Camp Laundry & The Invitation, or Camp Politeness

Camp Laundry & The Invitation, or Camp Politeness

Printer Publisher


These two prints are satirical mezzotints published by R. Sayer and J. Bennett of 53 Fleet Street, London in the early 1780's.

Sayers and Bennett produced a number of such satires in what were described as posture prints, a term used to describe portrait shaped prints of 14 by 10 inches which were a convenient size for a folio or album. In Camp Laundry an Officer stands on a riverbank watching two women washing and hanging the camp laundry. One looks up to him, perhaps suggesting that she may offer other services. In The Invitation or Camp Politeness we see two Officers cajoling a well dressed lady into their tent. Both prints give a good insight into camp life and the distractions that a soldier may seek.

Camp followers were an important part of the movement of an army, taking care of the domestic needs of the soldiers. The Invitation also gives a view of an Officer's tent and we can quite clearly see a tripod table with a teapot and china, a folding chair and an upholstered sofa making the interior appear very comfortable. Sayer and Bennett produced a number of satires showing camp life and other titles include The Military Man Trap which showed a woman of ill repute reclining on a sofa in a tent and The Charms of a Redcoat which shows a young lady on horseback flirting with a soldier in an encampment. Several museums, including the Metropolitan and the British Museum have these prints in their collections and it is known that The Camp Laundry was also produced as a glass picture. The Camp Laundry published as the Act directs 14 Febr 1782.

Framed size is given


Height 42.5 cm / 16 "
Width 32.5 cm / 13"

Circa 1782


Mezzotint Prints




R. Sayer and J. Bennett of 53 Fleet Street, London


Military Art

Essential Baggage