Private Stash: Vanity Fair Caricatures

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I found these antique British Vanity Fair caricatures in a pile of amazing newspapers and prints at a tag sale last year. As I was trying to search through the large heavy pile of miscellaneous papers, I remember Austin telling me to just see what they would price the whole pile at. I did and I paid $3.00 for the stack of papers. I was glad I asked because it was much more enjoyable to slowly flip though them at home instead of at a crowded tag sale!

I know little about these pictures but had seen ones like them at a local British themed restaurant. Vanity Fair started in 1868 and published a weekly magazine until 1914. It is famous for these often unflattering but totally amazing caricatures of prominent public figures of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Thanks to Wikipedia I was able to easily find out some facts about each individual pictured.

First up is the Jan. 8, 1870 caricature, “Judges No. 3, ‘The majesty of the law’.”

Judges No. 3 Vanity Fair

This is Chief Justice W Bovill who died in 1873. It is signed by caricaturist Ape.

The July 9, 1870 issue is “Statesmen No. 54, ‘Simple and unassuming himself, yet magnificent and generous toward his fellow men, he is the very Prince of Dukes’.”

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The Duke of Sutherland, signed by the artist Ape.

This next one is my favorite. He is so cute! Dated Aug. 23 1873, “Statesmen, No. 152,  ‘The Commodore’.”

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This British nobleman held the title The Earl of Wilton. He died in 1882. The artist is Coide.

Jan. 25, 1873 issue is of “Statesmen No. 137, ‘The Governing Classes’.”

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This statesman is The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensbury. He died in 1884 at the age of 77. The caricaturist was D’Epinay.

This last one is Aug. 27, 1870, “Statesmen No. 61, ‘A superannuated diplomat’.”

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At first glance I thought this was Abraham Lincoln, but no it is Sir Henry Bulwer. Once again done by the caricaturist Ape.

My plan is to get these matted, framed and hung in my husbands office.

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2 Comments

  1. Haamid A. AQUIL
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I purchased 2 of the Vanity Fair carricatures recently and they are both in very old frames. One has VANITY FAIR at the top center and is dated August 23, 1873. It has a crown at the top right corner. At the bottom is No. 251 in the left corner. In the center is Statesmen, No. 152. and directly underneath that is “The Commodore”. The other one id dated October 18, 1873 No. 259,Statesmen, No. 156. Premier Peer of Scotland. They are definitely not prints. Can anyone tell me more about these two pictures.

  2. Haamid A. AQUIL
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I purchased 2 of the Vanity Fair carricatures recently and they are both in very old frames. One has VANITY FAIR at the top center and is dated August 23, 1873. It has a crown at the top right corner. At the bottom is No. 251 in the left corner. In the center is Statesmen, No. 152. and directly underneath that is “The Commodore”. The other one is dated October 18, 1873 No. 259,Statesmen, No. 156. Premier Peer of Scotland. They are definitely not prints. Can anyone tell me more about these two pictures.

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