with gloved hands, and looks over his shoulder, saying: I've brought the Match about, and I've got a good sum for selling the Boy. Oh! Lord! what a lucky Beau of a Clerk am I. A! Men!— Under his arm is a book: Marriage Ceremony. Beside his table stands a chest of Gold Bars; coins lie beside it. On the floor by the Duchess is a book: Raymond and Harriot. Two pictures are on the wall: Charles II and Nell Gwyn [the Duke's ancestors]: T.Q.L. portraits, Nell with her arm round the smiling King, pulls his beard. The Golden Calf; the calf, with the head and hat of the Duchess, stands on a pedestal surrounded by kneeling men and women who make gestures of passionate supplication. June 1827
- Production date
Height: 267 millimetres
Width: 365 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
See No. 15453, &c. Lord Frederick Beauclerk, see No. 14832, &c, performed the marriage ceremony at Mrs. Coutts's house in Stratton Street. The Duchess is said to have told the Duke immediately afterwards that a Mr. Parkinson had her wedding present to offer him, which proved to be £30,000. Raymond, Manager of Drury Lane Theatre, see vol. ix and No. 15458, was gobetween in the marriage of Harriot Mellon and Coutts, and was the sole witness at the first (irregular) marriage, fourteen days after Mrs. Coutts's death. C. E. Pearce, The Jolly Duchess, pp. 205 ff., 262 f., 320. One of a set of scabrous prints on the marriage, by R. Cruikshank, probably inspired by Westmacott, whose close association with R. C. is illustrated in the English Spy, see No. 14922, &c. Westmacott scurrilously attacked her in the Age.
Reproduced, Pearce, op. cit., p. 256.
The publisher name is completely illegible.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number