Bewick notes in his descriptive text:
We are happy in being to present our curious readers with an engraving of this rare animal, drawn from life, from a Tiger that was exhibited at Newcastle in 1787, and was generally allowed to be one of the finest creatures of its kind ever seen in England.
The first state of the engraving has the initials engraved, "TB". In the second edition (1791) a second state appeared. Bain notes the presence of a pen and wash study in the collection of Newcastle's Laing Gallery in preparation for an engraving commissioned by a menagerie proprietor in 1799. Bibliography: Bain I, 122-123.