Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum
|Author||Frederick George Stephens, Mary Dorothy George|
|Subject||British Historical satire|
|Media type||12 Volumes|
The twelve volume Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum is the primary reference work for the study of British satirical prints of the 18th and 19th century. Most of the content of the catalogue is now available through the British Museum's on-line database.
The BM Satires  comprises twelve volumes compiled between 1870 and 1954 and provides a catalogue raisonné of the 17,000 odd satirical prints assembled in the 19th century by Edward Hawkins, Keeper of Antiquities in the British Museum from his own and other collections.
It includes works by all the leading artists and makers of satirical prints of the period, as well as lesser known and anonymous designers. Artists represented include: John Kay, James Sayers, Matthew Darly, William Austin, John Collet, Edward Topham, Robert Dighton, John Dighton, Thomas Colley, John Raphael Smith, William Dickinson, F.Sansom, Isaac Cruikshank, Samuel Alken James Gillray, Henry William Bunbury, Thomas Rowlandson, George Moutard Woodward, Henry Wigstead, Piercy Roberts, John Cawse, [F.G.Byron], C.Starck, James Bretherton, Charles Bretherton, Richard Newton, George Cruikshank, Robert Cruikshank, William Elmes, Charles Williams, Lewis Marks, Samuel de Wilde, William Heath, Henry Alken and John Doyle. Some works by foreign printmakers are also included.
The catalogue allocates a unique identifier to each print which is widely used as a bibliographic reference to specific caricatures in books about caricatures and in sales catalogues. The identifiers are one to five digit numbers, allocated in sequential order of listing within the whole sequence of volumes, each volume covering a monotonically increasing range of numbers. For example; BM Satires 10101 refers to a print listed in Volume VIII (which covers the range 9693 to 11703) that was published in September 1803 called My Ass in a Band Box. For each print, the catalogue provides a title, publisher, designer and creator if known, image description, lettering and inscriptions, dimensions, bibliographic references, and explanatory notes about the historical context and personages and printmaking technique (e.g. etching, aquatint, stipple, hand-coloured, etc.). The prints are for the most part in historical order of date of publication, though some appear out of chronological order in addenda that appear in later volumes. Within each year, Political and Social satire is arranged separately and sequentially.
There is a prefatory essay to each volume by the editor giving a historical synopsis of printmaking, artists, publishers and events through the period covered by the volume.
The first five volume of the catalogue were compiled under Frederic George Stephens between 1870 and 1883, with the assistance of Edward Hawkins, Keeper of Antiquities for the British Museum. The last seven volumes were the magnum opus of Mary Dorothy George the distinguished historian of British satire. In 2008–12, as part of the British Museum's program to digitalise its collections, all the volumes were scanned and used to form the basis of the entries for the satirical prints in the British Museum on-line catalogue. Digital images are now available for most of the prints.
The BM Satires does not include prints acquired since the publication of the printed version of the catalogue (i.e. up until 1954). The British Museum online catalogue includes additional entries for more recent acquisitions. The printed volumes include only a few images, mostly in the introductory essays.
|Volume||Publication years||Size||Editor||Years Covered||Bibliographic Number range|
|Vol. I||1870||pp 752||Frederick Stevens||1320-1688||1 to 1235|
|Vol. II||1873||pp 868||Frederick Stevens||1689-1733||1236 to 2015|
|Vol. III Part 1||1877||pp 802||Frederick Stevens||1734-1750||2016 to 3116|
|Vol. III Part 2||1877||pages 803 to 1262||Frederick Stevens||1751-1760||3117 to 3804|
|Vol. IV||1883||pp 836||Frederick Stevens||1761-1770||3805 to 4838|
|Vol. V||1935||pp 852||M Dorothy George||1771-1783||4839 to 6360|
|Vol. VI||1938||pp 1082||M Dorothy George||1784-1792||6361 to 8283|
|Vol. VII||1942||pp 742||M Dorothy George||1793-1800||8284 to 9692|
|Vol. VIII||1947||pp 1079||M Dorothy George||1801-1810||9693 to 11703|
|Vol. IX||1949||pp 1096||M Dorothy George||1811-1819||11704 to 13500|
|Vol. X||1952||pp 812||M Dorothy George||1820-1827||13501 to 15496|
|Vol. XI||1954||M Dorothy George||1828-1832||15497 to 17391|
- 'Dorothy M George'| 'The Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum' | The British Museum| 1870-1954| London