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William Allen, portrayed as an alchemist with several furnaces, the one which he stokes is labelled "Matter o'money". Coloured etching by T. Jones, 1827.

  • Jones, Thomas Howell, active 1828.
8 March 1827
  • Pictures

Selected images from this work

About this work


Allen stands amid furnaces and vats, the central one being occupied by an old lady who spouts gold from her mouth. This is Mrs. Grizell, née Hoare, widow of I.W. Birkbeck of Norwich, who was, at an advanced age, to marry Mr. Allen. The other figures in the vats are personifications of Allen's various philanthropic tenets, ie. morality, abolition of the slave trade, etc. The alchemical procedure attempted is 'sublimation'. On the two bottles, left, are alchemical symbols, other bottles, right, contain "Cantharides" [Spanish Fly] and "Leeches wholesale". There is also a big box marked "Cash"


London (27 St. James's St.) : G. Humphrey, 8 March 1827.

Physical description

1 print : etching, with watercolour ; image and border 23.5 x 33.5 cm platemark 24.8 x 35.3 cm


Humming all the trade is - or, the modern alchymist. T.J. fec.

References note

R. Burgess, Portraits of doctors & scientists in the Wellcome Institute, London 1973, no. 55.4
D. George, Catalogue of political and personal satires, Vol. X, London, 1952, No. 15450, and ibid. pp.710-714

Lettering note

Further lettering within the print includes a speech bubble from Allen's mouth: "Verily I have at length discovered the Grand Desideratum the Goose that layeth golden eggs - she shall be my household deity, hum! Let the ungodly laugh - and all other experiments be forgotten hum!!"


Wellcome Library no. 5013i


  • English

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