Political billiards

Political billiards. Detailed description below

“European sovereigns (wearing crowns) and others, watch a game of billiards between the Tsar, the principal figure, and the Sultan.

  • Printmaker: Heath, William, 1795-1840, printmaker.
  • Title: Political billiards [graphic] / William Heath.
  • Publication: [London] : Pub. Sep. 30, 1829, by T. McLean, 26 Haymarket …, [30 September 1829]

Catalog Record


Acquired April 2019

The head of the great nation, in a queer situation

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“Napoleon, a little figure with a big head, stands with legs astride, head turned to the left, hair on end; his arms are extended, fingers spread, mouth open as if shrieking. He has a grotesque profile with corvine nose and wears high jack-boots with large spurs. At his feet lies a broken baton inscribed ‘Magic Wand’. Five allies threaten him at point-blank range, and from a circle of cloud an arm emerges holding a conical ‘Allied Extinguisher’ above his head. On the extreme left Wellington aims a blunderbuss, saying, “Take a good aim at the Head Gentlemen, & we shall soon settle the Business.” On Wellington’s left stands Francis I, aiming a small pistol; by his head are the words: ‘A way Mr Boney the Hand of Justice [see No. 12247] will put your Night Cap on at last.’ On the extreme right a fat Dutchman, wearing a conical cap as in No. 12105, stands behind a small cannon holding a lighted match and a cannon-ball inscribed ‘Orange Boven’; he says: “I’ll deal out my Oranges to him Wholesale.” Beside him are piled cannon-balls inscribed ‘Orange’. In his hat are orange ribbons inscribed ‘Orange Boven’ and a tobacco-pipe. Next him the Tsar leans forward, aiming a large pistol; he says: “I’ll rattle a few Snow Balls at his Cranium.” On Alexander’s right stands Bernadotte, aiming a small pistol; he says: “By gar we shall mak de head look like de plomb Pudding.” All but the Dutchman wear uniform with cocked hats. A background of smoke or cloud is indicated.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878, printmaker.
  • Title: The head of the great nation, in a queer situation [graphic] / G. Cr . fect.
  • Published: [London : Pub. Dec. 1813 by S. Knight, Sweetings Alley Royl., December 1813]

Catalog Record & Digital Collection


Acquired November 2013