Mr. John Bull, in Keeley's celebrated character of "Willibald," in the Popular Extravaganza of "The Bottle Imp" from George
Cruikshank's Table Book, number 11
George Cruikshank, 1792-1878, British; [Bradbury and Evans, London], publisher
One of six glyphographs by Cruikshank published in the monthly periodical, "George Cruikshank's Table Book." This print, from
the November 1845 issue, illustrates an article, "Railway Calls," on contemporary speculation in railway scrip or share certificates.
From the article by the periodical's editor, Gilbert Abbott a Beckett: "When this period arrives, instead of a struggle to
get hold of scrip, there will be an eagerness to get rid of it. The last possessor will be the unhappy victim to all its liabilities,
and every man will go about like the unfortunate individual who had bought the "Bottle Imp" and could only transfer its horrid
responsibilities by getting hold of another purchaser. Every one who has seen Keeley in the character of Willibald, the temporary
tenant in possession of the ill-fated bottle, unable to find any one willing to be let in as remainder-man, will appreciate
the misery of the last scrip-holder. Scrip is the imp by the agency of which many have gratified their mercenary wishes, but
soon it may be impossible to get any one to relieve them from the awful burden. Already, symptoms of the panic have appeared,
and directors are beginning to repudiate the Railway Bottle Imp."
Catalogue Raisonne: Reid 4989; Douglas 228; Cohn 191
Inscription: Recto, in plate below design, "Geo Cruikshank" at l.l.; "in Glyphography" at l.r.