Friday, October 06, 2006

VANITY FAIR, SPY, CARTOONS

The Vanity Fair cartoons were published in England, mainly in the Victorian era, and are now sought after by collectors throughout the world.

Lesile Ward, Spy, the main artist published his own biography in 1915, “Forty Years of Spy”, and the cartoons in fact are often referred to as “Spy” cartoons, due to the prolific numbers produced by this artist.

The earliest listing, or catalogue, was published in 1976, this work; apart from the indices contained in the bound volumes of the prints was the first guide to the complete collection; and was a 36 page sale catalogue containing 69 categories, published by Vanity Fair Ltd of Cincinatti.

Paul Victorious compiled a listing of the Vanity Fair cartoons remaining in his collection and this was published in 1981 as the Vanity Fair Collection. It contains 36 pages, and divides the prints into some 50, rather arbitrary, categories. This listing has a variety of curiosities with regard to the placing of the subjects. A Mr Olman, and his two sons who bought Victorious’ collection are perhaps responsible for these anomalies. “Royalty” includes persons as prosaic as Kruger, the South African Boer War leader, “Oom Paul”, and the unfortunate French soldier Alfred Dreyfus is listed under “Politicians”, and M. de Gries, the Russian Ambassador is also so listed.

However, full marks to them for their efforts of listing, sorting, pricing and classification. Throughout the list N/S (not for sale) frequently appears, suggesting, even in 1981 that many prints were no longer available, or were in short supply.

In 1981 the Cincinatti Vanity Fair Company sold all the stock to Clive Burdon of London, and in 1982 a new tome was published, “In Vanity Fair”, authored by Matthews and Melini.

The collection of prints, some several hundred, that I have for sale, is being offered at a discount of 15% on any current established price that you can find from any other dealer, which includes the text. Send proof of a current offer and we’ll deduct 15% and pay the postage packing and registration/insurance. If the original offer doesn’t include the text our deduction will only be 10%. No prints will be sold without the accompanying text.

Send in your wants list, and an offer, if you can’t find the print listed elsewhere.

All the prints are in good to excellent condition unless otherwise stated, all come complete with original descriptive text, all will be rolled and securely packaged for despatch. Goods can be inspected by appointment.

John Tunstill jon@technet.it 0039 075 930 2428