The Gay Lothario.


The Gay Lothario.


A postcard held at the British Museum from 1813 celebrating the character of Lothario from The Fair Penitent around the time of a revival of the 18th century play. The full title reads: "The gay Lothario. The great and celebrated amatuer of fashion."

It satirically portrays an actor of the time.  The British Museum describes it as such: 

Coates in a pose suggesting Harlequin in a fencing-match (and like that of the clown in No. 9003), sits on the stage, his trunk almost at right angles to his legs which slant stiffly towards the stage-box (left). He grins at the occupants, pointing his sword towards them and raising his left arm. He wears his jewelled hat with the enormous feathers, cloak, tunic, and sash, as in No. 11769. He declaims Lothario's speech when he falls dying, after the duel with Altamont, beginning: "Oh Altamont! thy genius is the stronger, thou hast prevail'd . . ." [Rowe, 'Fair Penitent', iv. 1]. He lies on bright green ground, a garden scene with trees and skaters forming a background. Four persons in the box, much burlesqued, applaud, grinning broadly: "Encore—Encore"; "Bravo—bravo—Encore"; "Bravo—Encore." Plate numbered 190. 6 March 1813 Hand-coloured etching.

Inscription Content

Lettered with title, text in image, and "E-s scult / Price one shilling coloured / Pubd Marh 6th 1813 by Thos Tegg No.111 Cheapside London"


William Elmes biography


Thomas Tegg




Posted by Joseph Lennon

(Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
Also an impression with the date removed.


BM Satires 12128; 1872,1012.5033

Original Format

Hand-colored engraving

Physical Dimensions

Height: 244 millimetres
Width: 348 millimetres


The Gay Lothario 1813.jpg


William Elmes biography, “The Gay Lothario.,” James Joyce Digital Interpretations, accessed December 9, 2022,