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Chang and Eng the Siamese twins, eating and drinking to excess. Coloured etching by W. Heath, 1829.

  • Heath, William, 1795-1840.
Date
19 December 1829
Reference
12084i
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view Chang and Eng the Siamese twins, eating and drinking to excess. Coloured etching by W. Heath, 1829.

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Credit: Chang and Eng the Siamese twins, eating and drinking to excess. Coloured etching by W. Heath, 1829. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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About this work

Description

These conjoined-twins are the original Siamese twins, from whom the name derives. Born at Maklong near Bankok in Siam in about May 1811, of Chinese extraction; they were taken to America and then England in 1829, where they were exhibited causing great excitement. They were placed under the medical charge of G.B. Bolton, M.R.C.S., who made extensive observations along with others at the time. After visiting the principal cities in Europe they returned to America to settle as farmers in North Carolina, adopting the name of Bunker and marrying two sisters who bore each of them many healthy children. In 1869 they made another tour through Europe and took advice from eminent surgeons of Britain and France on the feasibility of being separated, with no ultimate conclusion. After having returned to their dual families (which they kept in separate houses) Chang developed bronchitis, which led to their death in mid-January 1874

They are shown indulging in an English diet. One is drinking liquor, and is thin due to over-reliance on alcohol. The other tucks into a leg of lamb and is obese

Publication/Creation

[London] (26 Haymarket) : T. Mclean sole pub. of Mr. Heath's etching, 19 December 1829.

Physical description

1 print : etching, with watercolour

Lettering

The Siamese youths- after a few years residence in England. William Heath.

References note

Not found in: British Museum Catalogue of political and personal satires, London 1870-1954
For sitter see: C.J.S. Thompson, 'The mystery and lore of monsters', London 1930; L. Fiedler, 'Freaks', New York 1978; G.M. Gould and W. Pyle, 'Anomalies and curiosities of medicine', Philadelphia 1896, pp. 151-154

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 12084i

Type/Technique

Languages

  • English


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