Crowquill [Forrester] (1843) Phantasmagoria of Fun – humorous sketches


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Crowquill, Alfred [pseudonym of Alfred Henry Forrester]. Phantasmagoria of Fun. (London: Richard Bentley, 1843). Illustrated by the author.

Duodecimo. Volume 1, vii, [3], 306. Volume 2 [4], 298, 1 page catalog. Hardcover. Half bound in deep purple Morocco with marbled boards, stamped in gilt on spine and outlining leather on front and back of both boards. Five raised bands with six compartments. Endpapers in matching marbled paper, with matching contemporary bookplate on front pastedown of both volumes of C. B. Farwell. Top edge gilt.

Condition: VG+. Morocco solid, no cracking at hinges. Spine of volume one has some wear at top and bottom. Slight discoloration to for-edge not penetrating to textblock. Minor soiling to textblock.

Provenance: Charles Benjamin Farwell’s bookplate is on the front pastedown. Farwell was an important banker in Chicago until he took up politica and became a Congressman and later a Senator during the 1870s and 1880s. He was quite wealthy. Books with this bookplate reside at Mount Vernon (described as “Pictorial. In an elliptical cartouche, two allegorical figures facing right, one holds a lyre and the other a board or tablet. Beneath that the text: C. B. Farwell (in a script typeface”).

Alfred Crowquill… Etcher, lithographer, draughtsman on wood and writer. Began to draw caricatures before 1822 and collaborated with George Cruikshank. As the printseller shifted to pictorial journalism in the 1840’s, he found work with Punch from 1842-44. Also in the 1840’s he issued a number of comic books written and illustrated by himself. By the 1860’s he was producing children’s books, and in the 1870’s, Christmas cards. Exhibited pen and ink works at the RA, 1845-6. – British Museum