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Title: "Alas! poor Whore thou art fairly trap'd/ Tho by the Spark so sweetly Lap'd" "And for thy midnight Vice and Folly/ Your Fate is now to mill your Dolly./ Thy Bully, who cou'd huff before./ Now poorly sneaks behind the Door:/ Whilst Madam Bawd is all intent/ T'extort more Money than was spent."
Description: [London] 1730. An engraved plate by William Henry Toms after Egbert van Heemskerck, 380 x 313 mms., "a satire on satire on prostitution set in a brothel in which all the men have been given the heads of apes and the women those of cats. In the centre of the room a prostitute sits on the knee of an old man who fondles her, her legs splayed; she holds a glass in one hand and a flask in the other. A magistrate wearing a lace edged hat and holding a large candle stands over them. Constables with staves stand in the open door, behind which the prostitute's pimp (referred to as her bully in the verse beneath) is hiding; he is dressed as a grenadier. On the right, the brothel-keeper holds up a tally-board pointing out one of the symbols to three men who are startled at the entry of the constables; one is seated at a table holding a glass, another holds a large candle. On the table is a large flask, another rests on the floor beside a big jug, and another lies broken in pieces. In the background on the right a couple peer from being the curtains of a large bed. Hanging from the ceiling is a large birdcage on which a bird is perched" (British Museum Catalogue 1866,0407.53). There is a short tear in the lower leaf-hand margin going into the engraving and some small pieces missing from white border, somewhat dust-stained.

Keywords: prostitution engraving women

Price: GBP 935.00 = appr. US$ 1335.17 Seller: John Price Antiquarian Books
- Book number: 7760

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