Hand-colored stipple engraving.
Published by Joseph Le Petit, London, 1 September 1797.
Sport historians Carl Giden and Patrick Houda believe the scene depicted took place in December 1796, when a spell of unusually cold weather swept across Britain and froze rivers and ponds throughout Greater London.
The picture's background even contained a clue — a distinctive obelisk situated on the riverbank behind the skater — that allowed the Swedes to pinpoint the location of the scene as a bend of the Thames near the Kew Observatory west of downtown London.
A second boy seen lacing up his skates is believed to be sitting on the edge of Islesworth Ait, a large, teardrop-shaped island in the middle of the river.