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The overjoy of M. de la. Motte. Piquet. at the bringing of the St Eustatia fleet into Brest

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The overjoy of M. de la. Motte. Piquet. at the bringing of the St Eustatia fleet into Brest
  • Description

    The French admiral grotesquely caricatured is dancing with joy, trampling on a flag inscribed "Colour[s of] England". He is lean and dressed like the French officer of caricature, with a very long pigtail queue, a laced and feathered hat, a tasselled cane under his left arm, and tassels on his sword. He wears top-boots, striped stockings, ruffled shirt, and large epaulettes. His right fist is clenched. Over his head is engraved "Begar how we did make the English run". In the distance is a fleet of ships in full sail making for a castle flying the French flag and inscribed "Brest". 1 May 1781 Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1781
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 165 millimetres
    • Width: 135 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered: "L: Sandwig Invt" and "Pub. May .11. 1781. by E. Hedges Cornhill London as the Act Directs"
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
    Rodney sent captured merchandise from St. Eustatius in thirty-four merchant ships convoyed by two ships of the line and three frigates under Commodore Hotham. The British Grand Fleet was relieving Gibraltar, so La Motte Piquet was ordered to sea on 25 Apr. to intercept the convoy. He captured twenty ships whose cargoes were valued at nearly "£5,000,000" and took them into Brest. The remainder managed to reach Berehaven. W. M. James, 'The British Navy in Adversity', 1926, pp. 305-6. The artist's name attributes the misfortune to Lord Sandwich. See BMSat 5837, 5839, 5842.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 5838 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British 1781 Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat)  Hand-coloured etching

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat) Hand-coloured etching

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA73553

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