London: H. Humphrey, 1799. Item #02604
First Copy in Ninety-Two Years
GILLRAY, James. New Pantheon of Democratic Mythology. London: H[annah]. Humphrey, May 7, 1799.
Folio (11 3/4 x 9 in; 298 x 228 mm). Hand-colored title and six hand-colored copperplate engravings. A fine set. Housed loose in a blue cloth portfolio with gilt-lettered crimson morocco spine label.
OCLC records only one complete set in institutional holdings worldwide, at the Morgan Library. ABPC records only one copy at auction since 1923: this one.
"Another series of satirical representations of the [Whig] party, but which appears not to have been completed according to the author's full design. The attributes of the various deities thrown out of the fool's-cap of liberty before the democratic altar, need no explanation" (Wright and Evans 230).
2. Hercules Reposing.
"The great leader of the Whigs [Charles Fox] had at this time seceded from his place in the political arena, and was iving in temporary retirement at St. Anne's Hill. Here has here hung his harp upon the willow, while the apples of discord are rotting at his feet. The political Hercules boasts the skin of an ass, instead of the lion skin of his prototype; and his supposed declining popularity is alluded to by te figure of Fame tottering on the summit of her temple" (Wright and Evans 231).
"On the fiery zeal of General Walpole, one of the warmest advocates of the liberal principles of the Whig Opposition. The crest of his helmet is a diobolical Sans-culotte, with a cap of liberty on his head" (Wright and Evans 232).
4. Harpies Defiling the Feast.
"The three political harpies [Tierney, Sir J. Shuckborough, and Jekyll] defiling John Bull's favorite roast beef, plum pudding, and porter, with their democratic pollutions" (Wright and Evans 233).
"Gillray has introduced Nicholls into his 'New Pantheon' in the character of Cupid. He was blind of one eye, and his features were remarkably plain. His elocution was ungraceful, and his action generally much too vehement. He exhibited the contortions of the Sybil, without her inspiration..." (Wright and Evans 234).
6. The Twin Stars, Castor and Pollux.
"Two of the Whig politicians of the day [Berkly and Sturt], who were equally celebrated as opponents of the Ministry, and as brewers of ale" (Wright and Evan 235).
7. The Affrighted Centaur, and Lion Britanique.
"The Duke of Bedford was celebrated for his taste for sporting - the turf as well as the chase. However, he is here represented under the form of the Centaur, half man and half horse. The roar set-up against him by the British lion, or at least put into the lion's mouth, was a sufficient subject for alarm" (Wright and Evans 236).
Wright and Evans 230-236.