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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)


Darvill's Rare Prints is pleased to offer a huge selection of original John Leech (and HK Browne) etchings from various publications.

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

Mr. Facey Romford's Hounds

Written by Robert Smith Surtees
Illustrated by John Leech and H.K. "Phiz" Browne
Note: John Leech died during the compilation of this book, thus H.K. Browne completed the last 14 illustrations for Mr. Facey Romford's Hounds.

Published in London by Bradbury, Evans & Co.
— 1865—

Sheet size is approximately 5.25 x 8.5 inches.
Please click on the images below for an enlarged view.

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

Simon Heavy-side and his Hounds
Simon Heavy-side and his Hounds
$35
Who am I. I'm the Mistress of this ere ouse-and this is the young Squire!
Who am I. I'm the Mistress of this ere ouse— and this is the young Squire!
$25
Madame de Normanville and the Squire
Madame de Normanville
and the Squire
$35
Let me try, then, said Lucy
Let me try, then, said Lucy
$35
The View
The View

SEE PRINT TO RIGHT, AVAILABLE NOW
The View
The View
[from a different edition, with smaller paper and more muted colouring]
$30
Mrs. Somerville (!) thinks Beldon Hall will do
Mrs. Somerville (!) thinks Beldon Hall will do
$25
The Ladies
The Ladies
$25
Billy Balsam in his new livery
Billy Balsam in his new livery
$25
Mr. Romford at Dalberry Lees
Mr. Romford at Dalberry Lees
$25
Fresh as a four year old! Went off like a shot!
Fresh as a four year old!
Went off like a shot!

SEE PRINT TO RIGHT, AVAILABLE NOW
Fresh as a four year old! Went off like a shot!
Fresh as a four year old!
Went off like a shot!
[from a different edition, with smaller paper and more muted colouring]
$25
The Loose Box door was opened, out came the hounds with a cry
The Loose Box door was opened, out came the hounds with a cry
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
$35
 
The Love Box door was opened, out came the hounds with a cry
The Loose Box door was opened, out came the hounds with a cry
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
(smaller paper, probably another edition)
What matter did it make to him how she rode, confound this ugly place
What matter did it make to him how she rode, confound this ugly place
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
$35
Most pernicious woman!
Most pernicious woman!
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
Romford disturbs the dignity of his Huntsman
Romford disturbs the dignity of his Huntsman
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
'Rot the beggar' exclaims Romford
'Rot the beggar' exclaims Romford
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
SEE PRINT TO RIGHT, AVAILABLE NOW
'Rot the beggar' exclaims Romford
'Rot the beggar' exclaims Romford
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
(smaller paper, probably another edition)
$35
Mr. Muffington on 'Placid Joe' (late Pull Devil)
Mr. Muffington on 'Placid Joe'
(late Pull Devil)
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
Captain Spurrier 'cut down' by Romford
Captain Spurrier 'cut down' by Romford
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
Mr. Stotfold-Master of Staghounds
Mr. Stotfold—Master of Staghounds
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
$25
The 'Benicia Boy' astonishes Miss Birche's Establishment
The 'Benicia Boy' astonishes Miss Birche's Establishment
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
$25
Miss Shannon's arrival at Baldon Hall
Miss Shannon's
arrival at Baldon Hall
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
$25
The Invasion
The Invasion
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
$25
Sink! ar arlways said ar could polish him off
Sink! ar arlways said ar could polish him off
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
$25
The Baronet
The Baronet
[by HK Browne "Phiz"]
$25
 

More Leech and Browne prints on the Humor and Satire page