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'The English Balloon', 1784.

Sandby, Paul

'The English Balloon', 1784.
3 0 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 22cm


Satirical etching by Paul Sandby, showing a caricature of the failed ascent of Allen Keegan's balloon from Lord Foley's garden in Portland Place, London. The balloon is depicted as a giant backside, which is on fire and billowing smoke. Floating on a kite beside it is the head of a jester in a fool's cap, bearing the title 'The English Balloon'. The inscription beneath the image is from Horace and reads: 'Caelum ipsum pelinus Stultitia'. Keegan's ascent was due to take place on 29 September 1784. However, the balloon failed to get off the ground and was burned by an angry mob. Dimensions: 253mm x 357mm.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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