Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Press Gang, 1770

The Press Gang, artist unknown, 1770, Walpole Library.

Political cartoons depicting press gangs often include women interjecting. Unlike one of the previous posts here, this one is an appeal to emotion. Crying women throw themselves at the foot of the officer, while children cling to their mother. Their father, an artisan in his apron, is being shuffled away by the sailors to their left.

All of the sailors wear cocked hats, with two of them wearing them backward, and the rest wearing them cocked forward or over the right eye. All of them have short hair, with one of them (the one immediately to the left of the officer) wearing side curls. The sailors all wear single breasted jackets without collars or waist pockets ending at the waist. Their neckcloths are solid colors. The trousers end above the ankle, and it appears that they are wearing white stockings. The shoes are pointed toe, but there is no detail on the buckles.

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