25 January 2012

The Jockeys of Vanity Fair

Ever since I read Heather of Habitually Chic's fantastic post on Louisville interior designer Lee W. Robinson's store, I have been chomping at the bit over this jockey print.  It is the perfect wall accessory for my dream British-meets-Southern living room.  I had to investigate.

After a bit of sleuthing, I quickly found that I'm not the only enthusiast. The jockeys were originally published in Vanity Fair, a British weekly magazine, over the span of 30 years in the late 19th-early 20th centuries.  A full-page caricature of some contemporary celebrity, athlete, politician, or other notable appeared in most issues.  These caricatures are the lasting legacy of Vanity Fair.  Produced by a collection of artists from all over the world, many of the originals can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Nowadays, it appears there are many collectors and enthusiasts of the Vanity Fair caricatures.  There are polo players, judges, criminals {!}, and foxhunters {my second favorite group}. Best of all, they're actually easy to find and quite affordable.  The best resource is The Vanity Fair Print Company.  They deal in original prints and have an incredible selection.  The problem now is trying to narrow down which prints I want.  They're all so colorful and quirky!


Jennifer @ Belclaire House said...

My friend just showed me some jockey prints that she found at a local antique market and I was seriously coveting them. I'm going to check out the judges since we're a family of lawyers and judges. Although I have to say I like the look of the jockeys for their preppy decor appeal ;)