- Museum number
- Object: The wapping concert.
A concert-room with a boarded floor and low platform on which are the instrumentalists. The vocalist sits in an armchair decorated with masonic symbols; she sings, "Oh - Oh -O de Roasta Beef-a de charmante pudding O"; she holds an open music-book, 'Oh the roast Beef of Old England' (Fielding's famous song). The audience stand and sit in the foreground (right and left), they are of plebeian appearance. A lady (left) asks her companion, "Did she sing this song at the Abbey?" he answers, "She never sung so well at the Abbey in her life." A dog in the foreground watches the vocalist.
The wall is decorated by candle-sconces and a placard (right): 'Rules to be observed in this Meeting. That no Lady come into this Room with pattens. That no Lady or Gentn call for porter or punch during the performance. That no Lady or Gentleman crack nuts, whistle or talk during the songs. Strong waters and other rightefreshments for the Ladies between the Acts'. On the centre of the back wall is a whole length portrait of a man in masonic dress holding a spear. Besides the violinists, &c, one man performs on a salt-box, another with marrow-bone and cleaver, another puts a jew's-harp to his mouth, a fourth plays a bladder bridge. Beneath the titles is engraved:
'Madam Mary informs her Friends & the Public in General, that she has opened her Winter Concert at the Hog in Armour Wapping, in a large Commodious room belonging to the Free Masons; as she has at a great Expence, Engaged the best Performers it is needless to repeat how very inferior H------r S------e [Hanover Square] Music meetings must be to hers; after assuring the Public Sigr Bladder Bridge, Mynheer Van Jews Trump, Sigr Salt Box, Joe Evans, the celebrated Drummer, with others of equal note will assist in the band, there can be no doubt her Concert will be the Admiration of all Europe Madam M------ begs her Polite Audience will excuse her sitting during the Performance, as she contracted in her infancy a Disorder called Le Genoue Inflexible, or (Stiff Knee) which prevents her Standing, even in the most Sacred Pieces of Music - her Enemies call it Pride, but must appear only Malice, when she could notrise before their Majesties; or at the Sacred Name of Jehovah.' 28 February 1786
Etching and aquatint
- Production date
Height: 296 millimetres
Width: 332 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
Attributed to Wigstead by Mr. Hawkins.
This satire on Madame Mara (1749-1833) is mentioned by Grove, 'Dict. of Music': she seems never to have completely recovered from the rickets of her childhood, and writes that she was unable to sit on a platform throughout a concert 'owing to the heat and fatigue'. John Taylor states that when singing in concerts at Oxford she sat during the choruses 'as was the custom with superior singers on the Continent. The audience were offended and the reverend heads of the colleges abruptly dismissed her.' 'Records of My Life', 1832, ii. 100-1. She sang at the Handel Commemoration in Westminster Abbey in 1784 and 1785, and in 1786 made her first appearance on the London stage, see BMSat 7056.
- Not on display
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number