Vanity Fair was a British weekly magazine that was published from 1868 to 1914. Founded by Thomas Gibson Bowles in London, the magazine included articles on fashion, theatre, current events, but it is best known for its distinctive type of satirical caricatures of famous people of Victorian and Edwardian society. These were single, high quality chromolithographic prints, suitable for framing, which were supplied free with each issue. Over 2,300 caricatures were published.
This pack is the first of two to be published by Billy Bembo, Essex in 1995 reproducing 54 caricatures of the great and the good, primarily from the political, legal, social and cultural fields. Each caricature shows the date of its appearance in the magazine and also a witty commentary or description beneath. Information about the magazine and the artists who produced many of the caricatures is provided on an explanatory card►
Published by Billy Bembo, Essex in 1995, this is the second pack of caricatures reproduced from the magazine Vanity Fair, which ran between 1868 and 1914. While the 1st edition was wider in its selection of caricatures, this pack is devoted to caricatures of famous people of Victorian and Edwardian society from the science and medicine fields. Each caricature shows the date of its appearance in the magazine and also a witty commentary or description beneath. An explanatory card provides information about the magazine and the artists who provided many of the caricatures. See the explanatory card►
See the boxes►
NOTE: The National Portrait Gallery archive in London has a complete run of 2,387 Vanity Fair chromolithographs.
Member since July 27, 2022
I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.
Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.
Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.
Characters from Chekhov’s plays designed by Paolo Fresu for San Paolo Istituto Bancario, Italy, c.19...
A few new games survived and are still around today; most came and went and are only witnessed in th...
A political pack designed by Pino Zac and published in 1977 by Editions Arts et Lettres.
A miniature set of Goodall domino cards (5.9 x 3.5 cms) still in perfect condition.
A pack of cards depicting characters from the famous play "The Wedding of Krechinsky" by Sukhovo-Kob...
“1952-2002 commemorative deck” customised with doodles by an uncredited artist, UK, 2011.
Shakespeare Insults playing cards with portraits by Jan Padover, USA, 2005.
Shakespeare playing cards: Quotes, the first volume of a double set published by Prospero Art of San...
Old Testament playing cards with illustrations by Jan Padover, USA, 2012.
Politicards 1980 in which Ronald Reagan defeated the incumbent Jimmy Carter, with caricatures by Kei...
“Playing Politics ’10: With no expenses spared” featuring caricatures by Oliver Preston, published b...
Playing Politics ’92: Pack of lies with caricatures by Grant Robertson, UK.
Facsimile of Winstanley’s Geographical cards produced by Harold & Virginia Wayland, 1967.
Great inventions playing cards designed by Gary Wyatt, United Kingdom, 2011.
Festive courts on a Waddingtons pack designed to celebrate Christmas 1980.
‘Gone to Pot’: special playing cards for keen gardeners, United Kingdom.
Roy Huteson Stewart's The Tarot Strikes Back combines Star Wars with Rider-Waite tarot imagery.
“Don’t come back” playing cards produced by Hounslow NHS Primary Care Trust and Feltham Young Offend...
French-suited Æsop’s fables tarot produced by Leipzig Industrie Comptoir, c.1800-1825.
Randy Butterfield's House of Tudor playing cards feature detailed art in a high-quality collectible ...
Katie Abey’s rainbow-coloured designs using crazy animals to convey motivating phrases.