Collection online

January and May

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • January and May
  • Description

    Beneath the title is engraved, 'From Pope's favourite Poem of January and May, or the Merchant's Tale, from Chaucer'. A garden scene. A young woman (right) kneels on the back of her blind old husband, who stoops down, clasping the trunk of a pear-tree to support her that she may reach her lover who sits in its branches leaning towards her. The old man is dressed in an old-fashioned manner, with wide cuffs; the other two are fashionably dressed: she wears a feathered hat and long elbow-gloves; the anchor of Hope is suspended from her neck on a ribbon. He wears boots with deep tops, and a round hat. In the background (right) is a piece of water crossed by a wooden bridge with Chinese rails. Beneath the design are engraved eight lines from Pope, beginning, 'At least kind Sir, for Charity's sweet sake / Vouchsafe the Trunk between your arms to take,'. (She is pregnant, and has deceitfully asked her doting husband to help her to reach a pear for which she craves.) c.1785
    Hand-coloured mezzotint


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1785
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 350 millimetres
    • Width: 249 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title and two verses with the story taken from The Merchant's Tale in Chaucer; with "Printed for & Sold by Carington Bowles, No. 69 in St. Pauls Church Yard, London. / Published as the Act directs [date erased]". Numbered pl 552.
  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 6904 bibliographic details
    • Chaloner Smith 1883 undescribed bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Caricatures I p.6)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated titles

    • Associated Title: The Merchant's Tale
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


Satire: FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). c.1785  Hand-coloured mezzotint

Satire: FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). c.1785 Hand-coloured mezzotint

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA145189

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