ELECTION- An Election Entertainment,


William Hogarth (1697 - 1794)

Sold as a set of 4 plates Plate1 : A feast given by two candidates in an election for parliament; two large tables in a panelled interior (probably intended as a 17th-century inn) surrounded by an assembly of drunken citizens, including … Read Full Description


S/N: SATI-1805-HOGA-086–221023
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Full Title:

ELECTION- An Election Entertainment,




William Hogarth (1697 - 1794)


In good condition


Original copper engraving.

Image Size: 

x 440mm
ELECTION- An Election Entertainment, - Antique Print from 1822

Genuine antique



Sold as a set of 4 plates

Plate1 : A feast given by two candidates in an election for parliament; two large tables in a panelled interior (probably intended as a 17th-century inn) surrounded by an assembly of drunken citizens, including a fat and toothless woman who embraces the younger of the candidates, a man with scratches on his face who is losing his wig and lets smoke from his pipe blow into the other candidate’s eye, a clergyman who removes his wig to wipe his sweating head, a group of musicians, and a fat man who is being bled by a barber-surgeon to relieve him of the effects of a surfeit of oysters; in the centre foreground, a butcher pours gin on the scalp-wound of a brawler with a banner inscribed “Give us our Eleven Days” (alluding to the revision of the calendar in 1752); to right, the candidates’ agent falls backwards having been hit by a brick thrown through the window by one of the crowd demonstrating against the Marriage Act and the Jew Bill (both 1753).

Plate 2: A rural scene with three inns: “The Portobello” (celebrating the naval victory of 1739 in contrast with the recent loss of Minorca), outside which two veterans sit reminiscing; “The Excise Office” (the Whig stronghold, its name alluding to Walpole’s Excise Bill of 1733) with the sign of the Crown and a rioting crowd; and “The Royal Oak” (recalling Tory support for the Stuart monarchy), its sign partly obscured by the banner of “Punch Candidate for Guzzledown” in which the Treasury is being emptied of money that the candidate throws at voters; in the centre, a young country gentleman is being bribed by agents of both parties, while, to right, a portly candidate buys trinkets from a Jewish pedlar for two young ladies on the balcony of “The Royal Oak”; the landlady counts her bribe under the watchful eye of a soldier while she leans against a carved British lion about to devour the fleur-de-lis of France. 

Plate 3: A rural scene with a hustings where ailing men are being brought to vote and the able-bodied are amusing themselves with a drawing of one of the candidates, an execution broadside and a gin bottle; in the middle ground a coach bearing the sign of the Union Flag has collapsed, but its female passenger (Britannia) is unable to gain the attention of her coachmen who are absorbed in a card game; beyond, a bridge across a river is crowded with a riotous procession.

Plate 4: Scene in a country town with two newly-elected members of parliament (one a representation of George Bubb Doddington, the other visible only as a shadow on a distant wall) carried shoulder-high along the street, led by a blind and ragged fiddler and surrounded by a chaotic and disreputable crowd; two chimney boys sit on the church wall, a dancing-bear interferes with a donkey’s load and is about to be clubbed by the driver, the one-legged bear-leader (dressed in sailor’s clothes) is engaged in a fight with a man swinging a flail, a rifle slung over a monkey’s shoulder discharges to the horror of a black serving woman, a sow and her piglets up-end a woman as they charge across the street, a soldier stripped to the waist for a boxing bout is taking tobacco from a wrapper; to right, dishes of food are being carried into an elegant house where victory is being celebrated.


William Hogarth (1697-1794)

Hogarth was born in London, the son of an unsuccessful schoolmaster and writer from Westmoreland. After apprenticeship to a goldsmith, he began to produce his own engraved designs from 1710. He later took up oil painting, starting with small portrait groups called conversation pieces. He went on to create a series of paintings satirising contemporary customs, but based on earlier Italian prints, of which the first was ‘The Harlot’s Progress’ (1731), and perhaps the most famous ‘The Rake’s Progress’. His engravings were so plagiarised that he lobbied for the Copyright Act of 1735 as protection for writers and artists.

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