A skeleton gentleman at a ball asks a skeleton lady to dance; representing the effect of arsenical dyes and pigments in clothing and accessories. Wood engraving, 1862.

February 8, 1862
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About this work


The previous week, the chemist A.W. Hoffman had published an article 'The dance of death' in The times, 1 February 1862, in which he disseminated the finding that green dresses, wreaths, and artificial flowers, made with copper arsenite or coppper acetoarsenite (Scheele's green, Paris green), were toxic


London : [publisher not identified], February 8, 1862.

Physical description

1 print : wood engraving ; image with border 14.3 x 17.9 cm


The arsenic waltz. The new dance of death. (Dedicated to the green wreath and dress-mongers). Punch, or the London Charivari. Writing and further image on the reverse Bears number top left : 54

References note

Alison Matthews David, Fashion victims: the dangers of dress past and present, London 2015, pp. 94-95


Wellcome Collection 36772i

Creator/production credits

Possibly by John Leech (1817-1864)?


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