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Australian Cricket, George Bonnor, original antique print c1884.

Australian Cricket, George Bonnor, original antique print c1884.

by Carlo Pellegrini (Ape)

Australian Cricket, Vanity Fair caricature George John Bonnor (1855-1912), probably the greatest hitter in cricket history. Cricket commentators usually said of him "The big man slogged of course."

Text that accompanied this lithograph of the imposing figure, stated “His father was from Herefordshire, his Mother was from Lancashire, and he was born eight-and-twenty years ago at Bathurst in New South Wales. He was sent to school and he went into the Bush, attached himself to sheep-farming and learnt to shoot, to ride, and to run, and has now come back to his Mother-country to represent Australian cricket as one of the Australian Eleven. He is a quiet, amiable, low-voiced, comely giant, standing six feet six in his boots, measuring forty-five inches round the chest, and weighing seventeen stone all but two pounds. He has thrown the cricket-ball 129 yards. He can bowl very fast indeed and is a very hard-hitter. He is a fine runner too, and is the hundred yards’ champion of New South Wales. He is neither a smoker nor a drinker, he is gentle and good-humoured, and is altogether a most excellent specimen of the Greater Briton.”

Colour-printed lithograph c1884 after a caricature by ‘Ape’ Carlo Pellegrini (1839-1889) for Vanity Fair, a weekly magazine of social comment, published in London from 1868 to 1914. With eight to ten pages each issue, it included a caricature of a 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 caricature lithograph with a witty text, written under his pseudonym of 'Jehu Junior' (after the biblical prophet who effected the downfall of his enemies). Bowles thought that the caricatures made grim faces more grim, grotesque figures more grotesque, and dull people duller by the genius of ‘Ape’" (Carlo Pellegrini, 1839-1889). Printed by the eminent lithographer, Vincent Brooks (1814-1885), it was the first time lithography had been used for caricatures.

Page 400 x 270mm (15.3/4 x 10.5/8 inches). Image measures 315 x 190mm (12.3/8 x 7.1/2 inches) 

Stock Number: apVFAuCrickPrice: $425.00