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Straw work picture depicting a riverscape with anglers.
Yaxley, England, ca. 1812.
Physical Description:
1 straw work picture ; visible area 16 x 25 cm, 22 x 31 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
DA690 .Y39 Flat A
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Visual Materials
Wally Chamberlain Oulton's The traveller's guide (London, 1805, vol. 2, page 927) offers a description of Yaxley: “... near the Nen river, situated on a fine gravelly eminence abounding in excellent water, and commanding a beautiful view over the circumjacent country. It is in the road to Peterborough, small, but neat: the houses are well built, and the church has a lofty spire. Here are barracks used for the confinement of French prisoners ... On Sundays the gates are thrown open, and people of all descriptions admitted throughout the day, and the prisoners have been know to receive from those visitors above 200 l. for the toys of bone, straw, boxes, models of vessels, and other small articles, manufactured in the course of the preceding week ...” Presumably the present idealized river view with anglers, a brick jetty and the spires of a town in the distance, was calculated to appeal to prospective purchasers familiar with the fenland landscape.
On original wooden backing, varnished, in a contemporary glazed gilt wood frame, original suspension loop attached, paper label pasted to verso.
This straw work picture was produced at Yaxley barracks in Cambridgeshire by a French prisoner of war ca. 1812. A paper label pasted to the verso bears the ink inscription: “Won by Doctor White at Yaxley army barracks and given to Mrs Thoyts ... 1812 ...”; a subsequent inscription notes: “given by Mrs. Chas. Thoyts as a token of affection to Miss Eliza June 1821...” The artist's name may be faintly inscribed in the bottom right corner of the picture, but the letters are largely indecipherable.
Subject Terms:
Fishing -- Pictorial works.
June, Eliza -- Presentation inscription from Mrs. Charles Thoyts.
Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815 -- Prisoners and prisons.
Prisoner-of-war camps -- Great Britain.
Prisoners of war -- Great Britain.
Thoyts, Charles, Mrs. -- Presentation inscription to Eliza June.
Yaxley (Cambridgeshire, England)
Straw work.

Captive Bodies: British Prisons, 1750-1900 (Yale Center for British Art, 2018-08-27 - 2018-12-17) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

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