Le Dejeuner a la Fourchette.
Pubd. by J. Field, 65 Quadrant, Piccadilly. [Oct. 1829.]
Scarce hand-coloured etching, J.Whatman watermark for 1828. 250 x 350mm. 9¾ x 13¾". Some spotting, mostly marginal. Some slight cockling to the paper. Good contemporary colour.
Tsar Nicholas I, with the head and paws of the Russian bear, the personification of greed, sits on the back of the prostrate Ottoman Sultan at the head of a plain wooden table. With elbows on the table he holds a knife, and, speared on his fork, the leg, inscribed 'Moldavia', of a turkey he is about to tuck into. He has the small waist and bulging breast of the dandy. His long legs are stretched out, and his heavily spurred boots rest on the end of a large document which hangs from the table headed '[Articl]es of Peace' and inscribed: 'Free trade of Bosphorus—Free Navigation of the Dardanelles—Freedom of Greece—Treaty of Ackermann confirmed— Fortresses on the Dan[ube]—10,000,000 Ducats'. The breast of the turkey is inscribed 'Bulgaria' and 'Wallachia'. Beside it is a large goblet of wine inscribed 'Bosphorus'. Other dishes are on the right end of the table: a 'Sauce' boat over-full of gold coins, and models of buildings: a castle, a domed building, two minarets, and a model of 'St Sophia' - all implying that Russia will devour Constantinople. The Sultan exclaims: 'Oh my back, my back I shall never be straight again.' On the ground under the table (right) is a heap of small-scale Turkish soldiers and cannons; three of the soldiers are spiked on a gigantic Cossack spear. A satire on the Treaty of Adrianople, 14 Sept. 1829, by which Russia did not annex territory in Europe, but established Serbia, Moldavia, Wallachia, and Greece as countries under Russian influence and protection (thus confirming and extending the Convention of Akerman, 6 Oct. 1825). Russia secured the passage of merchant ships through the Bosphorus and full freedom of trade and navigation in the Black Sea.
BM Satires 15877.
[Ref: 22270] £260.00