Scarcity in India

description below

“Two sailors are bargaining with a scantily clad Indian girl with a basket of fruit. Although pineapples were luxury goods at this time, the mirror, and in particular the watch offered by the seaman on the left represent a disproportionately high price for the fruit. The girl’s hairstyle resembles a pineapple reinforcing the point that she is the object of their attention rather than her wares. The two men are dressed in their shore-going clothes with buckled shoes and silk stockings. They wear baggy cotton trousers and short jackets. The sleeve of the left-hand sailor has a mariner’s cuff outlined in white piping and his wool jacket has metal buttons, which are probably made of brass. He wears a straw hat and his hair is done in a pigtail or queue. Both men have large silk neckerchiefs probably originating in India. Sailor’s dress was much the same in the merchant service and the navy. There was no uniform for the lower ranks at this time.”–Collections online, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

  • Printmaker: Knight, Charles, 1743-1827?, printmaker.
  • Title: Scarcity in India [graphic] / painted by H. Singleton ; engraved by C. Knight.
  • Publication: [London] : Published Jan. 1st, 1794, by C. Knight at Wm. Bonds, No. 98 Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place, London, [1 January 1794]

Catalog Record


Acquired April 2023

Iohn Bull makeing a naval enqury

description below

“John Bull, as a burly and ugly sailor, sits enthroned (right), listening to Melville’s plea of innocence. Melville, in Highland dress, and wearing a feathered bonnet, stands in profile to the right. with clasped hands and flexed knees; he says: “Indeed Mr Bull – I knaw nae more aboot it – than Johnny Groat o’the Highlands.” Trotter lurks behind him (left) furtively twitching his superior’s kilt, and jerking his thumb to the left.; he says: “Take my advice – and let us Trot off while we are well, he looks confounded inquisitive.” John scowls and glares pugnaciously, saying, “Why Look ye – de ye see – I dont come for to go for to say – exactly, that you sack’d the cole – all I say is the Shiners set sail – and as you had the care of the Hatches – it is, likely, you should know what Port they steer’d into! I say let’s look at your log book Old one.” He wears striped trousers and a knotted scarf; in his hat is a tobacco-pipe. His chair stands on a dais and is decorated with a crowned anchor and dolphins.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: Iohn Bull makeing [sic] a naval enqury [sic] [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. April 1st, 1805, by S.W. Fores, 50 Piccadilly, [1 April 1805]

Catalog Record


Acquired April 2023

British plenty

description below

“A sailor on shore, holding a bottle, with a well-dressed young prostitute on each arm, the one on his [left] arm carries a cauliflower while the other holds up her dress; a boat moored against the quay in the [left] foreground, ships at sea and a fortification in the [left] background.”–British Museum online catalogue

  • Printmaker: Bartolozzi, Francesco, 1727-1815, printmaker.
  • Title: British plenty [graphic] / painted by H. Singleton ; engraved by Bartolotti [that is, Bartolozzi].
  • Publication: [London] : [publisher not identified], [approximately 1794]

Catalog Record


Acquired April 2023

Happy Jerry

description below

Boatman on riverbank with bridge and buildings behind being greeted by sailor and city gent.
“A Thames waterman who thought himself betrayed by his wife and friend is reunited with both, who take his hands, the woman on the left in man’s dress, having looked for him throughout the world; on a wharf with oars propped against the walls of a house to left, a boat moored nearby and a bridge in the background.”–British Museum online catalogue, description of a later state.


  • Title: Happy Jerry [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Published 10th May 1793 by Robt. Sayer & Co., Fleet Street, London, [10 May 1793]

Catalog Record


Acquired November 2022

An account of the signals made use of at Bambrough Castle

description below

Broadside, with engravings of Bamburgh Castle at head, and caption title


  • Author: Lord Crewe’s Charity.
  • Title: An account of the signals made use of at Bambrough Castle in the county of Northumberland in case ships or vessels are perceived in distress, and of the charitable institutions established there for their assistance and relief, now published by the direction of the Trustees of Nathanael late Lord Crewe, with the approbation of the Master, pilots, and seamen of the Trinity-house, in Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • Published: Newcastle upon Tyne : Printed and sold by T. Saint ; and sold by J. Wheble … London, [1771?]

