- Museum number
Object: The quack doctor
Series: The English Dance of Death
An apothecary's shop, the walls covered by jars closely ranged on shelves, a stuffed fish hanging from the ceiling. Behind a curtain (right) Death, wearing an apron, pounds at a mortar of 'slow Poison', looking gleefully in a mirror to watch the customers. The fat quack compounds medicines at the counter. A grotesque crowd of agonized patients enters through a doorway (left) inscribed 'Apothecaries Hall'. Two sit in arm-chairs. The jars are 'Canthar[ides]', 'Arsnic', 'Opium', 'Nitre', 'Vitriol', 'Elixir', with (right) 'Restorativ Drops'. Below:
'I have a secret art to cure
Each malady, which men endure.'
1 July 1814
Hand-coloured etching and aquatint
- Production date
Height: 143 millimetres (cropped)
Width: 223 millimetres (cropped)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
Aquatint (coloured) to 'The English Dance of Death' (vol. i), written by Combe for Rowlandson's designs (72 plates). It appeared in monthly parts, 1 Apr. 1814 to 1 Mar. 1816, and in two volumes in 1816, with frontispiece and title-page (see Nos. 12857, 12858). The title, repeated in the index, of each plate is the heading to the opposite printed page. Below each plate is a couplet not from the text.
Grego, 'Rowlandson', ii. 317-36.
In the volume this plate appears opposite p. 85.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number