Friday, February 14, 2014

Jack's Return After Lord Howe's Glorious Victory, 1780


Jack's Return After Lord Howe's Glorious Victory, Sayer & Bennet, 1780, British Museum.

This jolly tar swings about his purse and clutches his stick with a self-satisfied smile. Behind him rests a dog at the feet of a woman reaching for a bowl of punch. British flags wave from the ship and the port, celebrating the victory.


At the center of piece is Jack, wearing a round hat with a short brim, a white band around the crown, and a large black bow on the left. Jack's loose neckcloth is red, tied well below the neck over his single breasted white waistcoat, and open white shirt. His blue jacket is without buttons on the lapels, but a number of cloth covered buttons on his slash cuffs. A very simple knot sticks out from beneath the waistcoat, at a spot that you'd usually find a watch fob. It could be that this simple knot is his impromptu stand in for something more formal. The trousers are very unique: yellow with narrow vertical stripes of a darker yellow. I've never seen a pair like this before, and they're quite bright! Unlike many other mariner's trousers, these don't flair out from the legs, but stick rather close. Jack's shoes are pointed toe with white metal oval buckles.

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