Collection online

An English Man of War, taking a French Privateer

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • An English Man of War, taking a French Privateer
  • Description

    A young sailor overtakes and takes by the right hand a young woman walking from left to right, carrying one of the arched-top coffers which were used by milliners. She wears a hat, long gloves, and a cloak bordered with ermine. The sailor is dandified, in spite of his striped trousers, jacket, and round hat; a bunch of seals dangles from his waistcoat, and he carries a thin cane under his arm.
    The background is the wall of a bridge over the Thames, it is surmounted by balustrades, through which is seen the river, and buildings on the opposite bank. A bill is posted on the wall, "All Able Bodied Seamen. . . ". 1781
    Hand-coloured mezzotint


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1781
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 355 millimetres
    • Width: 255 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title and "Printed for & Sold by Carington Bowles, at his Map & Print Warehouse, No.69 in St. Pauls Church Yard, London. Published as the Act directs [date erased]". Numbered bl. 454
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
    Reproduced, C.N. Robinson, 'The British Tar in Fact and Fiction', 1909, p. 172.

    Dighton's original watercolour for this print from the collection of Mr Jeffrey Rose was sold at Sotheby's, 23 February 1978, lot 90.

    An impression of the print with Andrew Edmunds in 2015 was dated '4 June 1781'


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 5951 bibliographic details
    • Chaloner Smith 1883 undescribed bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Caricatures I p.66)

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


Satire: FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat).  1781  Hand-coloured mezzotint

Satire: FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 1781 Hand-coloured mezzotint

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: PPA145559

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help