This is a single golfing Vanity Fair supplement lithographic portrait print ‘North Berwick’. An original print of Robert Maxwell published by Bemrose Dalziel Ltd., Watford & London, mounted and framed in good condition. The original biography which accompanied the picture would have read:-
Vanity Fair, London, August 22, 1906.
MEN OF THE DAY.- No. MXXVIII. Mr. Robert Maxwell.
Mr. Robert Maxwell was born in Edinburgh in 1876, and in due time took the train to Eton, where he became an inmate of the Rev. S. A. Donaldson’s house. He was an energetic boy, and rowed and played football with some success. He became a member of the Eton Society, where he acquired that short and concise style of oratory which he has made so distinctively his own. His golf at school was limited to occasional shots at the Great Western Railway trains which passed over the arches near his tutor’s house. In fact, he so effectually concealed his golfing abilities that it is recorded how a prominent Eton oarsman, who had fallen a victim to the game, on arriving at North Berwick, and recognising the stalwart proportions of his former schoolfellow, exclaimed, “Why, here is the old ‘Ox.’ I’m certain I can beat him.”
He has won practically every amateur golfing honour worth the gaining, including the Championship, and he has twice made a gallant struggle in the open event. But he prefers playing with his friends to enduring the rigours of a competition. He can pilot the worst of partners to victory, though he has been known to express a gentle surprise at their vagaries.
He holds strong views on certain subjects and places especially St. Andrews. He is sensitive to criticism. At North Berwick he is much admired.
In total 13 golfing caricatures were created, all but one of the supplements was taken from ‘Vanity Fair’, the single one was from ‘The World’. Although all of the prints are associated with golf, only the first nine listed here are shown in a golfing manner. They are 1) Mr. Horace G.Hutchinson. 2) Mr. John Ball, junior. 3) Mure Fergusson, “Muir”. 4) Mr. Horace Harold Hilton, “Hoylake”. 5) Mr. Robert Maxwell, “North Berwick”. 6) John Henry Taylor, “John Henry”. 7) James Braid, “Jimmy”. 8) H. Mallaby-Deeley, “The Prince of Princes”. 9) The Right Honorable D.Lloyd George. The others in the set are, 10) The Right Hon. A. J. Balfour, ” the Irish Secretary”. 11) The Right Hon. A. J. Balfour, “Dialectics”. 12) Mr. George D. Rowe, “A celebrated oarsman who prefers cricket to rowing and golf to both”. 13) Marshall Roberts, “Easton Hall”.
When first published in the weekly additions of Vanity Fair each caricature would come with an amusing biography. ‘Spy’ is credited to all of the golfing caricatures except John Ball, who was drawn by ‘Lib’, the Italian Libero Prosperi.
Vanity Fair was published in London from 1869 to 1914, and each magazine would contain a loose print of a caricature painted by various artists. ‘Spy’ worked for Vanity Fair for 40 years until it ceased publication in 1914. ‘Spy’ was Sir Leslie Ward (1851 1922) and he was the grandson of the well-known horse-painter James Ward. Sir Leslie Ward is best known as an artist working in oil, water-colour and black-and-white, although he also studied architecture. ‘Spy’ achieved notoriety by his painting and cartoons of public figures in VF and his works all contain the signature ‘SPY’. His works were also published in the supplements, the most well known being ‘Men of the Day’. By 1890 the leading amateur golfing personalities were thought enough of to be included into this title. Eight golfers were subjects portrayed in the Vanity Fair series, the twice-Amateur Champion Horace Hutchinson being the first. Second in 1892 was John Ball, who that year won the third of his eight Amateur Championships. In 1903 there was “Muir” and “Hoylake”. In 1906 saw another Amateur Champion in “North Berwick”. Also in 1906 saw the inclusion of professional golfers as ‘Men of the Day’, with “John Henry” being the first and the following year “Jimmy”. “The Prince of Princes'” was the final golfer in Vanity Fair in 1909 although ‘Spy’ was also to portray the future Prime Minister with a golf club in hand for The World magazine.
H 32.5 cm x W 20.5 cm
H 12¾” x W 8″