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A man-mid-wife

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • A man-mid-wife
  • Description

    A whole length figure stands full-face divided by a vertical line, one half (left) representing a man, the other a woman. The background is similarly bisected, one half (left) being a surgeon's dispensary, the other a carpeted room with a domestic grate on which a saucepan is heating. Beneath the title: 'or a newly discover'd animal, not known in Buff on's time; for a more full description of this Monster, see, an ingenious book, lately publish'd, price 3/6, entitled, Man-Midwifery dessected, containing a variety of well authenticated cases, elucidating this animal's Propensities to cruelty & indecency, sold by the publisher of this Print, who has presented the Author with the above for a Frontispiece to his Book.' The surgeon, who is fashionably dressed, holds an instrument inscribed 'Lever'; the woman holds out a small vessel. The man's bottles, &c, are ranged on three shelves; on the lowest, inscribed 'This shelf for my own use', are bottles inscribed 'Love Water', 'Cantharides', 'Eau de vie', 'Cream of Violets'. Obstetric instruments are inscribed: 'forceps', 'Boring Scissors', and 'Blunt Hook'. On the ground (left) is a large pestle and mortar. 15 June 1793.
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1793
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 251 millimetres
    • Width: 205 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title, text within and publishing details: '[I. Cruikshank.] Londn Pub: June 15 1793 by S W Fores No 3 Piccadilly'
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
    A belated protest against the male accoucheur as a danger to female modesty and virtue. The controversy dates from the career of Peter Chamberlen (d. 1631) and was virtually decided by that of William Smellie (1697-1763). An indication of the unpopularity of the surgeon, cf. BMSat 9092, &c. 'Man-Midwifery . . .' has not been traced.

    (Supplementary information)
    The frontispiece to 'Man-Midwifery dissected: or the Obstetric Family Inspector', by John Blunt, 1793.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 8376 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XVIIIc Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat).  15 June 1793.  Hand-coloured etching


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 15 June 1793. Hand-coloured etching

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA149839

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