Cossack of the Don.  The Illustrated London News.  February 11, 1854. (L)

Cossacks Skirmishing.  The Illustrated London News.  November 24, 1855. (R)



John Tenniel.  Cartoon.  Punch.  July 23, 1853.

A heavily armed Russian Cossack soldier threateningly mocks a diminutive Turk, with French and British sailors standing in support behind him.  After Russia invaded the Danubian Principalities, British and French fleets were positioned to aid Turkey in the event of war. 


“Method for training the Cossacks.”

Honoré Daumier.  Actualités, no. 28; Les Cosaques pour rire (Laughing at the Cossacks), no. 16.  Le Charivari.  April 4, 1854.  LD 2479.

With tensions between France and Russia running high, an old wives’ tale that Cossacks subsisted on candles surfaced, which Daumier played to the hilt with caricatures of uncouth, candle-eating Cossacks dominating several of his lithographs.  Here, the Cossacks’ supposed hunger for candles spurs them on during a military training session.  


“Distribution of one day’s worth of extra rations.”

Honoré Daumier.  Actualités, no. 34; Les Cosaques pour rire (Laughing at the Cossacks), no. 20.  Le Charivari.  April 13, 1854.  LD 2481.

The box in the background reads, “Top Quality Lampions”—flat, plate-shaped iron vessels filled with oil and wicks, perhaps booty from the conquered Danubian Principalities.  The Cossack in the middle is licking his normal meal of candles, while his cohort on the right is salivating over his bonus lampion.  Note the Cossack sitting in the background licking a lampion as if it were a plate or shallow bowl.

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