- Museum number
- Object: John Bul-loons asses distanced by the Ganzas or large geese of Domingo Gonsales in a voyage to the world in the moon
A companion print to BMSat 6700, 6702, 6703. A procession accompanies a cart taking a deflated balloon and aeronauts to their point of departure. In the sky is a figure seated in a chariot drawn by a flock of geese. The cart is drawn (right to left) by six asses. The balloon is in the form of a fool's cap with large ears, as in BMSat 6704. On it is inscribed 'Caelum ipsum Petimus Stultitia' (cf. BMSat 6702). In the car of the balloon are two men, seated, with a dog (? Blanchard and Sheldon). Four men stand in it, two waving flags (one decorated with a skull and cross-bones), the others their hats. The procession is headed (left) by a man on horseback with a speaking-trumpet, apparently giving directions. Three men follow on clumsy, decrepit horses holding poles to which ribbons are attached (a 'P' on the flank of a horse may stand for Paul Sandby); next, a boy on an ass beating a pair of drums leads a party of musicians, with marrow-bone and cleaver, tambourine, fiddle, &c. Next are the asses drawing the cart accompanied by a body of men carrying trophies on poles; these include a coat and a pair of breeches. Spectators stand or walk on both sides of the procession; they include a woman with two children, three Highlanders taking snuff, a Jew with his show-case under his arm talking to a stout citizen, and two chimney-sweeps.
The background appears to be drawn with topographical precision. A high paling encloses the grounds of a large building. At right angles to this, and to the road along which the procession is passing, is an avenue of trees. On the right is a detached brick building, 'The Union Coffee House.' c.1784
Etching and aquatint
- Production date
Height: 248 millimetres
Width: 353 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
Probably a satire on Sheldon's balloon (see BMSat 6702). The title derives from 'The Man in the Moone; or a Discourse of a Voyage thither, by D. Gonsales', by Godwin, bishop of Hereford, 1638.
Cf. a French print of a balloon drawn by asses, 'Moyen infaillible de dinger les Ballons' (1787), reproduced, Grand-Carteret et Delteil, 'La Conquête de l'air', 1910, p. 40.
Reproduced, W. Lockwood Marsh, 'Aeronautical Prints and Drawings', 1924, pl. 47.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number