Photo Friday: Hats off to that young lady

Liddell Hart plateThis week is Paris Fashion week (25th February – 5th March), so we thought we’d dip into our fashion collections once more…

For Photo Friday this week we have chosen an illustration from the Liddell Hart Collection of Costume which shows the potential practical benefits of large hats in the rainy weather we have had for so many months now. As one of the gentlemen in the picture comments; “Devilish glad we met you, umbrellas are a great bore”.

This illustration was collected by Sir Basil Liddell Hart along with a number of other satirical and topical cartoons from the nineteenth century, and can be found on our library catalogue in a folder of cartoons (741.5 CAR).

The artist who produced this image was William Heath (1795-1840), working under the pseudonym Paul Pry. This is evidenced by the small drawing of the actor Liston in the role of Paul Pry, a character who interfered in other peoples’ business in John Poole’s eponymous comedy (1825), in the bottom left hand corner of the page. Heath used this emblem from 1827, but it led to such widespread plagiarism that he abandoned it in 1829. It was published by Thomas McLean of Haymarket, in the late 1820s, and is an etching coloured by hand.

William Heath was an accomplished artist, practising in caricature, military illustration, portraiture, and landscape. In the early 1800s he mainly worked on illustrating books on military themes, such as ‘The Wars of Wellington’ (1819), but as the demand for military prints declined in the 1820s Heath changed to caricatures, published either as individual prints or sets, and soon established himself in a leading position.

There are a large number of satirical and political cartoons and fashion plates from the nineteenth century within the Liddell Hart Collection of Costume, and access to this material is by arrangement with the LJMU Archivist.

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