Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Sailors Adventure to the Streights of Merry-Land, 1749

The Sailors Adventure to the Streights of Merry-Land, Or, An Evening View on Ludgate Hill, J. June, 1749, Library of Congress.

We return to the theme of the bawdy sailor. Tarts wander the streets and night, selling themselves to the passing men. All are illuminated by the streetlights hanging above and the lanterns of a remarkably short man (or perhaps a boy) selling "hot spic'd gingerbread." There are plenty of other men in the image (including a reverend in the background on the right), but there is only one sailor.

Though he is featured prominently in the title, our sailor is wedged behind a pair of women to the left. He wears a cocked hat with the point forward, a dotted neckcloth, and a single breasted jacket. Behind the skirts of the prostitutes, we can make out the legs of his trousers or slops. It is difficult to say which it is precisely, and could be very wide legged trousers.

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