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Alexis Soyer Watercolour Cartoon Hundred Guinea Dish
  • Alexis Soyer Watercolour Cartoon Hundred Guinea Dish
  • Alexis Soyer Watercolour Cartoon Hundred Guinea Dish
  • Alexis Soyer Watercolour Cartoon Hundred Guinea Dish
  • Alexis Soyer Watercolour Cartoon Hundred Guinea Dish
  • Alexis Soyer Watercolour Cartoon Hundred Guinea Dish
  • Alexis Soyer Watercolour Cartoon Hundred Guinea Dish
  • Alexis Soyer Watercolour Cartoon Hundred Guinea Dish
  • Alexis Soyer Watercolour Cartoon Hundred Guinea Dish

Alexis Soyer Watercolour Cartoon Hundred Guinea Dish

Price:

£600.00


Product Description

A highly unusual watercolour and ink prototype cartoon, likely for punch magazine, and relating to the first celebrity chef Alexis Soyer (1810-1858).

By an unknown hand, though signed “Vide Punch”, this cartoon refers to Soyer’s “Hundred Guinea Dish”, which was served to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in October 1850. The meal had originally been titled “L'Extravagance Culinaire à l'Alderman.” Soyer would later publish the recipe, which included, amongst other things, “5 Turtle's heads, part of fins, and green fat…” It would also require over 200 fowls – everything from turkeys to quails.

Such opulence would have come just after the Irish Potato Famine (1845-1849), a cause to which Soyer had contributed a penny for every sale of his pamphlet “The Poor Man's Regenerator.” In that same book, he claimed he had invented a soup that could relieve the poor of Ireland. Containing no meat and little in the way of sustenance, Soyer instead maintained that “seasoning” alone would restore and strengthen their digestive organs. Such musings would later become official government policy, with a host of soup kitchens serving a well-seasoned, but nutritionally void broth to the starving Irish.

The cartoon depicts a gleeful turtle, taunting a donkey chained to the “London Stone”. The face of Sir John Russell, the then Prime Minister who had also attended the banquet, has been crudely attached to the donkey’s head. The cartoon bears the following title: ‘Soyer says an Alderman lives upon the “Green Fat” of the Land.’

The condition of the watercolour is good, though there is a crease running through the top of the paper. The ink wash has also been scratched in areas. The sketch has been mounted in a period Hogarth frame.

Frame Size: 36.5 x 30 x 2.2cm
Image Size:
Weight: 863g

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