Henry William Bunbury

‘Coffee is quite ready Gentlemen’


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Henry William Bunbury 1750–1811
Watercolour and graphite on paper
Support: 223 × 305 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

Henry Bunbury was an amateur caricaturist. He achieved wide fame during his lifetime for his witty and observant drawings inspired by contemporary manners. Bunbury was the son of a baronet and this, combined with his talent and sociableness, meant he was welcome in the houses of the great and the rich. This part of society was fertile ground for humour. Bunbury regularly visited the house of Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn in North Wales. This drawing is almost certainly set there. It shows Williams-Wynn, the central figure in a striped waistcoat, and his guests, being told off by a servant for not responding the first time to the call that coffee has been served.

Gallery label, September 2004

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