Tiddy-Doll, the Great French-Gingerbread-Baker; Drawing Out a New Batch of Kings, His Man Hopping Talley, Mixing Up the Dough
James Gillray (British, Chelsea 1756–1815 London)
Hannah Humphrey (London)
January 23, 1806
sheet: 10 1/4 x 15 1/16 in. (26 x 38.3 cm)
Gift of Philip van Ingen, 1942
Not on view
Gillray’s prophetic image of Napoleon as a baker feverishly creating gingerbread monarchs expresses British anxiety over the emperor’s rapid conquest of continental Europe and his evident intent to install relatives and favorites in positions of power. Freshly baked kings of Bavaria, Württemburg, and Baden are withdrawn from the oven (ready to replace rulers defeated by the French at Austerlitz in December 1805) while a cluster of "True Corsican Kinglings" (Bonaparte relatives) occupy a wicker delivery basket at left. Acting as baker’s assistant, French Foreign Minister Tallyrand kneads up Poland, Hungary and Turkey. Discarded monarchs are consigned to the oven’s ash-hole by the "Corsican Broom of Destruction." The name Gillray gave Napoleon was borrowed from Tiddy-Dol Ford, a famous London street hawker who sold gingerbread in Mayfair.
Signature: in plate: "J-s Gillray inv-d & fec-t"
Inscription: in plate: "Publish'd Jan-y 23rd 1806, by H. Humphrey. 27 St. James's Street, London"
Powersby, "First Life Guards, 1861" (British); Mary Boydell; Donor: Dr. Philip van Ingen (American)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine," September 13, 2011–March 4, 2012.
Wright & Evans 309; British Museum Satires VIII.10518; Grego, p. 327; reprint G.W.G.(1830) II.51
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. 133, p. 172, ill.