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A hunchbacked jester to the sultan of Kashgar, invited to dinner with a tailor and his wife, dies through choking on a fish bone. Etching, 1787, by S. Watts after H.W. Bunbury.

  • Bunbury, Henry William, 1750-1811.
Feby. 1st. 1787
  • Pictures

About this work


An episode in Galland's version of the Arabian nights: Jonathan Scott, The Arabian nights entertainments, vol. 2, London: Longman, 1811, pp. 205-220, nights 123-128. A hunchbacked jester to the sultan of Casgar (Kashgar, China) is invited to dinner with a tailor but dies through choking on a fishbone. The tailor takes the body to the house of a Jewish physician and tries to implicate him in the man's death. The Jewish physician takes the body and lowers it down the chimney of a Muslim grocer who thinks he is a robber, beats him, and thinks he has killed him. The grocer takes the body and places it outside a shop where it is encountered by a drunk Christian who in turn thinks he himself is responsible for the man's death. Eventually each of the participants confesses his role


London (No. 50 opposite Old Round Court, Strand) : S. Watts, Feby. 1st. 1787.

Physical description

1 print : stipple engraving ; image 23.4 x 29.4 cm


The little hunchback, dining with the taylor is choak'd with a fish bone. Arabian nights entertainment. Le petit bossu en dinant avec le tailleur s'etoufe en avalant une arrête. Les contes arabs. H. Bunbury Esqr. delt. S. Watts sculpt.

Creator/production credits

"Sketches for The Arabian Nights [by H.W. Bunbury] were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1785, and issued in sepia and coloured stipple etchings"--Oxford dictionary of national biography, s.v. Bunbury, Henry William


Wellcome Library no. 2477173i


  • English
  • French

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