Bleeding Neptune or a Scotch Experiment !!
Etching, sheet 170 x 230mm (6¾ x 9"). Trimmed around image and text; glued to backing sheet.
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville bleeds Neptune from his forearm, while Alexander Trotter collects the guineas spouting from his left arm. Melville, the first lord of the Admiralty, and Trotter, paymaster of the navy, were investigated for financial irregularities in their management of the navy. When the commission's report came out in March 1805 (shortly before the Isaac Cruikshank print which this etching copies), Melville was cleared of lining his own pockets, while Trotter's financial speculations were in fact successful and standard practice amongst civil servants of the day.
BM Satires 10380 (copy)
[Ref: 37532] £95.00