Feast of the Board of Management

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Feast of the Board of Management
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Samuel De Wilde

Feast of the Board of Management

London, S Tipper 1st. Feb 1809

Etching with aquatint

190 x 340 mm

Repairs to old folds

£140

A satire on Drury Lane Theatre. The Board consists of three men at a table, almost covered by four large dishes, each containing an article of food with a portrait head. On the farther side sits Sheridan, ladling guineas towards his grinning and avid mouth. Facing him is Tom Sheridan, identified by a pamphlet, 'Caractacus', in his coat-pocket, and, opposite him, the President of the Board, as in No. 11079. These two turn towards the foremost of a number of hungry dogs with human heads; the latter beckons to him, while Tom feeds him with a cheque or note of 100£. Another dog, its collar inscribed 'John Bull' [1803], showing that he is Colman, turns away, but looks distrustfully over his shoulder at the pair. There are six others. T. Sheridan draws furtively from the pocket in the tail of his coat a purse, for which a (normal) dog begs, seated on an open book, 'The World' [first played at Drury Lane 31 Mar. 1808], showing that he is James Kenney. Beside the book are scattered papers inscribed 'Rejected Plays &c.', at which two dogs with human heads sniff and paw. One has a collar inscribed 'Carlo' [from 'The Caravan', see No. 10172, &c.], and is probably F. Reynolds. A man, resembling Wroughton in No. 11079, approaches the table, a napkin under his arm, carrying a large tureen inscribed 'Water Grue and containing plays: 'World!' [Kenney], 'Siege of St Quintin' [by T. Hook, first played Drury Lane 10 Nov. 1808], 'Travellers' [by Andrew Cherry, music by Corri, first played Drury Lane, 14 Jan. 1806], 'Venoni' ['or, The Novice of St. Mark's'] (by M. G. Lewis, first played Drury Lane, 1 Dec. 1808). The dishes on the table are 'Toad in a Hole, Turtle, Calfs Head Surprse [sic]', and 'Barbicued Pig'. Under the table (right) is a pile of papers, or books in shadow at which mice or rats are nibbling. These are the neglected classics, and are inscribed 'Jonson', 'Shakesp . . .', 'Beaumont and Fletch . . .' The room is panelled. BM 11438