Alarming Prospect The Single Ladies off to the Diggings. John LEECH.

Alarming Prospect The Single Ladies off to the Diggings.

London: 1853.

Handcoloured engraving, 210 x 305 mm. on wove paper, mounted.

A wonderful satirical mid-nineteenth century cartoon portraying young, single and desirable ladies abandoning generous marriage proposals in favour of fortune seeking on the goldfields.

A wonderful satirical mid-nineteenth century cartoon portraying young, single and desirable ladies abandoning generous marriage proposals in favour of fortune seeking on the goldfields.
The Prints and Printmaking in Australia and the Pacific online database confirms that the artist was renowned English caricaturist John Leech (1816-1874). Some of the ladies wait on the dock while a crowded ship bustles with belles in bonnets. One suitor is snubbed by a haughty lady with the caption "Bother yer hundred pounds and house in the public line! A likely start indeed!" while another lady in a yellow bonnet sneers "A twopenny, ha'penny fellow!". This disarming satire reveals the insecurity in society regarding the social mobility of women, and more widespread concerns about the population drain to the goldfields.
This image was recently reproduced in Gold: forgotten histories and lost objects of Australia (2001) as emblematic of the social upheaval of the new discoveries of gold.

Price (AUD): $850.00  other currencies     Ref: #4201764