The Up Shut or Bonny-Fire

This interesting creamware jug caught my eye whilst browsing through some auction catalogues this week.

It’s 15cm high and probably dates to circa 1815. The body is decorated with two transfer-printed designs. The first and most substantial of these is a caricature entitled The Up Shut or Bonny-Fire. It depicts Napoleon, bound and gagged, hanging from a gallows above a pile of combustible materials to which John Bull is about to set light. The following text has been crudely etched into a speech bubble above John’s head:

Fore George! You’ve quieten’d him, He’s made a stir in’t world long enough, now’s my turn. I’ll stir him when my fire lights. 

Whilst most satirical designs which appear on creamware during this period were copied from printed caricatures, I’ve been unable to identify a source print for this image. Therefore, I can only assume it’s either an original image created by the potter, or that it has been copied from a print which has subsequently been lost to history.

In contrast to the scene of gleeful immolation displayed on this side of the pot, the observe is decorated with a nice bunch of flowers.


Rediscovering W. Newman, fl. c.1834-35

The name of the artist-engraver W. Newman appears on a handful of satirical lithographs published in London during 1834-35. These works have previously been attributed to William Walker Newman (1817 – 1870), an artist who would go on to provide illustrations for the early editions of Punch before emigrating to America to pursue a career as a political satirist [1]. Assuming this attribution is correct, Walker’s early plates, produced whilst he was still a teenager, remain uncatalogued in any of the major institutional collections of British satirical prints [2]. This post therefore aims to address that deficit by providing a brief summary of these works.

The earliest datable plate to appear carrying Newman’s name was Female Emigration! which was published by G.S. Tregear of Cheapside during October 1834. The print mimics the style of C.J. Grant’s Every Body’s Album & Caricature Magazinea popular fortnightly broadsheet of caricatures and scraps published by John Kendrick (and latterly Thomas Dawson) of Leicester Square, and presents a wholly unflattering view of life in Britain’s Australian colonies.

Newman’s name appears on the undated Frontispiece to Useful Knowledge which was also published by Tregear. The design was once again adapted from earlier works by C.J. Grant, in this case the Frontispiece for the Penny Magazine of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge Vols. 1 & 2 which were published by Edward Lacey and  George Purkers respectively. The latter plate is dated 9th May 1833 and it is possible that Tregear hired Newman to produce his derivative version around this time, although the satirical frontispiece remained a popular trope in Grant’s work throughout the mid-1830s and the print could conceivably date from any point between 1833 and 1835.

Newman also claimed to have engraved an unspecified number of plates for Flights of Humour and Rum Jokestwo long-running series of humorous lithographs published by G.S. Tregear over a number of years between c.1832 – 35. It’s not possible to quantify the extent of Newman’s contribution to either series, because the prints were normally issued without a publication date or artistic attribution, however it seems reasonable to assume that his involvement coincided with the period in which he was working with Tregear on the prints outlined above [4].

Finally, Newman’s name also appears on at least two other lithographic satires published around this time. The first is Frontispiece to the Law-List, which is very similar in style to Frontispiece to Useful Knowledge and was published by Orlando Hodgson of Clare Market. The second is Frontispiece to the Botanical Magazine, which was published by James Pattie from his self-styled “Wholesale Periodical & Caricature Shop” at No. 16 High Street, St Giles. This print is the most interesting of the two, being executed in a style which so different from that of Newman’s other works that it could almost be by a different hand altogether. Although the print is a lithograph, it has been etched in the manner of a copperplate engraving and is made up of deep lines that have been hastily scored into the stone. There are also numerous spelling and engraving errors in the text which have not been corrected prior to publication. The overall impression is of an artist working at speed on a low-budget product which was bound for an audience drawn from the bottom end of the market for printed images.


  1. B.E. Maidment, ‘Subversive Supplements: Satirical Title Pages of the Periodical Press in the 1830s’, Victorian Periodicals Review, Vol. 43, No. 2, Periodical Supplements (2010), pp. 133-148  The remainder of W.W. Newman’s career is outlined in Jane E. Brown and Richard Samuel West, William Newman: A Victorian Cartoonist in London and New York (Easthampton, MA: Periodyssey Press, 2008).
  2. The plates could be the work of William Richard Newman (1797 – 1855), a lithographic engraver and printer whose workshop was located at 27 Widegate Street in the City of London. Newman was the son of a copperplate engraver, William Newman (1770 – 1827) who specialised in the production of trade cards, tickets and other ephemera and certainly possessed the technical skills required to produce the engravings published by Tregear and others during the mid-1830s. Newman traded under the name W. Newman, or Newman & Son. The business remained active under the latter name until the twentieth-century.
  3. It’s possible that further numbers were printed. The author’s collection includes a damaged print from which the masthead is missing but which resembles the other three numbers of The Odd Volume and carries Tregear’s publication line. Newman’s signature is also missing but it’s not possible to determine whether this is due to contemporary omission or subsequent wear.
  4. Newman signed Frontispiece to the “Law-List” as follows: “Designed & Lithographed by W. Newman. Author of the “Odd Volume”, “Female Emigration”, “Frontispiece to Useful Knowledge”, “Flights of Homour”, “Rum Jokes”, & c. & c.”.

