ALPHABETICAL INDEX DATE INDEX UK & IRISH INTEREST WORLD INTEREST GENERAL INTEREST
Genuine antique maps and historical prints. CLICK to visit Postaprint Home Page. (PP logo) VANITY FAIR CARTOONS
aka SPY CARTOONS

From 1868 to 1914 Vanity Fair caricatures both lampooned and praised eminent Victorian and Edwardian Politicians, Sportsmen, Lawyers and other 'Men of the Day'. They are renowned throughout the world and highly collectible. They range in price from a few $'s up to several hundred for the scarcer & more sought after subjects.
THIS IS A  REFERENCE PAGE  
A record of the prints with background & biographical information
 and scanned images.
IT IS NOT INVENTORY

My wife has a fine selection of these very collectible caricatures in her eBay Store
CLICK HERE TO SEARCH MY INVENTORY
You will find a Search Box at the upper left.
If you are looking for a NAME please ensure you
Check the smaller TITLES & DESCRIPTIONS Box

GENUINE HISTORICAL and ANTIQUE PRINTS & MAPS
We only offer authentic old maps, prints, engravings and illustrated books.


Postaprint does NOT deal in modern reproductions.

 

THESE VANITY FAIR REFERENCE  PAGES ARE ARRANGED
IN 3 MAIN CATEGORIES

GENERAL INTEREST - Judges. Sportsmen. Jockeys. Politicians. Etc.

WORLD INTEREST - Monarchs. Statesmen. Etc.

UK & IRISH INTEREST - Local Members of Parliament Etc.

EACH CATEGORY IS THEN SUB-DIVIDED INTO MORE DETAIL
Beyond that, using our advanced INVENTORY SEARCH flexibility, you can identify more personalities with USA interest, sporting a sword, smoking a cigarette or even wearing a monocle

Click to see larger image 

Thomas Gibson Bowles
Founder of
Vanity Fair
Click on image to view a larger version

Leslie Ward, alias: SPY - Click to see larger image

Leslie Ward 
Principal Artist - Alias: SPY
Click on image to view a larger version

London: The Rt. Hon. James Whitehead, Lord Mayor of London - Click here to view other British Interest Vanity Fair/Spy Caricatures.

UK & IRISH INTEREST

Click here to view THE SUB-CATEGORIES

South Africa: Mr. Barnet I. Barnato - Click here to view other World Interest Vanity Fair Caricatures.

WORLD INTEREST

Click here to view THE SUB-CATEGORIES

Cricket - Mr. William Gilbert Grace. - Click here to view other General Interest Subject Related Vanity Fair Caricatures.

GENERAL INTEREST

Click here to view THE SUB-CATEGORIES

CLICK THE LINK TO ANY YEAR TO CHECK THE CONTENTS

 1868/9 
1870  1871  1872  1873  1874  1875  1876  1877  1878  1879 
1880  1881  1882  1883  1884  1885  1886  1887  1888  1889 
1890  1891  1892  1893  1894  1895  1896  1897  1898  1899 
1900  1901  1902  1903  1904  1905  1906  1907  1908  1909 
1910  1911  1912  1913  1914

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 Summary Of the Information on this Page

Background Information about VANITY FAIR and the POSTAPRINT Search Facility

Example of the Prints and Biographical Notes

Brief Outline about VANITY FAIR

The Founder - Thomas Gibson Bowles Some of the Artists

Background Information about VANITY FAIR and the POSTAPRINT Search Facility

Unrelated to its modern namesake, Vanity Fair was the weekly finger on the pulse of Victorian and Edwardian upper class society. Founded in 1868 by Thomas Gibson Bowles, Vanity Fair was probing, insightful and incisive. Irreverent yet always relevant, its analyses, articles, commentaries, exposes and reviews could be and often were acerbic yet never sour or bitter. Supremely democratic, none of the prominent personalities of the day escaped its scrutiny. Renown and repute were imbued with a sense of satire, sometimes smooth, sometimes sharp, always revealing. Vanity Fair readers revelled in it. Posterity preserved it.

Best known and most remembered for its colour caricatures, over 2300 were published in Vanity Fair during its nearly half century in print, from 1868 until 1914. Famous artists contributed to Vanity Fair, typically under pen names. The best known was Leslie Ward (1851-1922), who signed his works as Spy, and whose caricatures account for well over half of those featured in Vanity Fair. So famous have these fabulous prints become, Vanity Fair caricatures today often are referred to and recognised immediately simply as Spy Cartoons. Whether drawn by Ward himself or another of the Vanity Fair artists, all caricatures from this exceptional and unique publication have become prized collectibles. They are embodiments epitomising British society during the Empire's most glorious years.

Previous attempts to categorise the subjects of the caricatures failed to classify them topographically or to include the interesting hobbies and background information, contained in the biographical commentaries accompanying the prints when they were published. The modern technology of our online database makes it possible, for the first time, for you to browse selections by different criteria.

Basic categories have been created according to the principal interest. You can retrieve a complete category through our keyword categories list. Beyond that, using our advanced search flexibility, you can identify subjects with American interest, sporting a sword, wearing glasses or even wearing a monocle. For our UK customers, the facility is available to identify characters who lived in their particular county or even town. Search criteria are limited only by your personal preferences.

