- Museum number
- Object: Designed for a transparency exhibited at No 14 Catherine Street, Strand, on occasion of the general illumination to celebrate the passing of the Reform Bill.- 1832.
An elaborate allegorical design with a printed explanation. William IV, in crown and robes, sits on the throne which is on a triple circular dais, the steps inscribed 'Truth', 'Mercy', 'Justice'. He is surrounded by emblems and holds out a scroll: 'Reform Bill passed June 7th 1832'. The throne is supported by caryatids; by these is a hand holding scales in which are documents: 'Natural Rights' outweighs 'Reform'. The supporters of Reform are on the right of the throne: Grey, in robes and coronet, between Russell, wearing the cap of Liberty and leaning on an axe, and Althorp, who points to the Union Jack above the throne. On the left is Brougham, in wig and gown, and holding a caduceus. On the extreme left is Lord Cleveland in coronet and robes, standing over the 'Altar of Patriotism' in which six documents are burning, representing the six seats for his boroughs: 'Camelford', 'Ilchester', and 'Win'[chelsea]. These figures are lit by beams from a giant eye. Above them towers a winged figure of Peace holding up an olive-branch.
The figures (right), on the left of the throne, are backed by dark clouds; a huge skeleton towers over them; they are Wellington walking off to the right, Lyndhurst in wig and gown, and Bishop Phillpotts (see BM Satires No. 17005) with the mitre falling from his head. They "represent the great military legal and clerical array which so long obstructed Reform", they pass away with "their idol "prescription" now wasted by Reform to a mere skeleton". With them depart a sphinx and griffin and an unexplained peer, blowing a trumpet with a banner on which are a bird, a serpent, and a fox. The British lion, partially aroused, divides them from the throne. 1832
Etching and aquatint with letterpress text
- Production date
Height: 245 millimetres (image)
Height: 310 millimetres (sheet)
Width: 488 millimetres (image)
Width: 496 millimetres (sheet)
- Curator's comments
- On the verso, in manuscript, is a list of produce with prices.
(Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', XI, 1954)
See No. 17134, &c. There was no general illumination of London, see No. 17167. For Cleveland see No. 16716.
The ratepayer at No 14 Catherine Street, Strand was Thurston, billiard-table maker. Information from the Archivist, Westminster Public Libraries.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number