A "macaroni" was popular slang for a fop or a fashionable youth; "Mungo" was the character name of a black enslaved person in a popular play of the time. This is one of a series of satiric engravings of foppish and fashionable young men of London issued by Matthew and Mary Darley in 1772. The subject is shown with his right hand holding a cane and his left on the ornamental hilt of a short curved sword. Although not identified here, the engraving was based on a caricature drawn by Henry Angelo.
This engraving was the only one of a black man in the series, and was based on Julius Soubise, an enslaved man brought to London from St. Kitts and given to the Duchess of Queensbury, who showed him great favor (and possibly shared a bed with him) which allowed him to travel in fashionable circles where he was well-liked. He was a fencing and riding master, violin player, singer, and actor. One of the letters of Ignatius Sancho was addressed to him, suggesting that he use his advantages to better account. Upon the death of his patroness he fled to India where he practiced his profession of fencing and riding master, until he died after a fall from a horse.
Framed | 6.5 x 10 inches | print from a 1772 engraving