The Bottle is Brought Out for the First Time: The Husband Induces His Wife "Just to Take a Drop," plate I from The Bottle
George Cruikshank, 1792-1878, British
Glyphograph with hand coloring
From a suite of eight prints, stitched in a paper wrapper, narrating a family's decline from domestic order to ruin. Cruikshank
executed "The Bottle" and its sequel, "The Drunkard's Children," on behalf of the Temperance movement. In these and other
works, Cruikshank vilified alcohol as greatly damaging to the physical and mental health of drinkers and causing the demise
of working-class families. In 1847 Cruikshank took the pledge of total alcohol abstinence and became an active member of the
Temperance movement. [Helmreich, Life in London]
Glyphography provided Cruikshank with an inexpensive means for making durable printing plates for mass production of "The
Bottle." In this relief process, the artist scratched or incised a design on a metal plate coated with a thick substance,
like wax. Additional wax was applied to areas surrounding the incised lines, placing the design in greater relief. The wax-coated
plate was then covered with a layer of copper, filling the incised lines and forming a positive mold for printing. [see Patten
Published for the artist by David Bogue, London.
Catalogue Raisonne: Reid 5000; Douglas 242; Cohn 194
Inscription: Recto, in plate, "Designed and Etched by George Cruikshank" at l.r.
Scope and Content:
The Vogler Cruikshank collection has several variations of "The Bottle" and "The Drunkard's Children," including a set of
painted lantern slides on glass, used by Temperance promoters to illustrate lectures.