c 1818 English Caricature - Dismal Dandies


A whimsical and highly detailed etching with original hand-coloring titled “DISMAL DANDIES, - or General Mourning & Crape”. Artist: Charles Williams. Published in London by Thomas Tegg, c. 1818. Not listed in the British Museum catalog. Example in Art Institute of Chicago, Ref: 1928.1236.

This satire shows two dandified army officers. One removes his hat and addresses his friend saying. “Adieu Col! Crape! I’m for Court that’s the place, For exhibiting trappings, and making a Face!!” The friend replies. “And I to Parade! that with my humour chimes For Parade and Paradeing’s the Ton of the Times.” 

Caricature’s popularity began soaring in the mid 18th century. It “had come to occupy a more crucial place than as the mere doodlings of a dilettante, it became a sharp political weapon and crossed the threshold from the drawing-room to the club house…” (Houfe, Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists, p.28).

Image size: 13 x 8 3/4 inches, Paper Size: 15 x 10 1/2 inches

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  • Inventory# MA-631