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"Naval Construction" Vanity Fair lithograph. Caricature of Mr. Edward James Reed, C.B. c1875.

by Carlo Pellegrini (Ape)

Original Vanity Fair lithograph "Naval Construction" from a watercolour caricature of Mr. Edward James Reed, C.B. for Statesmen No. CXCVIII (198) on March 20 1875.

The accompanying text includes "...Mr Reed has never yet been fully accepted in his own country for the prophet that he is; and that to this day there are many who are either not aware that he is the greatest master of naval construction alive, or are incapable of so applying the knowledge as to place him in the highest and most respected category of great men... He has received the most tempting offers and the most flattering attentions from foreign Powers and Potentates; but though Russia has given him the Order of St. Stanislaus, Austria that of Francis Joseph, and Turkey the Mejidie of the second class, he has remained faithful almost exclusively to his mission as designer and defender of the British Navy... was made a Companion of the Bath, and received a grant of 5000 pounds from Parliament. Hereupon Mr. Reed declared himself a Liberal and sought a seat in the Commons House..."

Vanity Fair was a weekly magazine of social comment, published in London from 1868 to 1914. With eight to ten pages each issue, Vanity Fair magazine's popularity was guaranteed with the inclusion of an amusing caricature, lithographed from a watercolour, parodying any newsworthy personage. Over the years of publication it became a mark of honour to be the 'victim' of one of the magazine's caricaturists. The publisher accompanied each with a witty text, written under his nickname of 'Jehu Junior' (after the biblical prophet who effected the downfall of his enemies). He considered the caricatures made grim faces more grim, grotesque figures more grotesque, and dull people duller by the genius of ‘Ape’" (Carlo Pellegrini, 1839-1889). It was the first time lithography had been used for caricatures. They were printed by the eminent lithographer, Vincent Brooks (1814-1885).

Page size 355 x 230 (14 x 9 inches). In good condition except for a little soiling in the margins, and Indian ink "62" at top right and "E.J. Reed" at lower right.

Stock Number: apVF198Price: $80.00