R----L Whiskers

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George Cruikshank
1792-1878
Peel 1977
Provenance: 
Formerly owned by Sir Robert Peel.
Notes: 

Etching printed within type otnament border as a headpiece illustration to a printed broadside, 55 ll. of letterpress verse in two columns, with title: L'Adieu, from a puissant Prince to his cast-off Whiskers, on his leaving London to make an Excursion.
Lettered with title and publication line "Published by John Fairburn, 2, Broadway, Ludgat-Hill (facing the Old Bailey) / Maurice, Printer, Howford-buildings, Fenchurch st."
2 columns with 28 and 27 lines each, separated by a wavy rule, beginning with first line "Adieu, my dear Whiskers! dear Whiskers, adieu!" and ending with I ne'er shall love Whiskers as I have lov'd you."
The date should be before Sir Archibald Macdonald ceased to be Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Michaelmas 1813. The allusion to Geramb suggests 1812. The whiskers were not discarded till after the Regent's accession in 1820.

Summary: 

The Regent, half length, directed to the right, holds up his false whiskers, regarding them with admiration: For in curve so enchanting you lay on my chin, / You completely conceal'd all the 'blubber' within. Behind him is a barber's block, a realistic portrait-head of the Regent, with a comb stuck in the curls of the wig. The verses begin 'Adieu, my dear Whiskers! dear Whiskers, adieu!', and are signed 'G. P. R.' He compares his whiskers with those of Geramb and Lord Yarmouth and imagines them purchased at a broker's shop to be worn by the next Mayor on Lord Mayor's Day, when they amuse 'Sir Archy' in the Court of Exchequer, or, alternatively, to adorn Magog in Guildhall.

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