A View of the Balloon of Mr. Sadler's

Anonymous, British, early 19th century British

Not on view

This satire commemorates the departure, on August 12, 1811, of James Sadler, an Oxford pastry cook, and Captain Page of the Royal Navy, from the garden of the Mermaid Tavern in Hackney, south of London. The text states that the travelers took off at three in the afternoon and remained aloft for one hour and twenty minutes before coming down near Tilby Fort in Essex. Among the crowd is a woman selling balloon prints as souvenirs. The repetitive shapes of upturned faces, spyglasses and waving hats are visually amusing and signal a general level of distraction that causes one boy to lose his grip on a tree branch and allows another to steal a treat from a vendor. In the distance, the dome of St. Paul's and spires of London churches are silhouetted against the sky.

No image available

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.