Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1925 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hocknell, Lilian (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Drawing in pencil, pen and wash on paper-faced card

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Lilian Hocknell (ca. 1891-1977) produced a considerable body of illustrative work, mainly in the form of advertising artwork and book illustration. One of her best-known working relationships was with Chilprufe Ltd, a leading UK manufacturer of children's clothing, and this illustration was produced for use in their catalogues and advertisements.

The Chilprufe (originally Chillproof) brand was founded by John Adams Bolton (1867-1945) in Leicester in 1906. Chilprufe garments were of high quality, were good value and were very much in mainstream taste for the first sixty years of the twentieth century. Although the company also produced garments for adults, and a range of children's outer clothing under the brand name 'Pobbie', it is best remembered for children's underwear.

Physical description

Drawing in pencil, ink and wash, on cream coloured paper-faced card. The illustration shows three boys playing with whipping tops: the youngest wears a vest, trunk underpants and socks, the older boy next to him is dressed in a vest and longer underpants, and the third boy is wearing combinations. (This is evidently the corrected version of the illustration produced in accordance with the manufacturer's comments pasted on the back).

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1925 (made)


Hocknell, Lilian (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Drawing in pencil, pen and wash on paper-faced card

Marks and inscriptions

Dealer's indication of cost

2¾" x 3½", 4¾" [the two last figures are ticked]; remaining pencil inscriptions largely illegible
probably indication of size of printed illustration

'L Hocknell'
artist's signature

'16/ 1925/ 26/ 5'
On reverse. 1925 is likely to be the year in which the catalogue is issued; none of them is the page number, as is clear from the manufacturer's comment.

'Page 11. / We should prefer the smallest figure on the left to be / dressed in a vest and a boys ribbed knee drawer, the latter garment / being illustrated on page 10 of the old catalogue. As regards / the central figure, we should prefer this to be in boys vest / and boys knee pant; the figure on the right could be a boys / combination. The reason we make these comments is that the / boy in the centre is a far more suitable figure for the boys / vest and pants and this sketch is to appear on page 11, which / will be essentially a boys' underwear page.'
On reverse. Manufacturer's instructions to artist (regarding the wish not to make the boy in combinations the central figure on a page of boys' underwear, if this catalogue followed the format of the 1922 catalogue, combinations were not differentiated by gender and were on a page of their own).


Height: 28.5 cm maximum, Width: 38.6 cm

Descriptive line

Drawing by Lilian Hocknell of children in Chilprufe garments, for commercial use; England, ca. 1925

Production Note

Produced for Chilprufe Ltd

Attribution note: Illustration for manufacturer's catalogue


Pencil; Ink; Wash; Card



Subjects depicted

Whipping tops; Children's clothing; Children


Drawings; Children & Childhood; Children's clothes; Clothing

Production Type



Museum of Childhood

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.