Monday, December 5, 2011

What I'll save from the fire

Remember Myspace? The drawing in this photo could be considered a very early prototype, an original put a face to a name.

The details have clouded over time, but the gist of the back story is that around 1869 the then Prince of Wales, later H.M. King Edward VII, Bertie to his friends and family, angry at a perceived slight by his club, left to form his own, the Marlborough Club, and invited his closest friends to join. It would have been difficult to refuse an invitation from your future sovereign.

In 1868 the London weekly magazine "Vanity Fair" began publishing. Its genius and main selling feature was a weekly caricature of the famous, those lithographic prints being the sole reason the magazine is remembered today. The first Vanity Fair caricaturist, Carlo Pelligrini was the talk of the town.

Bertie hired Pelligrini to create caricatures of each founding member of the Marlborough Club. The original plan, was for Bertie to keep the originals and to present bound sets of lithographic prints of all the founding members, as a gift to each of the subjects. Each lithograph was personally signed by the artist and subject. The drawing at the top made in 1872 by Carlo Pelligrini, is of Lord Osborne, 9th Duke of Leeds, a Marlborough Club founder.

The plan soon fell apart and fewer than 2 dozen sets were completed. This is one of the survivors.



Shelley said...

You'll no doubt be aware that the 1868 British magazine Vanity Fair (there seem to be many by that name!) was founded by Thomas Gibson Bowles, the maternal grandfther of the Mitford girls. I heard part of a recent interview with Charlotte Mosley (neice-in-law of the only remaining Mitford 'girl', the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire). She attributed the eccentricities of the Mitford children not to their parents, but to each of their grandfathers, being both brilliant and eccentric themselves.

Toad said...

Shelley you the thousand others whose wit and wisdom fill these pages are why I show up here most days. Thank you