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Thomas Batterbury caricature: C.5D-1949

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Thomas Batterbury caricature


Decorator: Barnard, Frederick




Square, white earthenware tile with over-glaze image painted in brown enamel.

A bearded man sits on the floor, clasping his knees and blowing bubbles from a pipe. In a large bubble sitting on the pipe is a castle, with a crowned figure in front. The man is identified by a monogram of the initials 'TB' and a pair of dividers, top right. At bottom left is a smaller man, with long hair, a beard and a prominent nose, who looks up at the other in apparent astonishment; he appears to have backed into a suit of armour and dropped a plate. In the bottom left corner are his initials: ‘J.D.L’. At top left is a small bird with a human face, initialled 'SL' above. The tile is industrially produced from pressed dust; on the reverse is an impressed diamond pattern. It is fixed in a (later) wooden frame and stand.


History note: Bequeathed by Miss Dorothy Barnard, 1949

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Miss Dorothy Barnard, the artist’s daughter

Measurements and weight

Height: 15.2 cm
Width: 15.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1949) by Barnard, Dorothy


19th Century, Late#
Production date: circa AD 1880


Fred(erick) Barnard (1846-96), the son of a silversmith, was an illustrator, caricaturist, genre painter and portraitist. After training in Paris, he contributed to journals, such as 'Punch', ‘Harper’s Weekly’ and the 'Illustrated London News' and became known as an illustrator of Dickens and Bunyan. He also showed large-scale canvasses at the Royal Academy which commented on urban social conditions; a reviewer greeted his ‘Saturday Night in the East End’, 1876, as amongst ‘the most remarkable illustrations of London low-life […] full of grime and flare, and of human uncouthness’. He settled for a time in Broadway, Gloucestershire, where John Singer Sargent painted his wife Alice Faraday (‘Mrs Frederick Barnard’, 1885), and his two daughters Polly and Dorothy (‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’, 1885-86) [Tate, nos. N05901 and N01615] , and his neighbours included Henry James and Edmund Gosse, the latter recording him wearing an ‘enormous stage slouch hat’. The Fitzwilliam Museum also holds a portrait of Dorothy Barnard, the donor, painted by Sargent in 1889.

One of a series of seven tiles, each depicting a fellow contemporary artist, here a caricature of the architect Thomas Batterbury. The small man is Sir James Drumgole Linton (1840-1919), an academic watercolourist who fought for the recognition of British art and for watercolour as a medium. Linton was one of the first to occupy artists’ studios built by Batterbury in Hampstead in 1872. His son James Walter Robert Linton (1869-1947), here depicted here as the tiny bird-man, trained with Batterbury before emigrating to Australia where he became known as an Art Nouveau silversmith and an advocate of craft skills. Here Sir James looks on in astonishment as Batterbury’s pipe-dreams entice his son to fly away. The image in the bubble perhaps also alludes to Batterbury’s recent illustrations for Dudley Elwes’ ‘A history of the castles, mansions, and manors of western Sussex’.

School or Style

Arts and Crafts (movement)

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( brown) clear glaze

Materials used in production

White earthenware

Techniques used in production

Dust pressing : White earthenware, lead-glazed, and painted with brown enamel

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On back of tile
  • Method of creation: Inscribed label
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.5D-1949
Primary reference Number: 15288
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Thomas Batterbury caricature" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-27 22:45:33

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