One of Newcastle's best known artists is Thomas Bewick (1753-1828). He was a wood engraver and an early pioneer and innovator of book illustration.
One of Bewick's specialties was the tailpiece, a small spot illustration filling the empty space at the end of a chapter. The Laing Art Gallery has an exhibit of these works, which they call "tale-pieces" because many of them tell a witty story or teach a moral lesson.
This one, which is reality only about two inches across, shows an old woman chasing geese. This kind of ornamental design frequently was surrounded by leaves and foliage. For that reason they came to be known as a vignettes, from the French word "vigne" meaning "vine."
The Laing Art Gallery exhibit will be shown through 18 October 2009.
Wikipedia on Thomas Bewick.