© Mathew Crowther and The Printshop Window, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mathew Crowther and The Printshop Window with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Pots with Attitude: Political and Satirical Prints on Ceramics

From the press release: Pots with Attitude: Political and Satirical Prints on Ceramics The British Museum, London, 12 January — 13 March 2018 Curated by Patricia Ferguson Ceramics are rarely confrontational, but the pugnacious mugs, jugs, and plates in Pots with Attitude: Satirical and Political Prints on Ceramics, in Room 90a, a display at the […]

via Exhibition | Pots with Attitude: Political and Satirical Prints on Ceramics — Enfilade

Lavement de l’état

Louis XIV was responsible for spawning a bizarre fashion for enemas in late seventeenth-century France. The Roi de Soleil’s love affair with the clyster began as an attempt to cure a painful anal fistula but rapidly became popular amongst courtiers and fashionable members of French society. By the mid-1680s Louis was said to have subjected his poor backside to over 2,000 enemas and the procedure had become so commonplace that members of the royal court thought nothing about interrupting a conversation or a meal in order to have undertake a quick purgative there and then.

Naturally this fad was a gift for satirists, particularly those from nations that found themselves at war with France. Romeyn de Hooghe’s (1645 – 1708) Les Monarch Trombants (c.1674) for example, shows Louis straddling a globe whilst receiving an enema. The resulting stream of effluence flows across the map of Holland and western Germany, symbolising the befouling nature of French power and influence on Protestant Europe.

Images such as these crossed over from print into other forms of material culture. These silver buttons show Louis XIV (his identity being confirmed by the royal fleur-de-lis on the wall) receiving a rather forceful enema treatment from a burly physician who seems to be applying the treatment with such vigour that the monarch’s nightcap stands on its end.

It appears as though these buttons may have been part of a set which also contain another design, with no apparent royal connection, which shows a physician resting on his syringe as his satisfied patient relieves himself in a chamber pot.

We do not know whether these buttons were manufactured in France and intended to serve as a form of scatological social satire amongst those who did no share the king’s passion for rectal hygiene, or whether they were produced elsewhere in Europe for the purpose of mocking the French ruler and his subject. No doubt they would have served both purposes equally well.

This pair of buttons will be going on sale in the UK after Christmas, with an auctioneer’s estimate of £200 – £300.

Chronology dissected – Wallis’s jigsaw of English monarchs

This rare example of a late eighteenth-century jigsaw gives us some indication of the range of items that were manufactured and sold alongside satirical prints.

The paper labels on the front and side of the box indicate that the jigsaw was engraved and printed by John Wallis’s “Map Warehouse” at 16 Ludgate Street in March 1788 and sold by E. Newbury of St. Paul’s Church-yard. The latter is presumably Elizabeth Newbery, daughter-in-law of the noted children’s publisher John Newbery, who assumed responsibility for the family business following her husband’s death.

The puzzle is made from a single large printed sheet of laid paper which has been laid down on a thin wooden board and then cut into pieces. Each piece contains the portrait of an English monarch, with the chronology running from William I to George II (George III, who was king at the time, does appear to have been included). The images are accompanied by small groups of text explaining the notable people and events associated with each respective monarch’s reign.

The box-lid is decorated with a printed label bearing the lion and the unicorn of the royal crest and a title which reads: Wallis’s Royal Chronological Table of English History on a Plan similar to that of the Dissected Maps, Published March 31st 1788 by John Wallis , No.16 Ludgate Street, London [1.] Newbery’s name appears on a smaller label on the side of the lid and a third label, listing England’s kings and queens in order, has been pasted into the interior wall of the box.

As the covering labeling suggests, Wallis was not averse to reusing old prints and old plates. He was evidently known for producing “dissected maps”, which was presumably a canny of way of re-purposing unsold maps as children’s toys. Another good example of his penchant for recycling is the satirical broadside The Grand Republic Balloon, which was printed in 1798 but heavily based on a design he had engraved some 14 years earlier. The royal portraits he produced for this jigsaw were also copied onto wood and used to decorate a set of playing cards that can be found in the British Museum collection. 



  1. The publication line on the jigsaw itself states that the image was published on 25th March, suggesting that it took several days to complete the manufacturing process.