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Tiddy-doll, the great French-gingerbread-baker; drawing out a new batch of kings.-

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Tiddy-doll, the great French-gingerbread-baker; drawing out a new batch of kings.-
  • Description

    The title continues: 'his Man, Hopping Talley, mixing up the Dough'. Napoleon is the London street-seller of gingerbread cakes whose wares and patter made him a long-remembered character. He stands in his bakery vigorously drawing out from the arched aperture of his oven a broad shovel (peel) on which are figures of three kings in royal robes holding orb and sceptre. They are 'Bavaria', 'Wirtembg (very fat), and 'Baden'. The keystone of the arch is inscribed 'New-French Oven for Imperial Gingerbread'. Napoleon, in profile to the right., wears a feathered cocked hat and a white apron over uniform with jack-boots. Behind him is a heap of cannon-balls, with a shovel inscribed 'Fuel'. Under the oven is a second and larger arched opening: 'Ash-hole for broken Gingerbread'. Broken and discarded cakes have been swept into it by a broom: 'Corsican Besom of Destruction', which lies on the ground against a (gingerbread) galleon flying the flag of 'Venice', a crowned skull inscribed 'Spain', a boot inscribed 'Italy', a Papal tiara, a staff and cap of 'Liberty', a figure, face downwards, showing heavy posteriors in bulky breeches inscribed 'Holland'; two fragments, 'Switzerland' and 'Netherlands'; a Habsburg eagle, inscribed 'Austria', the crowns falling from both heads; a tricolour flag, inscribed 'vive le Republique Francois' from whose shaft falls a bonnet rouge. There are also sceptres, a rosary, a coroneted skull, a fleur-de-lis.
    In the foreground (l.) is a round double-handled basket, from which protrude the heads of men and women puppets wearing crowns or coronets and holding sceptres. It is labelled: 'True Corsican Kinglings for Home Consumption & Exportation'. Beside it lies a cornucopia in the form of a fool's cap edged with bells and inscribed 'Hot Spiced Gingerbread! all hot - come who dips in my luckey bag'. From it pour crowns, coronets, orders, stars, sceptres, a cardinal's hat, three documents with pendent seals inscribed respectively 'Principality', 'Pension', 'Dukedom'. On the extreme right. is a solid chest with three drawers inscribed respectively 'Kings & Queens', 'Crowns & Sceptres', 'Suns & Moons'. On it stand unbaked figures crowded together: 'Little Dough Viceroys, intended for the next new Batch!' In the front row: Sheridan, Fox, Moira, Derby. Behind are Burdett [This is confirmed by Lord Holland. Stanhope, according to Wright and Evans.] and (?) Tierney. All wear coronets and hold sceptres.
    Behind (l.), Talleyrand, with his back to his master, bends over a large 'Political Kneading Trough' handling heaps of a yeasty mass inscribed 'Hungary', 'Poland', 'Turkey'; in the r. corner of the trough is a portion inscribed 'Hanover', which is being devoured by a crowned eagle with a collar inscribed 'Prussia'.
    Talleyrand wears a mitre over a tricolour cap and a bag-wig; a stole and robes looped up to show a bandy leg and a surgical shoe (incorrectly on the left foot) In his mouth is a pen; a rosary and an ink-pot hang from his waist. 23 January 1806
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1806
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 257 millimetres
    • Width: 377 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with artist's name, text within image, title and publication line: "Js. Gillray invd. & fect. / Publishd. Jany. 23d. 1806, by H. Humphrey 27 St James's Street, London".
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
    A brilliant satire on Napoleonic imperialism after Austerlitz, remarkable also for its prophetic character. By the Treaty of Pressburg (26 Dec. 1805) Austria renounced all further rights over Bavaria, Würtemberg, and Baden, whose princes were vassal-allies of France; the Electors of Bavaria and Würtemberg (Maximilian Joseph and Frederick II) were recognized as kings, while the Elector of Saxony became King in Dec. 1806. Sovereigns and countries humiliated by Napoleon are swept into the 'Ash-Hole'. The 'Corsican Kinglings' are members of the family ready to replace the 'broken gingerbread': Joseph was proclaimed King of Naples on 30 Mar. 1806, Louis King of Holland on 5 June 1806, see BMSat 10581. Jerome became King of Westphalia by the Treaty of Tilsit 7 July 1807. With these must be included Napoleon's sisters and their husbands: Elisa, Princess of Piombino (1805); Caroline, wife of Murat, shortly to be Grand-Duchess of Berg; Pauline, Princess Borghese. The contents of the cornucopia suggest the decorations and titles lavished at the establishment of the Empire, cf. BMSat 10362, with the Cardinal's hat indicating Fesch, Napoleon's uncle. For France and Poland, a cats-paw in Napoleonic diplomacy, see 'Camb. Hist. of Poland', pp. 208-19, and BMSat 10698, &c.; and Turkey, cf. BMSat 9856. The intrigues of Prussia to acquire Hanover, either from Napoleon or through the Third Coalition, wrecked the Allies' chances in 1805, cf. BMSat 10450, &c. Talleyrand assisted Napoleon in the complicated arrangements of Pressburg, followed by those leading to the Confederation of the Rhine (12 July 1806), and was made Prince of Benevento for his services (5 June 1806). For puppet kings see also BMSat 10744. For the Foxites and Napoleon cf. BMSat 9735, &c. 'Tiddy Doll', one Ford who died in 1752, was a well-known London character depicted in Hogarth's 'Industry and Idleness', Pl. xi (BMSat 2989), where he is shown wearing his accustomed laced coat, feathered cocked hat, and white apron, with the two-handled basket that held his wares. See 'Gent. Mag.', 1816, p. 230. Cf. BMSats 10089 (gingerbread crown and sceptre), 10249 Dundas's oven), 10549, 10733. See BMSat 11017, a sequel. G. Cruikshank's 'Broken Gingerbread', 21 Apr. 1814, is also a sequel.
    Grego, 'Gillray', p. 327 (reproduction). Wright and Evans, No. 307. Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', 1830. Broadley, i. 239 f. Van Stolk, No. 6007. Often reproduced, e.g., Grand-Carteret, 'Napoléon', No. 159. Fuchs, i, after p. 160.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 10518 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XVIIIc Mounted Roy)

  • Exhibition history

    2015 Feb-Aug, BM, Rm 90, Bonaparte and the British

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 23 January 1806  Hand-coloured etching

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 23 January 1806 Hand-coloured etching

Image description



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