Satirical print of a group of dissolute upper class men in fine clothes and top hats, drunkenly making their way home from “a public dinner.” They are all wearing gold medallions dangling from their belts, evidently an emblem of an organization their contemporaries would readily identify. One has collapsed in front of a building plastered with posters for plays at the Theatre Royal at Covent Garden, whose titles sardonically comment on the action: “The Blue Devils,” “Love’s Labour Lost,” “The Road to Ruin” and “Fortune’s Frolic.” Three night watchmen in long brown coats and flat hats have encountered the group, one holding the fallen man, the other two looking alarmed as a grinning drunk takes a swing at them. A heavyset man is dancing with a woman, probably a prostitute, while her companion picks his pocket, having already stolen his medallion, which she holds in her upraised hand. Theodore Lane’s original pencil sketch for this print, made in 1824, is in the collection of the Museum of London (see References below). The print itself has been collected by numerous British institutions.
Theodore Lane was a genre painter and engraver during his brief career, which ended when he died in an accident at age 28. He specialized in portraits and humorous genre subjects, with which he had great success. His works are in British museums such as the Tate Gallery and the Museum of London.
George Hunt was a British engraver, active in London during the 1820s, when he produced humorous engravings after the work of M. Egerton for the publisher Thomas McLean.
Full publication information (lower margin): “Drawn & Etched by Theodore Lane. Published May 1, 1825, by C. Hunt, 18, Tavistock St’t. Cov’t. Garden. Eng’d. by Geo. Hunt.”
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear.
“Amorous, clamorous, uproarious and glorious, all coming from a public dinner: 1824.” Museum of London . http://www.museumoflondonprints.com/image.php?id=178335 (20 January 2009).
Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol.5, p. 391.
“The Baker Collection of Books.” The University of Sussex Special Collections Library. (Re: George Hunt.) http://www.sussex.ac.uk/library/speccoll/collection_catalogues/baker.html (25 January 2005).