Philadelphia Museum of Art - Collections Object : Mutual Accusation

Mutual Accusation

James Bretherton, British, active 1755 - 1799. After Henry William Bunbury, British, 1750 - 1811. Published by James Bretherton, British, active 1755 - 1799.


Hand-colored etching

Plate: 9 5/16 x 11 7/8 inches (23.7 x 30.2 cm) Sheet: 10 5/16 x 13 3/16 inches (26.2 x 33.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The William H. Helfand Collection, 2004

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While a quack doctor would never refer to himself as a quack, his rival certainly would. Here two quacks argue over the merits of their rival antiscorbutic pills (for the prevention of scurvy, or vitamin C deficiency), one "veritable" and the other "true." For extra effect, their wives, dogs, and cats are fighting too. Both quacks wear full wigs, emulating a practice favored by respectable physicians of the period.