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A Scene at the London Museum Piccadilly

George Cruikshank1816-01

British Museum

British Museum

George Cruikshank takes a sardonic view of the vulgar hordes who ‘peep at the spoils of ambition’ taken at the battle of Waterloo. The wild crowd seems to have forgotten the horror of the battlefield just six months earlier, and only a Frenchman in the background feels any sadness, weeping unrestrainedly as he looks at a bust of Napoleon: ‘Ah! Mon dear Empereur dis is de Shocking sights.’ Blücher had sent Napoleon’s carriage – abandonned at Genappe, eight miles south of Waterloo – as a gift to the Prince Regent who promptly sold it for £2,500 to the showman William Bullock. The carriage and its contents became the prime attraction at Bullock’s London Museum at the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly. It was said that 800,000 people visited Bullock’s Napoleon show and that he made a profit of £35,000. He eventually sold the carriage to a coachmaker; it was purchased in 1843 by Marie Tussaud and was displayed in her waxwork museum until it was lost in a fire in 1925.

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Details

  • Title: A Scene at the London Museum Piccadilly
  • Creator: George Cruikshank
  • Date Created: 1816-01
  • Physical Dimensions: 280 x 360 mm
  • Medium: Hand-coloured etching
  • British Museum website: 1859,0316.111

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