Friday, August 26, 2016

Jack in his element, 1793

Today's image is another uncolored mezzotint from the firm of Robt. Sayer & Co, which specialized in nautical charts and maps. This image accompanies the broadside ballad "Jack in His Element", which describes Jack delivering the sad news to Poll that her husband is dead.
"Jack in His Element." Mezzotint, Robert Sayer, publihsher. London, 1793.
Lewis Walpole Library.

Our sailor is dressed very stereotypically, in baggy, calf-length white petticoat breeches, white stockings, and pointed-toe shoes with large buckles. The sailor's jacket has light-colored buttons and is worn with the four buttons on each cuff unbuttoned, showing a white shirt beneath. Out of one welted pocket hangs a white handkerchief, and what is possibly a spotted handkerchief is loosely tied around his neck. He has long wavy hair that spills onto his shoulders, and wears a black round hat with a semi-conical crown, narrow brim, and what may be three buckles on the side.

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