Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A distressed sailor, 1801 [1788]

My last post of each month will look at images of sailors created outside of the 1790-1820 time period. Today's image is barely from outside the target range of this blog: an 1801 colored engraving after a Rowlandson print from 1788.

“A distressed sailor”. After Rowlandson (1788), 1801. Lewis Walpole Library.
This romantic image shows a sailor missing a leg and walking using two crutches, with a child on his back. Both the sailor and the child are clothed in rags. The original print was issued by Rowlandson in 1788 and was covered by British Tars in this 2014 post.

Although the original print was created in 1788, before the time period this blog covers, its reissue in 1801 reflects the British public’s continued concern for aged or disabled sailors. The original print from the Royal Collection Trust is not colored, so this version gives us a good opportunity to see how an early 19th century colorist treated a 13-year-old image.

The sailor wears light brown breeches tied around the stump of one leg. The other leg is tucked up above the knee of the other, showing his bare leg and a blue and white vertically-striped stocking fallen down around his ankle. The seat of his breeches is painted a partly-missing, with no drawers worn beneath. His one black shoe has a round toe and is closed with black ties.

The sailor’s blue jacket has gaping holes in the shoulder and elbow that show bare skin underneath, but a white shirt-cuff is visible under the jacket’s open cuff, with both brass buttons unbuttoned. A spotted red handkerchief is tied about his neck, and he wears a black round hat. His brown hair is short and curly.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Jack Junk embarking on a cruize, 1807

"Jack Junk embarking on a cruize." Pub. by Sidebotham, Sackville St., London. 1807.
Lewis Walpole Library.
Today's image is a caricature from 1807. Jack Junk attempts to mount a house to go to Leather Head, except his left foot is in the right stirrup, which would put him on the horse backwards. The ostler points this out to Jack, saying "- "Jack, you don't mount the horse the right way, but it is Sailor-like to look one way and Row another!!"

Horsemanship aside, there is no mistaking Jack for anything but a sailor. He wears a black round hat with a higher, less-squashy crown than hats from earlier in the decade with a brim that curves gently upward, with a broad blue hatband and a rosette at the back of the hat. His neck-cloth is yellow with red spots, draped broadly over his back. His blue jacket has small gold buttons, three on each cuff and ten visible on the front. His trousers have broad red and white stripes, and on his feet he wears white stockings and black shoes closed with black ties. In his hand he carries the sailor's stick.

Of note is his hair: broad brown sideburns and flowing brown hair that is gathered into a thin black queue reaching all the way down to the seat of his trousers. The queue is made of narrow black ribbon or tape and tied in a bow at the top of the queue.

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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Jack and his doxey, 1800

"Jack and His Doxey." 1800. Laurie & Whittle, London.
Lewis Walpole Library.
Today's image is from 1800. A departure from the caricatures in the collection of the Walpole that I've been starting this blog with, this is a more romantic mezzotint by the firm of Laurie & Whittle. Robert Laurie was an engraver who worked for a firm that specialized in maps, charts, and nautical works.

This print shows a cheerful sailor ashore with some pleasures of life nearby: a bowl of punch in his hand and a woman waiting. Jack wears a round hat with a rosette and possibly a pipe in the hatband, his short curly hair flowing out underneath. His dark neck handkerchief is loosely-tied in a bow around his neck and bibbed over his shoulders. His waistcoat is halfway unbuttoned to show a white shirt, and his dark-colored jacket is worn unbuttoned. Trousers and shoes with small buckles, heels, and pointed toes complete his look.
To his left stands a sailor with his back to the observer; he wears petticoat breeches and stockings, a short dark jacket, and carries a stick in his hand. His dark neck handkerchief also bibs over his shoulders. On his head sits a round hat with a rosette tied on the front and shoulder-length hair flowing out beneath.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Fighting for the dunghill, or, Jack Tar settling Buonaparte, 1798

Today's print is an iconic image of Jack Tar.

"Fighting for the dunghill, or, Jack Tar settling Buonaparte."
James Gillray, 1798. The Lewis Walpole Library.
This print was issued to celebrate Lord Nelson's victory at Aboukir Bay off the Nile Delta of Egypt in August of 1798. The engraver, James Gillray, sets aside the national personification of "John Bull" and instead embodies British strength with "Jack Tar".

Jack's toe is planted on Malta, which rebelled against French occupation in September of 1798 with support from the British blockade, while the knee of the emaciated Napoleon rests unsteadily on Turkey as blood spurts from his nose - the blows from plump (as shown by his ample belly) Jack's fists have hit their mark.

