Subtly satirising the embassy of Lord Macartney to the Emperor of China in the hope of furthering trade with Britain. The Emperor, his mandarins and body guard are more overtly caricatured to show their thinly veiled contempt for the toys, trinkets and games presented by their fawning visitors. Lord Macartney kneels in the middle presenting a document signed by George III and William Pitt. Behind him five other delegates prostrate themselves, heads on the carpet, bottoms in the air, while behond them kneel Macartney’s secretary, Sir George Staunton, and the German documenter, Huttner. The latter presents a caged magpie, while the former holds a the tether of a miniature hot air balloon bearing the royal coat-of-arms. The lion is depicted with a look of horror as it drifts towards the sharply pointed tip of an ornamental dragon forming part of a pagoda-like canopy over the emperor’s dais.
Etching printed in dark brown with fine original hand-colouring, 31.5 x 39.5 cm. (12 3/8 x 15 1/2 in), [BM Satires 8121].
Stock ID: 92009