New Search

View high resolution image

Image ID:
Call Number:
Gillray, James, 1756-1815, printmaker.
A block for the wigs, or, The new state whirligig
Related Title:
New state whirligig
[London] : Pubd May 5th, 1783, by W. Humphrey No 227 Strand, [1783]
1 print on wove paper : etching ; sheet (trimmed) 25 x 36 cm., mounted to 30 x 41 cm.
Printmaker from George.
George, 6227
The new ministry is depicted on a large carousel, erected in front of the "Crown and Royal Bob" Inn. The structure is supported by a center pole held in place by pegs labelled "Treasury," "Navy" and "Army" terminating at the top with the head of the King in the form of a wig block. Fox, with a fox's head and tail, leads the procession, holding a bag of money. Behind him, Lord North on a horse with its legs cut short, loses his wig; Burke in Jesuit's habit and on a similarly lame horse, has partially turned into a skeleton due to his economical reform; Admiral Keppel behind him is desperate to remain seated on his donkey. Lastly a Scotsman labelled "President" signifies Scottish influence over the Crown. Watching from a seat before the Inn, a complacent John Bull mouths slogans of liberty, unaware that his house is being plundered behind him.
  •  George III, King of Great Britain, 1738-1820.
  • Fox, Charles James, 1749-1806.
  • North, Frederick, Lord, 1732-1792.
  • Burke, Edmund, 1729-1797.
  • Keppel, Augustus Keppel, Viscount, 1725-1786.
  • John Bull (Symbolic character)
  • Taverns (Inns).
  • Merry-go-rounds.
  • Wigs.
  • Flags - British.
  • Robberies.
  • Clothing & dress - England - 1780-1790.
  • Great Britain - Politics and government - 1760-1789.
  • Form / Genre:
  •  Satires (Visual works) - England - 1783.
  • Etchings - England - London - 1783.
  • Rights statement:
    These images are provided for study purposes only.
    For publication or other use of images from the Library's collection, please contact the Lewis Walpole Library at
    Further details on the Library's photoduplication policy are available at
    The electronic records for some of the objects in the LWL Digital Collections were created from documentation that has not in all cases been reviewed for accuracy or completeness nor does it necessarily reflect current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records, however, is ongoing, and the Library welcomes your comments as it continues to enhance these records. Please also note that not all of the Library's collection is presently searchable online, but the Library has an active program that continues to add new records to the Digital Collections on a regular basis.

    If you have comments or questions regarding the LWL Digital Collection or the about the Library's collections in general, please write to The Lewis Walpole Library.