A Real Rubber! At Whist

Artist and publisher George Hunt British
After M. Egerton British

Not on view

This satire pokes fun at elderly whist players gathered in a fashionable home for an evening of cards. Whist, like bridge, involves two teams who vie for tricks, with a rubber being the best of three games. The lady at left has miscalculated and holds cards of low value in several suits, with little hope of taking further tricks. Scolded by her partner–the alternate meaning of "rubber" as a source of annoyance or rebuke gives the image its punning title–she scrutinizes her hand and inadvertently dips the feathered aigrette on her turban into a candle flame. Only the dandy standing by the fire and the servant have noticed the conflagration. The image encapsulates the emotional hold that games of chance exert even when played for social pleasure. Humor is generated by contrasting exaggerated and inelegant facial expressions with stylish accoutrements.

A Real Rubber! At Whist, George Hunt (British, active 1820–45), Hand-colored etching and aquatint

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