Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Laceing [sic] a Dandy

Anonymous, British, 19th century
Thomas Tegg
January 26, 1819
Hand-colored etching
image: 13 3/16 x 8 3/8 in. (33.5 x 21.3 cm) sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 5/16 in. (36 x 23.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund and The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1969
Accession Number:
Not on view
Dandies needed help to achieve the silhouette that contemporary fashion demanded around 1820. A wasp waist was created by means of tightly laced stays, while padding produced broad shoulders and thighs. This dandy instructs two servants to pull as hard as they can on his corset strings. The dress and accent of the man at right, as well as the comb stuck in his hair, identify him as a French hairdresser, who jeeringly refers to his master’s "John Bull Belly." British humor at this period stereotyped Frenchmen as thin and underfed while contrasting them with over-nourished Britons. This particular embodiment of British manhood is presented as an exemplar of modern ridiculousness.
Inscription: in cursive script, lower right: Jany 26th, 1819 by T. Tegg III, Cheapside 330
Vendor: Rockman Prints (New York)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine," September 13, 2011–March 4, 2012.

Not in British Museum Satires.
Nadine Orenstein, Constance C. McPhee Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine Exh. cat.: September 13, 2011 - March 4, 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New Haven and London, 2011, Entry by Constance McPhee, cat. no. 92, p. 126, ill.

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