A simple yet beautifully executed unfinished small drawing on blue-gray paper, 6 1/4" by 5 1/4", (14 1/2" by 11 1/4" framed), UNSIGNED, the words "Sir Tatton Sykes 1879" written in pencil on the reverse. Research strongly suggests that this is a work by the noted Victorian era caricaturist, LESLIE MATTHEW WARD (1851-1922)----who commonly signed his drawings, and was informally known as, "Spy". It would be difficult to prove that, but the keen resemblance to the published piece, and the confidence inherent to the drawing, suggest that Ward was the artist. I feel that this is probably by the artist but cannot guarantee that to be the case. An online search reveals that essentially the same imagery (the full figure, not just the head and outlined arm) was printed in the August 23, 1879 issue of Vanity Fair, the image being of Sir Tatton Sykes, 5th Baronet. Sykes was a landowner, racehorse breeder, church builder, and, so goes the information, an "eccentric". Through marriage (grandfather), Sykes can be said to have been indirectly related to Queen Elizabeth II. Ward was one of a handful of well known caricaturist artists whose work was published in high Victorian days in Vanity Fair. A collection of drawings by Ward and others published in Vanity Fair brought high prices in a dedicated English auction in 2005. The drawing is in good condition, with the exception of a very light diagonal crease in the paper at top, a pinpoint hole, barely noticeable, at lower right edge, and very faint foxing/browning in some areas, not unusual for drawings 140 years old. The frame has wear.
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