Our initial listing is available now, with scans of every cartoon. In the coming months, as we continue adding information from the original biographical notes, our search facilities will become increasingly comprehensive.

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Example of prints and biographical notes.

'THE UNITED STATES' - by APE - 1875

CLICK ON THE SAMPLE IMAGE TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION

General Robert SCHENCK - Click here to view a larger version.

Each Cartoon was accompanied by a sometimes Cryptic Biography

Click on the Sample image to read the notes on General Robert SCHENCK

Biographical notes of General Robert SCHENCK - Click here to view a readable version.

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Brief Outline about Vanity Fair

From 1868 to 1914 the Vanity Fair caricatures both lampooned and praised the eminent Victorian and Edwardian Politicians, Sportsmen, Lawyers and other 'Men of the Day'.

Thomas Gibson BOWLES created the the magazine for the elite classes, although today, these cartoons have become highly collectible items. The cartoons were printed in colour, initially using lithography, but evolving to more modern processes with the advancement of printing techniques.

The overall size of the earlier prints was some 9 x 14 inches, with an engraved area of 7. 5 x 12 inches. The later prints were slightly larger.

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THE FOUNDER - THOMAS GIBSON BOWLES

Click to view a larger version

Click on the image to view a larger version

In 1868, Bowles (alias - Jehu Junior) founded this prolific magazine and was also responsible for the biographical notes that accompanied the caricatures. Editor for twenty years, he moulded the magazine so that no-one was too superior to escape its critical angle. Bowles' approach was unique and insightful and readers would wait for the next edition to chuckle at the weekly theme.

The objects of Jehu Junior's critique (which included Bowles himself) considered it an honour to be included in this tremendous publication, and although they were scrutinised, it was always in a light-hearted manner, intended to be amusing not insulting. This balance was achieved successfully by Bowles.

The name 'Jehu Junior' was partly devised from a biblical poet who was famous for enunciating and effectuating the devastation of his enemies.

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APE
Carlo Pellegrini 
(1838-1889)

Carlo Pellegrini aka 'Ape' - Click to view a larger version

Click on the image to view a larger version

Carlo Pellegrini was born in March 1838 in Capua, near Naples, Italy to a noble family. His charcter was prominent and boldly individual from a young age. He began to draw caricatures in Naples as thumbnail sketches but he didn't have any published until he joined Vanity Fair. Pellegrini moved to London in November 1864.

Alias SINGE for his first two plates, which was later translated to English as APE. Pellegrini started working for Vanity Fair in 1869 being the author of the very first published caricature. There is some confusion as to the subject of this initial cartoon, His biography published in Vanity Fair suggests that it was of Lord Beaconsfield, whereas other sources name Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli as his first published lithograph.

Ape frequently worked from memory, but when he did work from life, he preferred to have a friend present to engage him in conversation. He was connected to the English High Society and had many friends there, although his socialite, generous nature usually left him in financial straits. He was considered to be objectionably dressed although the caricature illustrated above would suggest otherwise.

Pellegrini continued to work for this publication, with little interruption, until his death in January 1889 at the age of 50 years. His caricatures were known to never slander a foe and never to adulate a friend, however the subjects of his pencil considered him as a friend and were the most ardent of his admirers.

SPY
Leslie Ward 
(1851-1922)

Leslie Ward aka 'Spy' - Click here to view a larger version.

Click on the image to view a larger version

Ward was the most famous Vanity Fair artist, indeed the whole genre tends to be named after him.

Leslie Ward was born in 1851. The son of two famous artists, he was surrounded by important people, writers and painters consequently some of his caricatures are the more notable characters are gratifying to the recipient. Architecture was the chosen career of Spy's father, however, after working in several architectural studios, his desire to paint people became evident when he started to work on commissioned portraits. His interest in caricatures began whilst Spy was still at school, where he drew his classmates and tutors. 1873 was the notable year in which he sent some of his caricatures to Bowles, four years after Vanity Fair was founded. As a result, he was hired to replace Ape, who had left the periodical temporarily.

Spy worked for Vanity Fair for over forty years, producing over 55% of the 2387 caricatures published. Consequently, the whole genre became named after him, regardless of who the artist was, although he did not sign all of his own.  

Ward could be perhaps likened to the paparazzi of today, in the manner in which he collected his material. He spent hours stalking barristers, clergy and judges in their favourite haunts, to draw them from memory at a later date. He enjoyed this process and as a result these pictures were his most successful.

 

In all some 19 different Artists were employed.

Other Artists
and their
pseudonyms

on Vanity Fair
Cartoons


MAX (or Ruth or Bulbo)
 Max BEERBOHM (1872-1956)
 Writer and cartoonist.


'T'
 Theobald CHARTAN


 

Thomas NAST
 (1840-1902)
A German who went to New York in 1846


 

James Abbott McNeill
 WHISTLER
(1834-1903)

 

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We can usually offer a good selection of these highly collectible and genuine antiquarian prints.
Very suitable for framing. All are offered ON 7 DAYS APPROVAL. We offer a 'No Questions' Returns Policy

ALPHABETICAL INDEX DATE INDEX UK & IRISH INTEREST WORLD INTEREST GENERAL INTEREST