- Museum number
- Object: Too long and too loose!! Or Lord Sham-Peter the amateur tailor.
Below the title: 'Shewing a specimen of his Cossack Pantaloons!!' Lord Petersham stands directed to the left, looking at himself in a cheval-glass. He has heavy whiskers and moustache with a small imperial. He wears a double-breasted, tight-waisted tail-coat, the sleeves gathered at the arm-hole and projecting above the shoulders, a collar, very high at the back, enclosing a stock, and a high-collared waistcoat. His very loose trousers hang in festoons and rest on the floor, his toes only emerging. From his pocket hangs a strip of (tailor's) 'Patterns for the Nobility'. He says:
"I'll prove these Cossack pantaloons
(To one who's not a Goose)
Are like Two continental Towns
Call'd Too long and Too loose!!"
In the last line words are scored through, and above them is etched ('Toulon') and ('Thoulouse'). The room has been turned into a tailor's workroom and two servants sit cross-legged on a shop-board, working on their liveries. A fat coachman, trying to thread a needle says: "Curse the Needle! I shall never make a Tailor. I'd sooner drive four in hand thro' the Highlands of Scotland than sit crampt in this manner." His companion says: "Have patience you Goose— arn't you laming a genteel trade and paid for your prentiship! I like it mainly, I shall be able to stich with any maid in the house in another week." On the wall is a picture of 'A Goose', the bird cackling towards Petersham; the frame is decorated with emblems of tailor dorn, cabbage and cucumbers (see No. 11824). Two prints of coats are pinned up: one, '1816' with pointed coat-tails, high collar, and shoulders, the other, broad and clumsy, is in the style of '1715'. On a small table in the window lies a coat with one coat-tail cut short. On it lie shears, yard-stick, and a paper: 'Mem[arand]um Skirt too long lapel too short.' Under the table is a 'Cabbage Basket' filled with pieces of cloth. The dandy's hat, with a deeply curved brim and flower-pot crown, and cane are on a chair (right). In the foreground books, papers, &c. lie on the floor: 'Stays & Corsets for the Masculine Gender by Sham Peter'; 'An Essay on Fashion by Tom Tinsel Esq Dedicated to Lord Sham Peter by the Author'; 'Plan for Cutting out & altering your own Cloaths to cheat the Tailor of his Cabbage'; a goose and ironing-board lie on an illustrated paper headed: 'Stays & Corsets masculine'; a book: 'Cutting Out on Arithmetical Principles Illustrated with some curious Cuts Part 1st Simple Cutting'; 'A new plan to keep your Servants from the Ale-house by learning them how to make and repair their own Liveries by Sham Peter'; 'Hints from Toulong & Thoulouse'.
- Production date
Height: 293 millimetres
Width: 225 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
Petersham was a dandy and an eccentric, 'a Maecenas among the tailors'. Gronow, 'Reminiscences', 1892, i. 284-6. He gave his name to coats, breeches, and cloth, and to the ribbon still called petersham. 'O.E.D.' The new loose trousers were called 'Cossack pantaloon', see verses in 'Morn. Chron.', 19 July 1816, printed 'New Tory Guide', 1819, p. 150. 'Simple Cutting' is a pun, cf. No. 12790, n.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number