Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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The Monstrous Craw
  • Thomas Rowlandson
    1756 or 1757–1827
    born: London, England, United Kingdom ; died: London, England, United Kingdom
  • The Monstrous Craw, 1832
  • Where object was made: London, England, United Kingdom
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 235 x 185 mm
    Image Dimensions Height/Width: 9 1/4 x 7 5/16 in
    Plate Mark/Block Dimensions: 257 x 201 mm
    Plate Mark/Block Dimensions: 10 1/8 x 7 15/16 in
  • Gift of David H. Weinglass and Marilyn Carbonell in Honor of Stephen Goddard
  • Not on display
  • 2017.0031
Description

This is an image of a young man dressed in a goofy manner and standing awkwardly with his arms held out from his sides. His pants are pulled up extremely high, he is wearing suspenders, a ruffled necktie, and a short-sleeved shirt. His neck is hidden by his shirt collar, and he resembles a turtle that barely has his head poking out of his collar. He has a tricorn hat in his right hand.
Text below the image gives a description of this “new discovered animal”: “These trifling insignificant beings generally make their appearance at the theatres about half-price, their approach is usually made known by a continued opening and shutting of the box doors and an interruption of the performance, to the annoyance of men of sense, and the terror of modest women. It has long been known to the curious, that the cocked hats have been borrowed for the evening; that the watch-string has been pinned to the fob without the encumbrance of a time-piece, and other etceteras [sic] relative to their dress; but the high collars, monstrous craws, and clean linen, has, till lately, eluded the vigilance of the box-lobby dissectors; it has, however, recently been proved, that the shirt consist simply of a bib without sleeves, very airy and convenient for an evening's exhibition. The above is an exact delineation for the benefit of gentlemen residing in the Country, and as a hint to the proprietors of ready-made linen warehouses.”