V&A Acquires Album of James Gillray Cartoons Hidden for More than 100 Years


Caricature by James Gillray, 1851.-  L'Assemblée Nationale or Grand Co-operative Meeting at St. Ann's Hill. - Respectfully Dedicated to the admirers of "A Broad-Bottom's Administration." Print shows a reception given by Charles James Fox and wife for various groups and friends of the Prince of Wales, all opposed to the government. Hand-colored. Plate size is 337 mm × 463 mm. - Prince of Wales attempted to suppress Gillray’s more scurrilous caricatures.

LONDON.- An album of 40 ‘suppressed’ cartoons by
leading British caricaturist James Gillray (1756-1815) has recently come to
light in the Criminal Law Policy Unit of the Ministry of Justice.
features material judged socially unacceptable in the 19th century – including
explicitly sexual, scatological and politically outrageous subject matter. The
album was probably seized by police more than a century ago as ‘pornographic
material’ and handed to Government officials. This slim volume of
‘Curiosa’ has now been transferred to the print collections of the Victoria and
Albert Museum, V&A.