Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Williams Napoleon

Charles Williams

The King's Dwarf plays Gulliver a Trick

9.5 x 12

A rare etching in vibrant original hand colour, engraved by Charles Williams and published in London by S. W. Fores in 1803.

Following on from the excesses of the French Revolution came the meteoric rise of Napoleon Bonaparte and the threat he posed to British peace and stability. It is little wonder then that a significant majority of the caricatures from this period are devoted to England's nemesis, derisorily called Little Boney. Here we see a diminutive Napoleon unceremoniously wedged into a phallic shaped bone, resting upon the dining plate of Lord Kirkcudbright who is taunting him with the words, "There you little insignificant Pigmy, I've Bone'd you". Quite apart from the humorous and sexual connotations, this caricature carries a powerful political message. The British will not be cowed by the threat of a French invasion and will put Bonaparte firmly back in his box.

As far as Lord Kirkcudbright is concerned, history has not been kind. He is recorded as being a vainglorious midget suffering from a hunched back and a voracious sexual appetite that required frequent visits to the doctor to cure the pox. His notoriety adds immensely to the enjoyment of this salacious and scarce satirical print.


Back to Catalogue