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Fortune's Favourites: or Happiness in every Situation

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Fortune's Favourites: or Happiness in every Situation
  • Description

    Fortune stands, one hand on her wheel, holding in her right arm a cornucopia filled with flowers, wheat-ears, and fruit. She is raised high above a group of her favourites who fill the foreground. A shoeblack (left) sits on a stool smoking a pipe, and pointing to the tools of his trade which are on a low stool in front of him. An old miser hurries from left to right, looking over his right shoulder; he clasps a bag of guineas in his right hand, and holds in his left a corded chest inscribed 'Jewels'. Walking towards him (right) is a jovial cobbler, holding up a foaming pot of porter; he wears a leathern apron and under his left arm are two lasts. Behind these three are (left) a peer wearing a ribbon and star, in profile to the left; a grinning and much caricatured butcher looking to the right and holding up a purse; a cheerful sailor with a wooden leg holding up a coin. Behind these again are a well-dressed tailor carrying a garment; a fat alderman eating from a bowl of soup inscribed 'Turtle'; a smiling parson holding out a paper inscribed '500 a Year', and a carpenter (right) walking to the right with a sack of tools on his back.
    In the background is partly visible (left) the rotunda of a 'Temple of Fortune', and (right) a partly built house with scaffolding, on which three builders are at work, one is drinking from an enormous tankard. Beneath the title twelve lines of verse are engraved beginning:

    'In every Station, search the World around,
    And Happiness may easily be found:' c.1786
    Hand-coloured mezzotint


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1786
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 347 millimetres
    • Width: 249 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title and three verses of four lines each; with "Printed for & Sold by Bowles & Carver. No. 69 in St. Pauls Church Yard, London. Numbered in lower left 575.
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
    The original water-colour is in the Victoria and Albert Museum; reproduction, 'Apollo', xxxi. ior (Aug. 1931). 'Caricatures', i. 10

    (Supplementary information)
    Dighton's original watercolour is in the V&A.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 7119 bibliographic details
    • Chaloner Smith 1883 undescribed bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Caricatures I p.10)

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). c.1786  Hand-coloured mezzotint

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). c.1786 Hand-coloured mezzotint

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA145237

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