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The Law. George Jessel, Vanity Fair caricature print.

The Law. George Jessel, Vanity Fair caricature print.

by Leslie Ward (Spy)

Vanity Fair legal caricature by Spy (Leslie Ward) of The Right Honourable Sir George Jessel (1824-1883). Originally published March 1, 1879. Spy was the pseudonym of prolific, popular caricaturist, Sir Leslie Ward (1851-1922) (knighted in 1918).

"Mr. Zachariah Jessel, a diamond merchant, of Savile Row, was blessed five-and-fifty years ago with a son. This son he sent to University College, London, and thence to the Bar.

The young man was industrious and very able; he soon mastered the whole law of Real Estate; he became well known as a successful pleader; he was made a Queen's Counsel and a Bencher of his Inn; and in 1871, while yet under fifty, he was appointed Solicitor-General by Mr. Gladstone. In 1873 he was further elevated by being appointed Master of the Rolls; and in 1875 he became a Judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature, being the first Jew ever appointed to the Judicial Bench in England.

He is what is called a strong Judge; he conducts his business in the most admirable manner and with the most perfect taste; and he is not only very learned in the law, but very sound and very just in his decisions. Personally he is very popular, much admired, and grteatly respected; and he owes all he is , and nearly all he has, to his own great natural talents, untiring industry, and undoubted honesty."

In 1868 Thomas Gibson Bowles (1842-1922) founded Vanity Fair magazine with eight to ten pages each issue. Writing most of the regular editorial under various pseudonyms, Bowles's indiscriminate provocative and disarmingly fearless attitude gained a wide audience - and was beneficial to him during his later political career. Vanity Fair became immensely popular from 1869 on, after inclusion each week of one amusing lithographed caricature, parodying any newsworthy personage. While it became a point of pride with some to be the victim of one of the magazine's caricaturists, the caricatures were often responsible for the reputation of these hapless individuals. The most important artists were Carlo Pellegrini and Leslie Ward.

This is the same subject as "The Law" caricature above. This larger series is more similar in style to the originial antique lithographs - both in colour and softer definition of image. Large margins all round... almost too large for the scanner. Page size approx. 325 x x 225mm (12 3/4 x 8 7/8 inches). Image size 280 x 165mm (11 x 6 1/2 inches).

Stock Number: daVF.TheLawPrice: $60.00