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The wine duty, -or- the triumph of Bacchus & Silenus; with John Bulls remonstrance

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The wine duty, -or- the triumph of Bacchus & Silenus; with John Bulls remonstrance
  • Description

    A tun of 'Wine' lies on solid trestles inscribed 'Treasury Bench'. From its huge bung-hole emerges the naked body of Pitt, as Bacchus, crowned with vine branches. He leans back tipsily, a brimming glass in each hand. Behind him stands Dundas as Silenus, fat, and partly draped in tartan; his right hand grasps Pitt's shoulder, in his left he holds up a brimming glass. He also is crowned with vine branches. Bunches of grapes hang down from a vine above their heads and are indicated as a background to the cask whose trestles are on a dais covered with a fringed carpet. Opposite the tun stands John Bull in profile to the left, looking up at Pitt, hat in hand; in his left hand is a lank purse, under his arm three empty bottles. He is a yokel, with lank hair and hydrocephalic head, wearing a smock and wrinkled gaiters. He says: "Pray Mr Bacchus have a bit of consideration for old John; - you know as how I've emptied my Purse already for you - & its waundedly hard to raise the price of a drop of Comfort, now that one's got no Money left for to pay for it!!!" Pitt says: "Twenty Pounds a T-Tun, ad-additional Duty i-i-if you d-d-don't like it at that, why t-t-t-then Dad & I will keep it all for o-o-our own Drinking, so here g-g-goes old Bu-Bu-Bull & Mouth!!! - " 20 April 1796
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1796
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 346 millimetres
    • Width: 243 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with artist's name, title, text within image and publication line: "J. Gy. d. et f. / Pubd. April 20th. 1796. by H. Humphrey New Bond Street-".
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
    An additional duty of £20 a tun (6d. a bottle) was announced in Pitt's budget speech, 18 Apr. 1796, and was opposed (by Sheridan, 5 May) as equivalent to prohibition. 'Parl. Register', vol. 60, pp. 449, 450, 599-602, 653-5. See also BMSats 8799, 8803, 9017, 9391. For Pitt and Dundas as topers see BMSat 8651, &c.
    Grego, 'Gillray', pp. 202-3. Wright and Evans, No. 149. Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', 1830.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 8798 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XVIIIc Mounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 20 April 1796  Hand-coloured etching

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 20 April 1796 Hand-coloured etching

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA84141

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