CRIMEAN WAR (1853-1856) Linen kerchief with color caricature on the Charles Napier's Baltic campaign. Russia, sirca 1854-55. 38х73 cm.
Coloured in red and blue. Several small holes, tears to upper right corner. A sharp allegorical satire on the unsuccessful Baltic campaign of the British fleet headed by the admiral Charles Napier in alliance with the French. The central part of the kerchief shows a weeping group of the British commanders under the French Imperial eagle carrying a bicorne hat and a sword. On the opposite side an anonymous artist depicted Napoleon III in the form of the Gallic rooster and the symbol of Great Britain, a lion, being led on a lead by a British Infantry soldier. The new border is decorated with a sequence of three scenes showing admiral Napier engaged in fishing with captions in Russian: ""English General Napier fishing""; ""Napier brings victory to England""; ""Napier marinates and cooks"". Charles Napier (1786–1860) was nominated to command the Baltic fleet in the midst of the Crimean War in February 1854. He made ill-judged public boasts that promised the capture of Krondstadt within one month. However, the situation in the Baltic was completely different to the situations encountered at Sidon and Acre. The Russian ports were sealed and, apart from enforcing a blockade, could only be attacked from land. The public disappointment was great. Napier blamed the Admiralty for providing him with an ill-equipped, poorly manned fleet with no significant ships to support his work; the Admiralty, however, blamed Napier for not having the nerve or temper to attack.