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Tinsel print

Tinsel print

  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, printed)

  • Date:

    ca.1850 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Redington, John (printer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    etching, coloured by hand with fabric and tinsel additions.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

E.F.Saville came from a theatrical family, the son of Saville Faucit, a playwright, actor and author of sensational 'penny dreadfuls', and the brother of the actress Helen Faucit. In the mid 1840s he made a hit as the villainous Bill Sykes in the popular drama Oliver Twist, or The Parish Boy's Progress which he played at the City of London Theatre at the Old Vic Theatre, sensationally killing Nancy in the last scene, smearing her with red ochre for blood and dragging her round the stage by the hair.

E.F.Saville could also make a convincing hero, as in the title role of Union Jack; or, The Crew of the Bright Blue Wave, written by William Rogers, 1842. Spectacular nautical dramas had become a mania on the London stage in the 1820s, and the role of Union Jack was created by Saville's contemporary, the great actor of nautical roles T.P. Cooke. Nautical dramas were hugely patriotic and jingoistic, but immensely popular. Most projected an extremely unrealistic image of life at sea for the British sailor - showing the dangers encountered, but emphasising the courage of the British 'tar' and the joys of a triumphant return to England.

Physical description

Tinsel print of Mr. E.F. Saville as Union Jack, standing in front of a scene of a bay with a castle behind him to his right. Hand-coloured engraving, cut out and attached to a backing, with tinsel, paper and satin additions. Name of the actor, role and publisher trimmed away.

Place of Origin

London (probably, printed)


ca.1850 (printed)


Redington, John (printer)

Materials and Techniques

etching, coloured by hand with fabric and tinsel additions.


Height: 31.2 cm, Width: 23.7 cm

Object history note

A very similar image of T.P. Cooke as Union Jack was published c.1842 by J.T. Wood, 278 Strand. T.P. Cooke created the role of Union Jack when it was first performed at the Pavilion Theatre in 1842.

Descriptive line

Tinsel print of Mr. E.F. Saville as Union Jack in The Union Jack; or, The Crew of the Bright Blue Wave, by William Rogers, 1842. Etching coloured by hand with tinsel and fabric additions. Printed by John Redington, c.1850.


Ink; Paper; Watercolour; Tinsel; Satin


Etched; Appliqué

Subjects depicted

Naval uniform; Sea; Sailor; Union Jack


Entertainment & Leisure


Theatre and Performance Collection

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