The head of the great nation, in a queer situation

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“Napoleon, a little figure with a big head, stands with legs astride, head turned to the left, hair on end; his arms are extended, fingers spread, mouth open as if shrieking. He has a grotesque profile with corvine nose and wears high jack-boots with large spurs. At his feet lies a broken baton inscribed ‘Magic Wand’. Five allies threaten him at point-blank range, and from a circle of cloud an arm emerges holding a conical ‘Allied Extinguisher’ above his head. On the extreme left Wellington aims a blunderbuss, saying, “Take a good aim at the Head Gentlemen, & we shall soon settle the Business.” On Wellington’s left stands Francis I, aiming a small pistol; by his head are the words: ‘A way Mr Boney the Hand of Justice [see No. 12247] will put your Night Cap on at last.’ On the extreme right a fat Dutchman, wearing a conical cap as in No. 12105, stands behind a small cannon holding a lighted match and a cannon-ball inscribed ‘Orange Boven’; he says: “I’ll deal out my Oranges to him Wholesale.” Beside him are piled cannon-balls inscribed ‘Orange’. In his hat are orange ribbons inscribed ‘Orange Boven’ and a tobacco-pipe. Next him the Tsar leans forward, aiming a large pistol; he says: “I’ll rattle a few Snow Balls at his Cranium.” On Alexander’s right stands Bernadotte, aiming a small pistol; he says: “By gar we shall mak de head look like de plomb Pudding.” All but the Dutchman wear uniform with cocked hats. A background of smoke or cloud is indicated.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878, printmaker.
  • Title: The head of the great nation, in a queer situation [graphic] / G. Cr . fect.
  • Published: [London : Pub. Dec. 1813 by S. Knight, Sweetings Alley Royl., December 1813]

Catalog Record & Digital Collection

813.12.00.01+

Acquired November 2013

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About lewiswalpolelibrary

The Lewis Walpole Library, a department of the Yale University Library since 1980, is an internationally recognized research collection in the field of British eighteenth-century studies. Its unrivalled collection of Walpoliana includes half the traceable volumes from Horace Walpole's famous library at Strawberry Hill and many letters and other manuscripts by him. The Library's book and manuscript collections, numbering over 32,000 volumes, cover all aspects of eighteenth-century British culture. The Library is also home to the largest and finest collection of eighteenth-century British graphic art outside the British Museum; its 35,000 satirical prints, portraits, and topographical views are an incomparable resource for visual material on many facets of English life of the period. Located in Farmington, Connecticut, forty miles north of New Haven and within easy distance of Boston and New York, the Lewis Walpole Library's collections also include drawings, paintings, and furniture, all housed on a 14-acre campus with four historically important structures and extensive grounds. The Library runs an active fellowship program and sponsors conferences, lectures, and exhibitions in cooperation with other Yale libraries and departments.

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