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  • Poster
    Brock, Henry Matthew, born 1875 - died 1960
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    London (possibly, printed)

  • Date:

    1919 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Brock, Henry Matthew, born 1875 - died 1960 (artist)
    Stafford & Co. Ltd. (printer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithography

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This poster was originally designed by H.M. Brock for the D'Oyly Carte Company, to advertise their newly-designed production of Iolantheon tour during the 1920s. It depicts Private Willis of the First Grenadier Guards sprouting wings to become a fairy at the end of Act II in order to marry the Fairy Queen and save her life. It would have been overpasted with details of the theatre at which the company was appearing, and commissioned by Rupert D'Oyly Carte who had several Gilbert and Sullivan operas redesigned for the London season at the Princes Theatre from September 1919 to January 1920.

The artist Henry Matthew Brock (1875-1960) was a prolific book and magazine illustrator who illustrated children's books and contributed artwork to magazines including Punch, The Graphic and The Sphere. He liked the theatre and especially the operas produced by the D'Oyly Carte Company. He designed several posters for them as well as the programme cover illustration for their 1919-1920 season at the Princes Theatre, and a set of watercolour drawings of Gilbert and Sullivan characters for cigarette cards issued by John Player & Sons in 1925 and 1926.

Physical description

Poster printed on white paper featuring the name of the comic opera IOLANTHE in large decorative blue letters along the bottom of the poster, on the 'A' of which Private Willis is standing on the ball of his left foot, his right hand in the air, his left hand bent to his waist, as he looks over his left shoulder at the pink wings sprouting from his back. The poster features two blue text boxes for overprinting detail of venue, and a frieze behind Private Willis featuring other characters from the opera, from left to right, Phyllis and Strephon, a Lord and one of the chief fairies, the Lord Chamberlain and two other Lords.

Place of Origin

London (possibly, printed)


1919 (printed)


Brock, Henry Matthew, born 1875 - died 1960 (artist)
Stafford & Co. Ltd. (printer)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithography


Height: 73.6 cm, Width: 48.6 cm

Descriptive line

Poster printed for overprinting, to advertise a touring production of Gilbert & Sullivan's comic opera Iolanthe. Colour lithograph designed by H.M. Brock (1875-1960), printed by Stafford & Co., 1919.


Paper; Printing ink



Subjects depicted

Soldier (Guardsman); Fairies


Entertainment & Leisure; Advertising


Theatre and Performance Collection

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