The Saveall or _ Economy __
Pub by T McLean 26 Haymarket where Political & other Caricatures are daily Pub. [n.d., c.1828.]
Handcoloured etching. Plate: 260 x 370mm, (10¼ x 14½"). Very large margins.
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769 - 1852) stands in profile to the left between Apsley House (right) and the Triumphal Arch on Constitution Hill, still with some scaffolding (built by Decimus Burton in 1828 and afterwards temporarily disfigured by the equestrian statue of Wellington). He holds a large flat candlestick on which is a saveall, a device for burning a candle to the last drop of grease. On the saveall is an inverted ducal coronet from which projects a vice (a pun is probably intended) on which is the tiny lighted taper which the Duke is about to extinguish with his glossy top-hat. The rays are inscribed £ 15 pr An, £25 pr An. Behind a hoarding masons and hodmen are working on a scaffold against the new pillars of Apsley House, on which is a placard: Letters & Parcels to be left in Downing St. In the background, also behind a hoarding, are Windsor Castle, surrounded with scaffolding but with a flag flying, and (left) the reconstructed Buckingham Palace, partly hidden by the Arch and placarded ‘Plans Recieved here for Pulling Down’. A satire on the expense of building operations at Windsor (by Wyatville) and at Buckingham Palace (by Nash), and on Wellington's (alleged) lavish expenditure and trifling domestic economies. According to Creevey, 20 Mar. 1828, Nash and others had recently visited Wellington saying that the King wished part of the new buildings at the Palace pulled down and the plan altered; the Duke refused. The Corinthian Portico and bays of the west wing of Apsley House were added in 1828 the same year as Wellington became Prime Minister. By William Heath (1794/5 - 1840), ex-Captain of Dragoons, illustrator of colour-plate books, and prolific caricaturist. From 1827-9 he used the pseudonym Paul Pry (from the name of a character in a comedy of 1825 by John Poole, that became a tag used for any very inquisitive person) with the emblem of a small man holding a walking stick in a lower corner of his plates. This figure was soon copied by other caricaturists (eg Sharpshooter), and so from 1828 Heath began to sign his plates with his full name. He published regularly with Thomas McLean.
BM Satires: 15563.
[Ref: 39174] £260.00