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A Beef Eater

  • Object:

    Satirical etching

  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    1792 (etched)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cruikshank, Isaac, born 1764 - died 1811 (etcher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching coloured by hand

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Frank A. Gibson

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 177

Throughout the eighteenth century masculine styles influenced women's fashions especially when it came to outfits for walking and riding. The jacket worn here, tapering in at the waist, with a large turned back collar and big buttons copies male dress.

A beefeater is the name traditionally given to a warder at the Tower of London. The woman faces the viewer straight on like a soldier on parade and holds her parasol like a weapon. The fact that she is plump and is straining the seams of her clothing plays on the other historic sense of beef eater meaning someone who is well fed.

Physical description

Satirical etching

Place of Origin

London (published)


1792 (etched)


Cruikshank, Isaac, born 1764 - died 1811 (etcher)

Materials and Techniques

Etching coloured by hand


Height: 31.1 cm plate, Width: 22.3 cm plate

Descriptive line

Satirical print by Williams, from a 'Folio of Caricatures lent out for the Evening' - 'A Beef Eater'


Paper (fiber product); Printing ink; Watercolour


Etching (printing process); Hand-colouring; Etching

Subjects depicted

Umbrellas; Hats; Costume


Prints; Caricatures & Cartoons; Scotland; Politics; Satire


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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