'The Rule of Three', 1827.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hand coloured satirical etching drawn and engraved by H Heath illustrating a gang of three pickpockets stealing from a gentleman in the street. The lady in the centre of the image distracts her victim by talking to him whilst she pases the gentleman's pocket watch to her accomplice who is standing behind her. Meanwhile, another accomplice helps himself to the gentleman's handkerchief. The scene is lit by a gas street lamp and is one of the earliest images of this form of street lighting. Plate 7 from a series called 'Arithmetic' from a collection of prints and books documenting the early history of the gas industry amased by Sir Arthur Elton.