The very Wise Aldermen of Gotham, Scratching for a Mayor.
Etching, sheet 175 x 110mm. 7 x 4¼". Trimmed to plate; stain spot upper right.
A satire on London politics; a throng of figures in furred gowns, most of whom have animals' heads, surround a table, on which are open polling books, with triple columns of names. Alderman Frederick Bull, with a bull's head, writes with a pen in his cloven hoof at the centre. On his right hand is John Wilkes (1725 - 1797). Behind stands a man with a goat's beard and horns probably intended for Alderman Sir Watkin Lewes. Thomas Harley (1730 - 1804) as an ape wearing spurred boots enters from the right. At the election for the mayoralty in October 1774 Wilkes was head of the poll, next being Bull, the actual mayor. These two were therefore returned to the Court of Aldermen; eleven of them voted for Wilkes to be Lord Mayor, while only two, Townsend and Oliver, voted for Bull. Probably from a magazine.
BM Satires: 5235.
[Ref: 13858] £65.00