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Caricature - Harry Machlin conducting a performance of  <font -i>Humpty Dumpty</font -i>
  • Harry Machlin conducting a performance of Humpty Dumpty
    Sommerlad, Gilbert, born 1904 - died 1976
  • Enlarge image

Harry Machlin conducting a performance of Humpty Dumpty

  • Object:

    Caricature

  • Place of origin:

    Oxford (drawn)

  • Date:

    December 1967-January 1968 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sommerlad, Gilbert, born 1904 - died 1976 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil on cream cartridge paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Michael Sommerlad

  • Museum number:

    S.130:52-2002

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This caricature shows Harry Machlin conducting a performance of Humpty Dumpty at the Oxford New Theatre, Christmas. It was drawn by Gilbert Sommerlad (1904-1976), a rehearsal pianist and orchestral violinist at the Brighton Theatre Royal from 1932 until 1936, and at the Oxford New Theatre from 1936 for over forty years. Sommerlad sketched the stars on stage when he wasn't needed in the orchestra pit, compiling the sketches in a series of albums.

Humpty Dumpty by Phil Park and David Croft, adapted by Stanley Wilis-Croft, with songs by Cyril Ornadel, Phil Park and David Croft, was the Christmas pantomime at the New Theatre. It starred the performer Dickie Henderson (1922-1985), well-known at the time from numerous television appearances, as the King.

Physical description

Pencil caricature of Harry Machlin conducting a performance of Humpty Dumpty, dated Christmas 1967/8, part of an artist's hard-backed sketch book manufactured by George Rowney & Co., called 'The Euston Sketch Book'. The pencilled sketch is drawn directly onto the page (cream cartridge paper). Titled and dated by the artist and signed by the subject.

Place of Origin

Oxford (drawn)

Date

December 1967-January 1968 (dated)

Artist/maker

Sommerlad, Gilbert, born 1904 - died 1976 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil on cream cartridge paper

Marks and inscriptions

XMAS 67/68 HUMPTY-DUMPTY
Pencil inscription by Gilbert Sommerlad

Thank you, Gilbert for all your co-operation and help - sincerely Harry Machlin
Biro inscription and signature by Harry Machlin

Dimensions

Height: 17.0 cm, Width: 12.4 cm

Object history note

The artist of these caricatures, Gilbert Sommerlad, was by profession a musician who was born into a family that had a long tradition of professional musicians. In 1936 he moved to the recently built New Theatre, Oxford, to join his brother Roy (violin and clarinet) as resident pianist.

Gilbert was an exceptionally good and popular rehearsal pianist, and visiting companies and individual performers used to make sure that he would be available. He became well-known in the profession and his ability as a caricaturist became common knowledge. The volume that includes this drawing contains sketches mostly of musical directors and conductors working at the Oxford New Theatre with Gilbert Sommerlad.

Descriptive line

Pencil caricature by Gilbert Sommerlad (1904-1976) of Harry Machlin conducting a performance of Humpty Dumpty at the New Theatre Oxford, dated Christmas 1967.

Production Note

The signature of the individual depicted on this caricature is indistinct, but is thought to read 'Harry Machlin'

Subjects depicted

Conductors (musicians)

Categories

Caricatures & Cartoons; Drawings; Entertainment & Leisure

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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