Part of what makes this image of Jack so ironic is how the details of his dress as drawn by Gillray and the way the print colorist painted them fit so perfectly with modern notions of what a Napoleonic sailor "should" look like: he wear a blue jacket with gold buttons, red waistcoat, tow-colored petticoat breeches over breeches tied at the knee and colored a yellowish light brown, horizontally-striped blue and white stockings, and buckled shoes. His brown hair is short in front with a long queue behind, and his round hat has a blue hatband that reads "Britannia Rules the W[aves]". This is, indeed, Jack Tar - there is no mistaking him for anyone else in such a costume.

Friday, August 19, 2016

An English sailor at a French eating house, 1805

An English sailor at a French eating house.
[London] : Pubd. May 30th, 1805 by S.W. Fores, No. 50 Piccadilly.
Lewis Walpole Library.
Today's caricature is by Samuel William Fores, an English illustrator who specialized in caricature. Our English tar is in a situation ripe for humor, as his hearty English appetite struggles with French cuisine. He hands his plate of "shoes" (petites choises, or little things) back to his waiter as the other powdered, ruffled, and curled French diners look on.

He wears a large, squashy round hat with a blue ribbon and large rosette, with brown, short hair curling out from under it. His black handkerchief is loosely-tied around his neck and hangs down to his belly. He sports a red waistcoat with red cloth buttons and  a blue jacket with blue cloth buttons. His cuffs are worn unbuttoned, showing his white shirt below. His white trousers are loosely-cut in the leg and a white cloth tie is visible at the back in the waistband. He wears white socks and black pumps with white metal oval buckles on his feet, and a stick lies on the floor next to him.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Sailor’s Will, 1805

A sailor's will
[London] : Pubd. by R. Ackermann, No. 101 Strand, May 25, 1805.
Lewis Walpole Library.
In this caricature an elderly sailor named Jack Junks dictates his will. As is usual in cartoons he speaks in phrases laden with nautical jargon, and this particular sailor references his missing limb: "My wooden leg to Sam Bowsprit, as the way he goes on in every engagement he is likely soon to want it."
He wears a soft red tube cap on his head with the back turned back to show a white lining. A yellow handkerchief is tucked into his blue jacket, which has four unbuttoned buttons on the cuff. Underneath the jacket is a hint of a white waistcoat and white shirt. A black-painted peg leg peeps out below loose white petticoat breeches. A long stemmed clay pipe rests in his hand.

Monday, August 15, 2016

A story of a little parson and the sailor, 1797

[A story of a little parson and the sailor]. Richard Newton, 1777-1798.
[England, 1797?]
Lewis Walpole Library.
In this caricature our sailor stands between a little parson and another man, neither of whom seem to be amused by the sailor. A little round hat perches on the sailor's head head showing sparse red hair. A stick is tucked under his arms, and a black handkerchief tied around his neck over his blue jacket with two buttons on each cuff. His broadfall trousers are white with narrow blue stripes, a departure from the usual broad stripes used by print colorists. His pointed-toe shoes have oval buckles, and he wears white stockings.
In the uncolored etching his trousers are shown as striped, indicated by a stippling pattern. The version in the collection of Royal Museums Greenwich is the same except that the sailor's trousers are colored with broad red stripes and his buckles are gold.
Lewis Walpole Library

Friday, August 12, 2016

A sailor at a quaker's funeral, 1800-1810

“A Sailor at a Quakers Funeral”. C. 1800-1810. Various institutions.
In this cartoon a bare-headed sailor with short, curly hair stands slouched on the left of an open grave with a gravedigger, while pious Quakers pray and mourn on the right side. One Quaker says, "Alas, there is no happiness on this side of the grave", to which the sailor flashes out a bit of practical wit: "Why then, you Lubber, don't you come on this side?"
Our irreverent Jack has a stick in one hand and his other hand shoved into a trouser pocket with his hat tucked under his arm. His rounded toe shoes have large oval buckles, and he wears baggy trousers. His mariner’s cuffs are worn closed and his double-breasted jacket open, showing a double-breasted waistcoat underneath. Around his neck is a loosely-tied handkerchief, showing a bit of shirt underneath. 

In all versions the colorization shows the sailor as having black shoes, white-metal shoe buckles, white stockings, blue jacket, white shirt, black hat, and brown hair, but there are several variations in the details.

Lewis Walpole Library, version 1
In this version the sailor’s round hat has a black hat ribbon and a blue rosette. His trousers are a dark blue that matches his jacket and all his buttons. His handkerchief is black.

