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The Cow-Pock-or-the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation!-

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The Cow-Pock-or-the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation!-
  • Description

    A scene in a vaccine institution; poor patients crowd in through a doorway on the left; in the room are those whose treatment has had dire consequences. A comely and frightened young woman sits in an armchair in the centre, the doctor (Jenner, a good portrait, see BMSat 9925) holds her right arm and gashes it with his knife, while a deformed and ragged boy holds up a bucket of 'Vaccine Pock hot from ye Cow'. A charity-schoolboy's oval badge on his sleeve is inscribed 'St Pancras'; from his coat pocket projects a pamphlet: 'Benefits of the Vaccine Process'. From the patients miniature cows sprout or leap. A pregnant woman (right) stands in profile to the right, a cow issues from her mouth, another from below her ragged petticoat. A man dressed as a butcher registers despair at the horns which sprout from his forehead. A labourer with a pitchfork sees a cow bursting from a swelling on his arm while another breaks through his breeches; cows struggle through huge swellings on nose, ear, and cheek. Another patient has only reached the stage of large carbuncles on forehead and chin.
    The doctor's medicine-chest and a close-stool stand on the left. On the chest are bottles, a syringe, &c, and a tub of 'Opening Mixture'. This a haughty assistant ladles contemptuously into the mouths of the patients as they crowd into the room. On the wall is a picture: a crowd of kneeling worshippers pay homage to the statue of the golden calf. The scene combines fantasy and realism. After the title: 'Vide - the Publications of ye Anti-Vaccine Society.' 12 June 1802
    Hand-coloured etching.


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1802
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 250 millimetres
    • Width: 355 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title, followed by: 'Vide - the Publications of ye Anti-Vaccine Society'; and production details: 'Js Gillray del. & ft/ Pubd June 12th 1802. by H. Humphrey St James's Street.'
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
    Vaccination had become very general in England, and had been violently attacked in pamphlets. The scene is evidently the Smallpox and Inoculation Hospital at St. Pancras, where Dr. Woodville (see BMSat 9925) was the physician.
    Many French vaccination caricatures appeared in 1801, and Gillray may have derived his idea from 'Admirable effet de la Vaccine', 1801, where horns sprout from the forehead of a husband while a pretty young woman hands a case of knives to the operator. (Hennin, 12,730, in B.M.) This print, as well as 'La Dindonnade ou le Rivale de la Vaccine', is inset in a copy of 'La Vaccine en Voyage' (Hennin, No. 12,733) in 'London und Paris', vii, 1801, pl. 'N° VIII'. Another print, 'Triomphe de la petite Verole' (Hennin, No. 12,734; reproduced, Weber, p. 77), is pl. 'No IX. Découverte de la Vaccine' (Hennin, No. 12,729) is also in the B.M. 'Les Malheurs de la Vaccine' and 'Le Nee plus ultra' are reproduced, Weber, pp. 76 ff. 'L'inoculation ou Le Triumphe de la Vaccine' is copied, Jaime, ii, 'Pl. 85. I'.
    Grego, 'Gillray', p. 289 f. (reproduction). Wright and Evans, No. 519.
    Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', 1830. Reproduced, Weber, p. 78. A copy (coloured), with English title and inscriptions, is Van Stolk, No. 5577.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 9924 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XVIIIc Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 12 June 1802.  Hand-coloured etching.

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 12 June 1802. Hand-coloured etching.

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Object reference number: PPA145317

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