Monday, October 16, 2017

Fortune's Favourites: or Happiness in every Situation, 1786

Fortune's Favourites: or Happiness in every Situation, Robert Dighton, printed by Bowles & Carver, 1786, British Museum.

Dighton's cartoon shows all classes of society smiling and enjoying their day beneath a blindfolded Fortune, with one hand on a wheel (perhaps a spinning wheel?) and the other holding an overflowing cornucopia. A cobbler, butcher, shoeblack, and carpenter join the sailor in representing the lower classes. They are comingled with a decorated peer, a rich miser, and (according to the curators of the British Museum) 'a fat alderman eating from a bowl of soup inscribed "Turtle."'

The image is crowded, so the sailor is obscured by the miser.

Over his loose and flowing locks, our tar wears a cocked hat with the point forward and a large blue cockade on the left side. Around his neck is a red neckcloth, draped over his shirt and jacket. The blue jackets is fitted with open mariner's cuffs with white or silver buttons. Beneath his plain petticoat trousers is a wooden leg.

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