Baltimore artist, Alfred Jacob Miller was a prolific sketcher. He filled many journals with drawings and captions from the time he was studying in Paris and Rome (1833) until the 1870's. In 1969 a collection of 100 of these sketches was generously donated to the Walters Art Museum by J. William Middendorf II. The interests of Miller are clearly reflected in these sketches: the theater (a large portion being quick figure drawings of the Ravel Pantomime Troupe), childhood memories, Baltimore scenery, and witty scenes of characters. (See The Walters Art Gallery Bulletin, April, 1969, Vol. 21, No. 7, Pages 3-4).
The nameless little servant girl was invited by Dick Swiveller to play cribbage in his room in Dickens' "The Old Curiosity Shop" (1841). After she nursed him through a serious illness, Mr. Swiveller married his "Marchioness." Miller was particularly drawn to the works of Dickens and drew illustrations to "Barnaby Rudge," "Martin Chuzzlewit," and "Little Dorrit," as well as "The Old Curiosity Shop."