Skip to main content

British Illustrators scrapbook

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0348

Scope and Contents

The scrapbook which forms this collection is a bound volume containing around fifty illustrations representative of the subjects and style of nineteenth-century British book illustration. In the scrapbook are caricatures, cartoons, foreign scenes, social commentary, and hand-colored engravings, all fine examples of the innovative and emerging process of lithography. Some of the illustrations may have been single item publications while others may have been removed from published works, but all are fastened to the pages so that not all artists or dates are identifiable. A few that are dated span 1829-1834, but it is evident from the perfection of the color engravings that some of the illustrations were drawn later than 1834 when the process for color tinting was more refined. The collection has been dated through 1850.

Works of several illustrators of the period are included in the scrapbook. A black and white lithograph by Andrew Picken (1815- 1845) entitled "The Farmer's Boy," part of an Old Masters Series is shown. Another which gives a view of a Turkish bath in Syria is by William Henry Bartlett (1809-1854), a topographical illustrator, most likely drawn for John Carne's published volume, Syria, the Holy Land, Asia Minor, &c. published in 1836. Two colored lithographs by Charles Jameson Grant (fl.1831-1846) are examples of coarse caricatures published in the penny papers and weekly journals of the period. Grant later did woodcut illustrations for Punch.

The London publisher, G. S. Tregear, who called his business, "a Humorous and Sporting Print Shop," produced several series of caricatures during the 1830s. In 1834, Tregear's published Tregear's Black Jokes for which W. Summers produced a series of colored, numbered, and titled caricatures drawn in a grotesque style to depict black social life. The scrapbook includes the following: No. 3-"Marriage a la Mode"; No. 4-"The Christening"; No. 8-"The Breaking Up"; No. 10-"The Concert"; No. 11-"Miss Whites birth-day Party"; No. 12-"The Lubber Quarrel"; No. 15-"Cinderella and the Black Prince"; No. 18-"The Advertisement"; and No. 19-"The Wedding Feast." Other caricatures published by Tregear, (artists unknown) are included in the scrapbook, some from another series called "Scraps" mocking both town and country life in England.

Another illustrator whose pieces are included in the scrapbook is Henry Heath (fl.1824-1850). His color caricatures are described as vignettes, each with a title, most often dealing with cockney humor. There are two examples of his work in the collection.

The last identifiable artist is Joe Lisle, a caricaturist, whose work was usually done in colored aquatints. In the scrapbook is an illustration titled "Cheap Music."

Many illustrations cannot be identified by artist, but there are a variety of pieces that clearly suggest the taste and interests of the English public in the early nineteenth century. Several cartoons are included that spoof the manners and dress of the various classes of society. Others are references to politics and sports. There are several beautiful hand-colored engravings of women posed in foreign costume and of hunters and dogs in the country. Pastoral scenes and views of children, drawn in black and white, are rich in detail.

The collection is both a view of English life and culture in the early nineteenth century and a study of the way in which the new process of lithography was used for illustration.


  • Creation: 1829-1850

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Historical Note

As the Napoleonic Wars ended (1800-1815) and the era of industrialization began in nineteenth-century England, society-at- large was eager for material that portrayed a wider image of the outside world. Not only were books on travel sought, but also books on scientific investigation, self-help, and popular education. The public's taste for books grew, and many important private libraries were established. At the same time, there was a demand for literature more specific to popular taste. The broad sheet and ballad were revived, and the singly issued caricature print was especially popular at this time. A wide variety of magazines were published, the subjects of which included religion, politics, sports, and domestic affairs. The early years of the century saw the growth of opportunities for the bookseller, publishing houses, and most importantly, the book illustrator. Publishers increasingly relied on illustration to appeal to their patrons, and the illustrated book was raised to an art form with the inclusion of skillfully re-produced drawings, most often in color. The years between 1800 and 1914 are recognized as the pre- eminent period for the British illustrated book. Many artists are notable because of their work in illustrated books including Edward Lear, George Cruikshank, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and later, Sir John Tenniel, Aubrey Beardsley, and Kate Greenaway. In the nineteenth century, lithography in black and white, tinted, or colored by hand, became the standard medium for book illustration.


0.167 Cubic Feet (1 volume)

Language of Materials



The scrapbook which forms this collection is a bound volume containing around fifty illustrations representative of the subjects and style of nineteenth-century British book illustration. In the scrapbook are caricatures, cartoons, foreign scenes, social commentary, and hand-colored engravings.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The scrapbook was given to the University by A. McGehee Harvey in 1992.


The Accession Number is 92-93.28


The following volumes are available in Special Collections and provide a further description of book illustration in the nineteenth century and references to illustrators represented in MS.0348:

Abbey, John Roland. Life in England in Aquatint and Lithography, 1770-1860. London: Priv. print. at the Curwen Press, 1953. (Garrett Library NE143 .S55 1953)

Houfe, Simon. The Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists, 1800-1914. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club, 1981. (Spec. Coll. Reference NC978 .H651 1981).

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan in March 1993.

British Illustrators scrapbook
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA