Maggs Bros Ltd

Alarming Prospect The Single Ladies off to the Diggings and Topsy Turvey - or, our Antipodes

LEECH John (1860.)

£300.00 

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[and] Topsy Turvey, - or our Antipodes.Two hand-coloured engravings. 211 by 305mm. London, c.,

The early days of the Victorian gold rush were famously male dominated, though the popularity of Ellen Clacy's work A Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings in 1852-1853 may have been the inspiration for the first of these two images, which originally appeared as the frontispieces to the 1853 and 1854 editions of Punch's Pocket Book respectively.

A life long friend of Thackeray, John Leech is perhaps best known for his contributions to Punch, which he joined at its inception in 1841, as well as for his illustrations for Charles Dickens' Christmas Books. Credited with using the term 'cartoon' for a large satirical print (DNB), his pictorial work played an important role in the transformation of humorous art from the often brutal and grotesque work of men such as Cruikshank (and before him Gillray and Rowlandson) to the gentler and more subdued satire of the mid to late Victorian period. Ruskin said of him: "His work contains the finest definition and natural history of the classes of our society; the kindest and subtlest analysis of its foibles, the tenderest flattery of its pretty and well-bred ways, with which the modesty of subservient genius ever immortalised or amused careless masters."

Stock Code: 199723