African Emigration England Australia 1851 Cruikshank racist sexist cartoonAntiqueMapsPrints.com
"Probable Effects of Over Female-Emigration,
or Importing the Fair Sex from the Savage Islands
in Consequence of Exporting all our own to Australia!!!!!!
(Stunningly Racist mid-19th Century British Political Cartoon- Australia)
Issued London, 1851. Drawn & Engraved by George Cruikshank.
Utterly unlike anything produced today and of modern historical and aesthetic appeal for this very reason.
The women all display greatly exaggerated racist stereotypical features, their coy nature mixed with nose and lip rings, feathers, pipe and umbrellas contrast with the surprised proper Englismen who were not expecting such a spectacle. The bemused cigar smoking sailor-merchant man in the middle is ready to bring the parties together (presumably for a price) or at least observe the outcome.
The early thematic direct connection to Australia and English emigration there is also worthy of note.
Mostly clean & well preserved example, minor spotting top center above figures & edge toning which lends a nice patina and visually testifies to the age and patina.
Image has been most expertly laid down onto a larger backing sheet, likely for inclusion within a grangerized or "extra-illustrated" volume for a wealthy early owner.
Sheet measures c. 19" x 8 1/2"
Printed area measures c. 16" x 6 1/2"
Oblong format, three fold lines, assemingly as issued.
"During the first half of the 1800s, it became apparent that decades of male British settlement in Australia had resulted in an extreme shortage of women, causing significant social unrest in the colony. Concerted efforts to address this imbalance included the offer of assisted passages for British women to settle in Australia, the popularity of which, in turn, resulted in a critical shortage of women in Britain.
This well-known satirical print, by the prolific caricaturist George Cruikshank, offers up a solution to the problem and a warning of its potential consequences. In Cruikshank’s dockside scene, a group of smiling, excitable women from the Pacific islands have just arrived in England, in response to the desperate call for female immigration. They are met with evident horror by the group of pallid, quivering Englishmen gathered anxiously to greet them.
The women are depicted as gross caricatures, their coarse facial features and dark skin colour at odds with their dainty parasols and coy manners. Such crudely racist stereotypes and connotations of savagery became embedded in visual culture and continued well after the abolition of slavery. However, the English gentlemen are also drawn with the caricaturist’s eye, depicted as feckless fops and dandies, observed with wry amusement by the cigar-chewing merchant in the centre of the picture."- This excellent concise passage appears online at revealinghistories.org.uk