Trafalgar chintz

Maker: Attributed to John Bury (born 1764)

Date: 1806

Culture: British, Lancashire

Medium: Cotton

Dimensions: L. 82 x W. 37 1/2 inches (208.3 x 95.3 cm)
Pattern repeat: approximate length 35 1/2 inches.

Classification: Textiles-Printed

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1916

Accession Number: 16.28


This design commemorates the career of English naval hero Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson (1758–1805) with scenes representing his foreign victories and inscriptions, including his famous words, "England expects every man to do his duty," spoken at the Battle of Trafalgar. This is one of two different printed cotton designs in the Museum's collection created after the death of Lord Nelson at Trafalgar (near Cádiz, Spain); the other example shows the death of Nelson and scenes from the funeral. In addition, other items honoring Nelson are represented in the collection, including commemorative medals and Wedgwood cameos. The layout of the design, with various motifs scattered across the surface in a seemingly random manner, is suggestive of copperplate printed narrative cottons, an eighteenth-century style that continued into the nineteenth century. However, this large-scale design was block printed, with the details in blue added by "penciling," that is, painting by hand.