Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Sailor Sitting for his Miniature, 1807

“A Sailor Sitting for his Miniature.” Woodward & Roberts, 1807.
Lewis Walpole Library.
In this cartoon our Jack Tar sits impatiently to have his portrait painted, dressed in his finest and with a bowl of punch at hand. He harangues the painter in the usual cartoon trope of over-the-top sailor jargon liberally salted with nautical phrases and vocabulary - "[A]nd lay in plenty of the true blue about the jacket - and Harkee, young one, don't forget the beauty-spot on the larboard side of my Cheek."

Jack's shore-going rig consists of a black round hat with a blue ribbon and bow around the crown, with curly brown hair peeking out underneath and a clay pipe in his mouth. His double-breasted blue jacket has cloth-covered buttons and his cuffs are worn unbuttoned at the wrist with five buttons. His shirt isn’t visible, but around his neck hangs a loosely-tied black handkerchief. A gold fob hangs down below his jacket, resting on his red and white striped trousers. On his feet he wears white socks or stockings and pointed toe black shoes with oval buckles.

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