Lewis Walpole Library, version 2
In this version the sailor’s round hat has a light blue hat ribbon and matching light blue rosette. His trousers are striped red and white. His blue jacket is a bright, deep blue with brass buttons. His white waistcoat has white buttons, and his handkerchief is yellow with red spots

Royal Museum Greenwich: This version is the same as The Walpole’s version 1: the sailor’s round hat has a black hat ribbon and a blue bow. His trousers are a dark blue that matches his jacket and all his buttons. His handkerchief is black.

British Museum: In this version the sailor’s round hat has a black hat ribbon and rosette. His trousers are striped red and white. His waistcoat matches his blue jacket, and both have cloth-covered buttons. His handkerchief is black.

As always, it is interesting to see a print with many color variations that reflect how colorists thought a stereotypical sailor should look.

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.

Monday, August 8, 2016

A sailor Miss-taken, 1801

“A sailor Miss-taken”. Woodward del. ; Rowlandson sculp. [London] :
Pub'd. Sept. 12th, 1801 by R. Ackermann, No. 101 Strand, [1801].
Lewis Walpole Library.
In this cartoon a sailor is dressed in broad-legged striped petticoat breeches, with white stockings and pointed-toe shoes with square gold buckles. His blue jacket has blue cloth buttons and his cuffs are worn unbuttoned at the wrist. His waistcoat isn’t visible, but a hint of white shirt can be seen under his loosely-tied black handkerchief. His black round hat sports a black bow, and under his arm is tucked a stick. His brown hair is short and curly.

Friday, August 5, 2016

A battle out of the House, 1798

“A battle out of the House, or, The best way of settling the dispute”.
[Weimar : Im Verlage des Industrie-Comptoirs, 1798]. Lewis Walpole Library.
This caricature drawing shows a boxing match. The onlookers are labeled, and include a soldier, barber, blacksmith, butcher, baker, shoemaker, tailor, and glazier, as well as our sailor, who is visible from the waist-up standing behind the barrier to the ring.

The sailor wears a low-crown black hat with a blue ribbon and blue rosette in it. His white single-breasted waistcoat has white cloth buttons. No buttons are visible on his blue jacket, which has turned-back cuffs. Around his neck is visible a white shirt and a loosely-tied black handkerchief. His short, wavy brown hair is brushed forward around his face, and the head of a wooden stick is tucked under his arm.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The sailor and long-back'd horse, 1797

"[The sailor and long-back'd horse]". Richard Newton, [England, 1797?].
Lewis Walpole Library.
This colored engraving is a caricature of a sailor being shown a horse by two grooms. The sailor carries a stick and has a white clay pipe tucked into his black round hat. His striped white and red trousers end several inches above his ankles, showing his white stockings and the oval buckles on his black pointed toe shoes.
The print colorist has portrayed his red waistcoat as having red cloth buttons. The buttons of his blue jacket are not visible. The jacket and waistcoat are worn open, showing a checked blue and white shirt and a loosely-tied black handkerchief that trails down slightly onto his back. Under his hat the sailor has short, curly brown hair.

Monday, August 1, 2016

My Poll and my Partner Joe, 1790 (British Tars)

Welcome to Napoleonic Tars, an examination of the dress of common sailors in the English-speaking world through primary source images for the period 1790-1820.

To begin I share with permission a post from British Tars: 1740-1790: My Poll and my Partner Joe, 1790.

"My Poll and My Partner Joe," Isaac Cruikshank, 1790, Walpole Library.
British Tars writes:

Cruikshank's print accompanies a ballad drawn from the 1774 opera "The Waterman." It relates the tale of an unnamed waterman who is pressed into service. He spends years at sea, fighting and sailing through trying times. When peace is at last upon him, he returns home to find his wife Poll embracing his friend Joe. He relates that on the shocking site, he "boldly kick'd My POLL and my Partner JOE."

Our unfortunate waterman has curly brown hair that drapes onto his shoulders, under a tall cylindrical crowned round hat. A yellow neckerchief spotted with red hangs down over his double breasted red waistcoat which appears to be tucked into his white slops/petticoat trousers. The telltale blue sailor's jacket has brass buttons along the lapels and closed mariner's cuffs. At his waist is a yellow watch fob, and in his hand is a cudgel.

"My Poll and My Partner Joe," Isaac Cruikshank, 1790, Walpole Library.
In this colorization, the former waterman's hair is white, his neckerchief pink with dark spots, his jacket red with cloth covered buttons, and his waistcoat striped with narrow horizontal blue.