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Darvill's Rare Prints is pleased to offer a huge selection of original
John Leech prints from various publications.

The original, hand-coloured etchings featured below are from:

The Comic History of England

Written by Gilbert Abbott À Beckett
Illustrated by John Leech

From two different editions:
Published in London by Bradbury, Evans & Co.: undated, but circa 1848
(smaller paper—about 8.25x5.25 inches)

Published in London by Bradbury, Agnew, & Co. in 1850
(larger India paper—about 10.75 x 7.5 inches)


Please click on the images below for an enlarged view.

We have many more prints by Leech...
please see the Satire/Humor page by clicking here.

A bit about
John Leech
:


Artist and Illustrator.

He was born in London on August 23, 1817, the son of a vintner and showed a remarkable aptitude for drawing from an early age.

After being educated at Charterhouse and then entering St. Bartholemew's Hospital to study medicine, Leech abandoned it for the career of an artist. At Charterhouse he had become a friend of W.M. Thackeray (q.v.) and at St. Bartholemew's he had made the acquaintance of Albert Smith and Percival Leigh, the writers, all of whom were to further him in his profession.

He produced his first book Etchings and Sketchings, caricatures of Londoners, in 1835 and followed this with a series of satirical and political lithographs. Leech was taught to draw on the wood by Orrin Smith and it was in this field of black and white work that he was to make his name.

His humour was like his talent, gentle, warm-hearted and positive, his world, the ups and downs of middle class life, the sports of the squirearchy, and the peccadilloes of army officers and undergraduates.

He became really established in 1840 when he joined the staff of Bentley's Miscellany, contributing over one hundred and forty etchings to the magazine. In 1841 he contributed his first block to the newly-established satirical journal Punch; Leech's art was ripe for this type of pictorial satire and within a few months he had made it his own, establishing a convention of social humour that was to last until the 1920s.

From 1843, Leech shared the cartoons with Tenniel, completing no less than seven hundred and twenty before 1864. But his strength was in the drawings of the hunting field and London fashion, epitomised in the characters of Tom Noddy and Mr. Briggs. Extravagantly praised by Ruskin, Leech's often careless but never crude drawings have survived in charm and humour to give us a refreshing glimpse of mid-Victorian society.

He died after a short illness in 1864.

(from The Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists, 1800-1914 by Simon Houfe)

