“A (tricolour) top with the head of Napoleon spins, above the ground, savagely lashed by representatives of the Allies. His arms and his legs have already been severed from his body, now represented only by the madly spinning top. The most violently active is Blücher (left) stripped to the shirt, his coat and hat thrown on a drum on the extreme left, beside which lie his gloves and baton. Facing them is Wellington (right) equally effective, stern, but less savage. Full-face, and immediately behind the top is the Tsar, left hand on hip; his whip is inscribed ‘Knout’. Between him and Wellington is Schwarzenberg (or Francis I). Bernadotte stands rather behind, between Blücher and Alexander, both hands on his hips; he holds a whip but is an amused spectator. Behind (right) the future King of Holland, crowned and wearing a star, but dressed in the breeches and jacket of the Dutchman in English caricature, sits under a tree on a cask of ‘Hollands’. He watches delightedly, holding up one of Napoleon’s legs inscribed ‘United Netherlands’. The other leg, the thigh inscribed ‘Swisslad, the boot Italy, lies near Blücher. At Wellington’s feet is the right arm inscribed Spain & Portugal’; the left arm, inscribed ‘Germany’, is near Schwarzenberg. Napoleon’s orb and (broken) sceptre lie near him, with some of the feathers from the large hat which is still on his head; his horrified and shrieking profile faces Blücher. In the background (left) is a road along which a carriage drives off, drawn by four galloping horses. It contains tiny figures: Marie Louise, crowned and looking behind her, and the little King of Rome also crowned and waving a sceptre. Two soldiers are on the box, two others sit behind. In the air behind Bernadotte a demon flies off to the left, with Joseph Bonaparte clutching his barbed tail. The latter, his crown flying off, looks back horrified, exclaiming “O! My poor Brother Nap oh oh! O!”.”–British Museum online catalogue.
- Printmaker: Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878, printmaker.
- Title:T he Corsican whipping top in full spin!!! [graphic] / G.H. invt. ; G. Cruikshank fect.
- Publication: [London] : Pubd. April 11th, 1814, by H. Humphrey, St. James’s Strt., [11 April 1814]
Acquired June 2018