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2020-09-29 09:14:57
Gillray, James
A Sale of English-Beauties, In the East Indies, London, 1786.
1786. 15" x 21" etching. "English-Beauties" For Sale in India Gillray, James [1756-1815]. A Sale of English-Beauties, In the East Indies. London: William Holland, May 16, 1786. 15" x 21" etching, trimmed to edges, attractively mounted and matted. Light even toning, light soiling, vertical crease through center, minor tear near upper right corner, few negligible spots to image. $950. * This biting satire on the East India Company's immoral activities in India presents an auction of a just-unloaded cargo of English courtesans to members of the company and their Indian colleagues, who are evaluating the women. The man in the center of the image has a set of papers projecting from his pocket reading "Instructions for the Governor-General." The unsold women are entering a warehouse on the right "for unsaleable goods from Europe, to be returned by the next ship." A foppish auctioneer stands at a podium made of bales of British-made "britches." At his feet are boxes of pornographic books "for the amusement of Military gentlemen." At the bottom of the print is a case of "surgeon's instruments" and several barrels of "Leakes Pills," a contemporary remedy for sexually transmitted diseases. BMSatires 6101.
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