THE PLATES BELOW ARE FROM THE FIRST EDITION OF THE COMIC HISTORY OF ENGLAND, PUBLISHED IN 1848. (SLIGHTLY LATER, LARGER EDITION PRINTS FOLLOW THESE.)
The Landing of Julius Caesar
Landing of Julius Caesar
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
William inspecting the Volunteers previous to the Invasion of England
William inspecting the Volunteers previous to the Invasion of England
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
Terrific combat between Richard Coeur de Lion and Saladin
Terrific combat between Richard Coeur de Lion and Saladin
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
King John signing the Magna Charta
King John signing the Magna Charta
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
NOTE THE VERY NARROW TOP MARGIN
$35
Edward's arm in the hands of his Medical Advisers
Edward's arm in the hands of his Medical Advisers
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
Queen Phillipa interceding with Edward III for the Six Burgesses of Calais
Queen Phillipa interceding with Edward III for the Six Burgesses of Calais
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
Coronation of Henry the Fourth (from the best Authorities)
Coronation of Henry the Fourth (from the best Authorities)
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
Embarkation of King Henry the Fifth at Southampton
Embarkation of King Henry the Fifth at Southampton
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
Marriage of Henry the Sixth and Margaret of Anjou
Marriage of Henry the Sixth and Margaret of Anjou
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
The Battle of Bosworth Field, A scene in the Great Drama of History
The Battle of Bosworth Field, A scene in the Great Drama of History
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
Henry VIIIth meeting Francis Ist
Henry VIIIth meeting Francis Ist
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
NOTE THE VERY NARROW TOP MARGIN
$35
Henry the 8th and his Queen 'out a Maying'
Henry the 8th and his Queen 'out a Maying'
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh
Queen Elizabeth and
Sir Walter Raleigh
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
Discovery of Guido Fawkes by Suffolk and Mounteagle
Discovery of Guido Fawkes
by Suffolk and Mounteagle
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
'Take away that Bauble' Cromwell dissolving the long Parliament
'Take away that Bauble' Cromwell dissolving the long Parliament
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
NOTE THE SOMEWHAT MUTED COLOURING, AGE-TONED PAPER AND NARROW BOTTOM MARGIN
$25
The Royal Oak
The Royal Oak
The Penderell Family have no idea where Charles is!!!
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
Evening Party—Time of Charles II
Evening Party—Time of Charles II
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
The Battle of the Boyne
The Battle of the Boyne
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
Georgy Porgy the First, going out for a ride in his State Coach Poachy
Georgy Porgy the First, going out for a ride in his State Coach Poachy
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/8 inches
$35
THE PLATES BELOW ARE FROM ANOTHER, SLIGHTLY LATER EDITION OF THE COMIC HISTORY OF ENGLAND, PUBLISHED AROUND 1850, ON A SLIGHTLY LARGER 'INDIA PAPER' SHEET.
(Some foxing and slight bucking of paper to be expected.)
The Landing of Julius Caesar
Landing of Julius Caesar
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
William inspecting the Volunteers previous to the Invasion of England
William inspecting the Volunteers previous to the Invasion of England
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Terrific combat between Richard Coeur de Lion and Saladin
Terrific combat between Richard Coeur de Lion and Saladin
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
King John signing the Magna Charta
King John signing the Magna Charta
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Edward's arm in the hands of his Medical Advisers
Edward's arm in the hands of his Medical Advisers
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Queen Phillipa interceding with Edward III for the Six Burgesses of Calais
Queen Phillipa interceding with Edward III for the Six Burgesses of Calais
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Coronation of Henry the Fourth (from the best Authorities)
Coronation of Henry the Fourth (from the best Authorities)
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Embarkation of King Henry the Fifth at Southampton
Embarkation of King Henry the Fifth at Southampton
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Marriage of Henry the Sixth and Margaret of Anjou
Marriage of Henry the Sixth and Margaret of Anjou
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
The Battle of Bosworth Field, A scene in the Great Drama of History
The Battle of Bosworth Field, A scene in the Great Drama of History
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$35
Henry VIIIth meeting Francis Ist
Henry VIIIth meeting Francis Ist
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Henry the 8th and his Queen 'out a Maying'
Henry the 8th and his Queen
'out a Maying'
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$50
Henry VIII Monk Hunting
Henry VIII Monk Hunting
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$60
Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh
Queen Elizabeth and
Sir Walter Raleigh
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Discovery of Guido Fawkes by Suffolk and Mounteagle
Discovery of Guido Fawkes
by Suffolk and Mounteagle
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
'Take away that Bauble' Cromwell dissolving the long Parliament
'Take away that Bauble' Cromwell dissolving the long Parliament
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
The Royal Oak
The Royal Oak
The Penderell Family have no idea where Charles is!!!
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Evening Party—Time of Charles II
Evening Party—Time of Charles II
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
The Battle of the Boyne
The Battle of the Boyne
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Georgy Porgy the First, going out for a ride in his State Coach Poachy
Georgy Porgy the First, going out for a ride in his State Coach Poachy
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Norman Transport
Norman Transport
[Frontispiece to Book 2]
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$25
Knight with a Casque
Knight with a Casque
[Frontispiece to Book 3]
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$25
An Unwelcome Visitor
An Unwelcome Visitor
[Frontispiece to Book 5]
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$25
The Trio of the Stuarts
The Trio of the Stuarts
[Frontispiece to Book 6]
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$25
A General at Sea
A General at Sea
[Frontispiece to Book 7]
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$35
The Last of the Stuarts
The Last of the Stuarts
[Frontispiece to Book 8]
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$25
  We have many more John Leech prints...See the Humor and Satire home page