It sounds as if you have an interesting cartoon published in London at
the height of the 1829 political crisis over the Catholic Emancipation
Probably it is a hand-coloured print like others published by S. Gans,
and other work by the caricaturist, A. Sharpshooter. A. Sharpshooter
was, of course, like some other cartoonists of the period, disguising
his real name! Prices in England for prints of this kind start at
about £30 (approx $55) and can be considerably more depending on
quality, size, condition and so on.
Southampton Street, where Gans had his premises, is just off the
Strand, a major street in a part of London which used to be home to a
number of printers and engravers.
Your cartoon is probably a comment on the "apostasy" of certain public
figures who had originally opposed Catholic Emancipation and then
supported it. The Duke of Wellington, who was Prime Minister, came in
for heavy criticism, as did Robert Peel, a member of his government
who had been strongly against the idea for many years. (It might be
possible to identify the kneeling gentlemen.)
Below I'll give you links to various websites with relevant
information. Please ask if you would like me to clarify anything, and
I'll do my best to help.
Best Wishes - Leli
Websites describing similar prints
Several cartoons by A. Sharpshooter, some referring to the Catholic
Emancipation crisis, several from 1829
Two prints published by S. Gans, Southampton St., each £50 (one with a devil!)
"Two of Paul Pry's Parish Characters, "Mr George King" and "Caleb
Quotum", Publ. S. Gans, 1829.
A SHARPSHOOTER."The Man who used to Drive the Sovereign" 1830
(Caricature of Wellington).
S. STOUTSHANKS. "Captain Dick Demi-Solde on a Wild Goose Flight to the
Swan River:, publ. S. Gans (uncoloured)."
"Anon. The Two Nicks going to Warsaw. London, S, Gans c. Nov. 1831.
Lithograph. 180x260mm. Trimmed close to top border.£85"
"A collection of thirteen political caricatures mostly pub. S. Fores,
W. Humphry, Walker and Knight, S. Gans, etc., mainly early 19th c.,
etched plts., mostly hand-col.,"
"Title: 'The Pleasures of the Rail Road - Caught in the Railway!', c 1840.
Published by S Gans of Southampton Street, London."
More caricatures of the period
"Rather than being seen as attractive but essentially incidental
illustrations for the study of British society and politics, political
and social caricatures are now analysed in depth as both a reflection
of, and sometimes a formative influence upon, public opinion.
Increasingly their propagandist role as tools in the hands of national
government or opposition is recognised. The creators of what are often
highly sophisticated and intricate images are now regarded as serious
artists, and the importance of their place in the political and social
world of the time recognised."
Wellington and Peel
" in 1829 the Dowager Duchess of Richmond had invited Wellington's
Cabinet to dinner, then filled her drawing room with stuffed rats to
show her contempt for the apostates."
"the Duke [of Wellington] fought a duel with Lord Winchilsea over the
issue of Catholic Emancipation"
"Between 1828 and 1830 Peel, almost single-handed, sustained
Wellington's government in Commons' debates, suffering a savage
campaign of ridicule and abuse in the press for his betrayal of
Protestantism. As Home Secretary in Wellington's government Peel was
the most important man in the House of Commons.
By January 1829 Peel's high-principled stand was weakening.
for the past twenty years, Peel had been the one man who had
consistently opposed the measure.
Peel was denounced as a traitor by the Ultras and had to resign his
Oxford seat as a result of his support for Catholic Emancipation. He
asked his constituents for a vote of confidence, and was beaten"
March 1829 was a critical month , with the Catholic Emancipation Act
passed in April.