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Caricature Satire, A Long Headed Assembly, Woodward, Cruikshank, Antique Print, London, 1806


George Moutard Woodward (1765-1809) (after)
Isaac Cruikshank (1764-1811) and George Cruikshank (1792-1878) (etchers)
A Long Headed Assembly!!
Thomas Tegg, London: 1806
Hand-colored etching
Signed in matrix lower margin by artists, lettered faintly in upper left margin “Plate 5”
9.5 x 13.5 inches, overall

An amusing caricature engraving satirizing the aristocracy who are shown at a party in an elegant hall and drawn with elongated heads on small bodies.  The exaggerated fashion and hairdos of the characters, as well as their conversations are meant to lampoon them. Conversation balloons are lettered above their heads. In the foreground, two couples play cards at a table. A foppish man in a military uniform and the woman seated opposite him gloat: “A charming hand this time however” to which she responds, “I had trump.” The woman of the other couple, looking displeased, says, “I never held such cards in my life,” and her partner replies, “Worse and worse.” A footman bearing a tray of wine glasses gives a wide yawn, “Ya! ha!” Meanwhile, in the ornate ballroom seen through an arch on the right, a band plays in a musicians’ gallery as people dance. A gent flirts with a seated woman: “I never saw your Ladyship look more beautifull will you take cards or dance.” Avoiding his gaze she replies, “Neither my Lord at Present.”

Product description continues below.


According to curator’s comments on an impression of this etching in the collection of the British Museum, another state of the print exists that is autographed by George Cruikshank, “Etched by my father I. Cruikshank, the little figures in the background by me G.C.” At the time, George was only about 14 years old; he went on to become a leading British caricaturist and illustrator.

George Moutard Woodward was a prolific British caricaturist whose works were frequently published by Piercy Roberts, Thomas Tegg, and William Holland, and frequently etched by Roberts, Rowlandson, and Cruikshank. His earliest works appeared around 1785. By 1791 he had produced works for William Holland and Fores, and later worked for Allen & West, R. Ackermann, Thomas Tegg, Piercy Roberts, and others. In addition to separately issued plates, he wrote verse and prose and published the illustrated works Eccentric Excursions in England and Le Brun Travestied (1800). He also published The Caricature Magazine (1807), and Comic Works in Prose and Poetry (1808). The British Museum owns 666 prints after Woodward, including A Sailor Sitting for His Miniature.

Isaac Cruikshank was a British caricaturist, book illustrator and watercolorist. He came from an impoverished background in London. He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1789 and 1792. In 1796 he published his first print, a political satire. He was soon busy producing prints for the publishers Lawrie & Whittle and others, and was active through at least 1810. His sons George and Robert Cruikshank also became artists.

George Cruikshank was from a British family of caricaturists, illustrators and engravers that included his father, Issac, and his brother Robert. At an early age he showed talent for drawing and engraving. He was influenced by the satirical art of William Hogarth and went on to produce over 15,000 drawings during his long life. In the early 1820s he made political caricatures, but gradually concentrated more on book illustration. His best-known works were for the books of Charles Dickens, including Oliver Twist. Among his large number of other illustrated books were a Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1827), a Pilgrim’s Progress and Paradise Lost, and Life in London (1821).

Thomas Tegg (1776-1845) was a printer, bookseller, stationer and paper dealer in London. Orphaned at the age of five, he lived in various cities as a young man before arriving in London in 1796 and starting a publishing business with a partner in 1799. After losing money, he left for the provinces where he conducted auctions and returned to London in 1805 with debts paid and started a firm under his own name. Over the next 40 years, he published over 4,000 items including abridgements of popular works, the London Encyclopedia (1825), and song books. His sons Thomas (d. 1871) and William (1816-1895) also worked with him and William Tegg continued as a publisher after his father’s death under his own name until 1890.

Full publication information: Woodward del. Cruikshank sp. Published by T. Tegg 111 Cheapside Sep’r 26 1806.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, handling, wear, small discoloration patches, cockling of paper. Margins very good for a separately issued caricature.


“George Moutard Woodward.” British Museum. 2017. (27 July 2018).

George’s Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires: 14441.

Maxted, Ian. “The London book trades 1775-1800: a checklist of members.” Exeter Working Papers in Book History. 20 June 2001.; (27 July 2018).

“Object: A long headed assembly!!” British Museum. (5 January 2021).

Redgrave, Samuel. A Dictionary of Artists of the English School: Painters, Sculptors, Architects, Engravers and Ornamentists. London: Longmans, Green, and Col., 1874. p. 106.

Williamson, George C., ed. Bryan’s Dictionary of Painters and Engravers. London: G. Bell and Sons: 1930. Vol. 5, pp. 393-394.

Additional information


19th Century