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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 Rome

Written by Gilbert A. A'Beckett
Illustrated by John Leech

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

Another edition published by Bradbury in London: undated but probably early 1850s
(with slightly larger paper than above—about 9.5 x 6.5 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.

THE PLATES BELOW ARE FROM THE FIRST EDITION OF THE COMIC HISTORY OF ROME, PUBLISHED IN 1848. LATER EDITION PRINTS FOLLOW BELOW.

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)

Romulus & Remus discovered by a gentle shepherd
Romulus & Remus
discovered by a gentle shepherd
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/4 inches
Tarquinius Superbus makes himself King
Tarquinius Superbus makes himself King
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/4 inches
$35
Appius Claudius punished by the People
Appius Claudius punished by the People
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/4 inches
The gallant Curtius leaping into the gulf
The gallant Curtius leaping into the gulf
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/4 inches
$35
Hannibal whilst even yet a child, swears eternal hatred to the Romans
Hannibal whilst even yet a child, swears eternal hatred to the Romans
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/4 inches
$35
Flaminius restoring liberty to Greece at the Isthmian Games
Flaminius restoring liberty to Greece at the Isthmian Games
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/4 inches
$35
The Mother of the Gracchi
The Mother of the Gracchi
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/4 inches
$35
Marius discovered in the marshes at Minturna
Marius discovered
in the marshes at Minturna
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/4 inches
$35
Cicero denouncing Cataline
Cicero denouncing Cataline
Sheet size: approx. 8 3/8 by 5 1/4 inches
$35
 
THE PLATES BELOW ARE FROM A SLIGHTLY LATER EDITION OF THE COMIC HISTORY OF ROME, PUBLISHED AROUND 1850, SLIGHTLY LARGER SHEET AND IMAGE.
Some typical foxing may be expected.
(SIMILAR PLATES ON INDIA PAPER FOLLOW FURTHER BELOW.)
 
Romulus & Remus discovered by a gentle shepherd
Romulus & Remus
discovered by a gentle shepherd
Sheet size: approx. 9 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches
$40
Tarquinius Superbus makes himself King
Tarquinius Superbus makes himself King
Sheet size: approx. 9 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches
$40
 
Appius Claudius punished by the People
Appius Claudius punished by the People
Sheet size: approx. 9 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches
$40
The gallant Curtius leaping into the gulf
The gallant Curtius leaping into the gulf
Sheet size: approx. 9 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches
$40
 
Pyrrhus arrives in Italy with his Troupe
Pyrrhus arrives in Italy with his Troupe
Sheet size: approx. 9 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches
Hannibal whilst even yet a child, swears eternal hatred to the Romans
Hannibal whilst even yet a child, swears eternal hatred to the Romans
Sheet size: approx. 9 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches
$40
 
Flaminius restoring liberty to Greece at the Isthmian Games
Flaminius restoring liberty to Greece at the Isthmian Games
Sheet size: approx. 9 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches
$40
The Mother of the Gracchi
The Mother of the Gracchi
Sheet size: approx. 9 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches
$40
 
Marius discovered in the marshes at Minturna
Marius discovered
in the marshes at Minturna
Sheet size: approx. 9 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches
$40
Cicero denouncing Cataline
Cicero denouncing Cataline
Sheet size: approx. 9 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches
$40
THE PLATES BELOW ARE FROM ANOTHER, SLIGHTLY LATER EDITION OF THE COMIC HISTORY OF ROME, PUBLISHED AROUND 1850, ON A SLIGHTLY LARGER 'INDIA PAPER' SHEET.
(Some foxing to be expected.)
 
Romulus & Remus discovered by a gentle shepherd
Romulus & Remus
discovered by a gentle shepherd
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Tarquinius Superbus makes himself King
Tarquinius Superbus makes himself King
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
 
Appius Claudius punished by the People
Appius Claudius punished by the People
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
The gallant Curtius leaping into the gulf
The gallant Curtius leaping into the gulf
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
 
Pyrrhus arrives in Italy with his Troupe
Pyrrhus arrives in Italy with his Troupe
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Hannibal whilst even yet a child, swears eternal hatred to the Romans
Hannibal whilst even yet a child, swears eternal hatred to the Romans
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
 
Flaminius restoring liberty to Greece at the Isthmian Games
Flaminius restoring liberty to Greece at the Isthmian Games
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
The Mother of the Gracchi
The Mother of the Gracchi
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
 
Marius discovered in the marshes at Minturna
Marius discovered
in the marshes at Minturna
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
Cicero denouncing Cataline
Cicero denouncing Cataline
Sheet size: approx. 10 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches
$45
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