Every man has his hobby horse

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Every man has his hobby horse
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Thomas Rowlandson

Every man has his hobby horse

London, W Humphrey, May 1st. 1784

A later issue ca. 1810

Etching

Original hand colouring

240 x 350 mm

£240

The Duchess of Devonshire, carrying Fox on her back, approaches an alehouse. The host, a black man named 'Mungo', stands on his doorstep delightedly filling a glass for the Duchess; a fat disreputable slattern stands behind him. The Duchess, who supports herself by a large staff, holds a full purse in her hand, saying, 2For the good of the Constitution give me a Glass of Gin", the suggestion being that she will pay a large sum for the gin to secure a vote (cf. BMSat 6548). Her hat with ostrich plumes and fox's brush has a favour inscribed 'Fox ForNi'. Fox, one hand resting on her shoulder, waves his hat; they are both in profile to the right. Over the doorway of the alehouse (or perhaps brothel) is inscribed 'Mungo's Hotel Dealer in British Spirits'; the woman says, "Give the poor Man a Vote my Dear he is a good Man for the Ladies". A dog beside her barks at the visitors. The gabled roofs and casement windows indicated in the background suggest that this is an old and disreputable part of Westminster, resembling Peter Street as in BMSat 6548. The crowd, which is very freely sketched, also suggests a low neighbourhood; a man and woman walk or dance along, their arms round each other's shoulders; he flourishes a full tankard. An excited group shout and wave their hats round two tall standards: one, 'Fox and Liberty all over the world', above two crossed executioner's axes, the other, 'Rights of the Commons' and 'No Prerogative', with a cap of Liberty on the pole, B M 6566