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Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827)

Madame Blubber's Last Shift, or the ærostatic Dilly. 29 Apr 1784

Hand-coloured etching | 39.1 x 27.1 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 810076

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Albinia, Countess of Buckinghamshire, who campaigned in Westminster on behalf of Sir Cecil Wray, was widely caricatured as ‘Madam Blubber’. Here Rowlandson plays on the new craze for ballooning: the Countess is shown ascending by her petticoats, which have been inflated by ‘a little accident’. She is carrying two voters to the hustings, while the two candidates, Hood and Wray, watch from the side. A dilly, or diligence, was a form of coach which carried paying passengers. Purchased by George IV when Prince of Wales, 1790 Cat. 11