Catalog Record

File 63 771 Ac172++

Acquired September 2020

Her Majesty Queen Caroline landing at Dover

Queen Caroline walks down a plank balanced between a jolly boat and the shore; she is assisted by her son-in-law Prince Leopald, dressed in black. A cheering crowd stands on the beach, waving their hats in the air, behind an officer who tips his hat at the Queen. Sailors push the boat onto the shingle while a ship called “Prince Leopold” (in reference to her son-in-law) is anchored in the distance.

  • Title: Her Majesty Queen Caroline landing at Dover, on the 5th of June, 1820, after an absence of 5 years, to demand her rights, dignities, & priveleges as Queen of England [graphic] : dedicated to the feelings of the British Nation, by W.B. Walker.
  • Publication: [London] : [W.B. Walker], [not before 5 June 1820]

Catalog Record

820.06.05.01+ Framed

Acquired September 2019


The delegates in council

“Naval mutineers, seated and standing at a long table, glare ferociously at Admiral Buckner, who stands (left) calmly, hat in hand, in profile to the right at the foot of the table. The man at the head of the table, seated in a chair which is higher than the others, holds a blunderbuss and wears a hat. He must be Richard Parker, but does not resemble him. At his elbow and on the extreme right stands Thelwall filling a glass from a ‘Grog’ can; he says “Tell him we intend to be Masters, I’ll read him a Lecture”; from his pocket hangs a paper: ‘Thellwals Lecture’ (see British Museum Satires No. 8685). One man only is seated on the president’s left and on the near side of the table. He places a fist on a long paper headed ‘Resolutions’. Under the table in the foreground, lifting up the tablecloth, five secret instigators are (left to right): Lauderdale, holding a paper: ‘Letter from Sheerness to Ld L——le’; Horne Tooke, Stanhope, Grey, Fox, the most prominent, saying, “Aye, Aye, we are at the bottom of it”, and Sheridan. All have satisfied smiles. Four ruffians are seated at the farther side of the table, others stand behind them; one aims a pistol over the admiral’s head, one man smokes, another chews tobacco, taking a quid from his box. Weapons lie on the table. On the wall behind them are a print of Britannia head downwards, and two torn ballads: ‘True Blue an old Song’ and ‘Hearts of Oak are our Ships Jolly Tars are our men We alway are Ready’, the last word scored through. On the right the slanting window of the captain’s cabin is indicated.”–British Museum online catalogue

  • Printmaker: Cruikshank, Isaac, 1756?-1811?, printmaker.
  • Title: The delegates in council, or, Beggars on horseback [graphic] / I. Cruikshank del.
  • Publication: London : Published by S.W. Fores, N. 50 Piccadilly, June 9, 1797.

Catalog Record 


Acquired June 2019


The flowing cann

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In two columns with the title in a ribbon atop a woodcut below stanza one. Stanzas 2 and 3 below image. A sailor at a seaside tavern (Jack Ocum) dances with a young woman as he holds his tankard. The fiddle music is played by a man who stands beside a woman in the tavern doorway. In the distance on the right is a sailing ship and along the shore, two men in a row boat.

  • Author: Dibdin, Charles, 1745-1814.
  • Uniform Title[Oddities. Song]
  • TitleThe flowing cann.
  • Published[London : Sold by J. Pitts, Great Saint Andrew St. ; Sold by C. Sheppard, Lambert Hill, Doctors Commons, Publish’d Septr. 18th. 1790?]

Catalog Record & Digital Collection


Acquired October 2015


Painting after life

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First image, ‘Painting after life’ shows a skeleton (death) seated before an easel painting a portrait of the obese old man seated opposite and holding a cane. The subject is seated against a blank screen; a portfolio of other works is leaning against the screen. Beside the ‘artist’ is a box of paints and artist supplies.
Second image, ‘Death staring shipwrecked sailors in the face!!!’, shows a skeleton (right) seated on a rock with his head resting in his hands, elbows on his knees as he stares at two shipwrecked sailors (left) on a beach.

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On the verso: an autograph letter from Ebenezer Gerard in Liverpool to Samuel Taylor Liverpool, dated 1826 February 5, in reference to “Prose by a poet” (by Montgomery James) which he compares to his own efforts since his illness, with the address incorporating watercolor and rebus material.

  • Creator :Gerard, E. (Ebenezer).
  • TitlePainting after life [graphic] / E. Gerard pinxt. 19 Parker Street ; Death staring shipwrecked sailors in the face!!! / E. Gerard.

Catalog Record & Digital Collection


Acquired July 2015