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Painting - The Stray Shuttlecock
  • The Stray Shuttlecock
    Dillon, Frank RI, born 1823 - died 1909
  • Enlarge image

The Stray Shuttlecock

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1878 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dillon, Frank RI, born 1823 - died 1909 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Given by S. Donkin and other legatees of the estate of Frank Dillon

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 125, Edwin and Susan Davies Gallery, case WS

Object Type
This oil painting is a special kind of illustration common in Victorian times, showing a sympathetic view of how people in other nations lived.

Subjects Depicted
This painting was lent to Bethnal Green Museum to accompany a Japanese Room display in 1884, which contained objects belonging to the artist. In this painting, a splendid interior and its contents are shown in meticulous detail. Human interest is catered for by showing the cultured mother playing a samisen (a three-stringed Japanese guitar). The child is asking silently but politely if the feathery shuttlecock could be retrieved from the tatami mat just inside the door.

The painting presents a very picturesque British image of the East, as objects would not be displayed together like this in a real Japanese room.

Frank Dillon was a painter in oils and watercolours, predominantly of landscape subjects, but also of domestic Islamic architecture. He was actively concerned with efforts to preserve the Islamic monuments of Cairo. In his desire to preserve domestic Egyptian architecture, particularly the interiors, he had painted accurate pictures of them as a kind of benign propaganda exercise. He peopled them with their inhabitants in appropriate costume, to give scale and to make them more appealing. He treated his later pictures of Japanese interiors, such as this scene, in the same way.

Physical description

Oil painting of two women in a Japanese interior. At right woman kneels, playing a musical instrument - a woman at left against a window. A shuttlecock on the floor between them.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1878 (made)


Dillon, Frank RI, born 1823 - died 1909 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

oil on canvas


Height: 90 cm framed, Width: 120 cm unframed, Depth: 11.5 cm unframed, Height: 103 cm framed, Width: 136 cm framed

Object history note

Given by Sydney B. Donkin, 1916

Descriptive line

Oil painting entitled 'The Stray Stuttlecock' by Frank Dillon. Great Britain, 1878.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This detailed view of an interior is based on an actual Japanese room which the artist brought from Japan and re-erected in England. Even so, the painting presents a very British image of the picturesque East. Objects would not have been displayed together like this in a real Japanese room. [27/03/2003]


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Musicians; Women; Shuttlecocks; Rooms


ELISE; British Galleries; Paintings


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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