- Museum number
Object: Pl. 3 The fiends frying pan or annual festival of tom foolery & vice.
Series: Scraps and sketches
Below the title: 'Under the Sanction of the Lord Mayor and the Worshipful Court of Aldermen!—In THE AGE OF INTELLECT!!' (The notes of exclamation are figures in lines and dots registering astonishment.)A gigantic Devil (right) crouches over a huge frying-pan resting upon a gridiron among swirling flames. With ferocious glee he holds a fork poised over its contents, a dense crowd of tiny men and women drinking and fighting, a squalid saturnalia. Two men hold a fainting or dying woman. Behind the oval surface of, the pan are three booths, topped by flags. In the centre one, evidently Richardson's, performers posture, centred by a demon taking the arm of a befeathered actress; others are a clown and a danseuse. In the others musicians beat drum and blow a trumpet for a show of 'Wild Beasts', competing with the clown and zany of the opposite booth.
In the foreground two imps of Hell, squatting on the ground, lean towards each other, each holding up a long scroll. One is 'Popular Entertainments Devil on two sticks, Blue Devils, Devil to pay, Robert the Devil &c &c &c &c. —Popular works Devils Walk, Devils Ride Devils Drive Devil... s D ...' The other holds up 'Amusements of the People Drunken . . . Riot Robbery Rascality Licentiousness early Depravity Debau[chery], Brutality, Indecency, Blasphemy —"And these are the Humours of BARTLEMY FAIR O!"'. On the left a little monster supports on his back an open music-book, on which the bars of a gridiron form lines of music, on which the notes are little figures in lines and dots (cf. No. 12955). This is 'Ye Fiends Rejoice Pubd by Fry Diavolo Smithfield Bars'. Facing the Devil from the left is his orchestra, fiends blowing serpents, to suggest an infernal blare of wind instruments. Dark clouds form a background, with a round moon, its features expressing consternation. 1 September 1832
- Production date
Height: 272 millimetres
Width: 372 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Third plate of a series of six, stitched together with a cover and a titlepage. See curator's comment for 1978,U.228.1.
Bartholomew Fair, in Smithfield, controlled by the City Corporation and proclaimed annually on St. Bartholomew's Eve by the Lord Mayor, had long been objected to as a nuisance, see No. 14815. At this date it was in manifest decay. Exhibitions were prohibited in 1840, after which it dwindled to nothing; it ceased to exist, even nominally, in 1855. See Hone's Every Day Book, 1825, i. 587-630; H. Morley, Memories of Bartholomew Fair, 1859. Cf. No. 16519.
There is a rough pencil sketch, 'First idea of the Fiends Fryfing Pan]', 1. part only, 1891,1117.282 (P&D pressmark 199.c.2/282; Binyon, i. 293).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1891,1116.179