Not currently on display at the V&A

Caricature

November 1907 (drawn)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This caricature is of the comedian Harry Weldon performing his skit ‘Dick Turpentine’ at the Grand Theatre of Varieties, Hanley, during the week of 11 November 1907. He was billed as ‘The Swell Comedian with a Method Entirely His Own’. It is one of the many superb caricatures of Edwardian music hall performers that were drawn by the artist George Cooke and compiled in a series of albums.

Born in Liverpool in 1881, Weldon made his first appearance in music hall in Barrow in March 1900 and in London that year at the Marylebone. In 1910 he appeared with Fred Karno’s troupe and Charlie Chaplin in The Football Match at the Nottingham Empire. He was known for his eccentric clothes, eyes that seemed always shut, ponderous face and sibilant voice. His comic characters included ‘Stiffy the Goal-keeper’ and ‘Jack Sheppard’. His catchphrases included ‘‘s no use’ and ‘Tell them what I did to Colin Bell’, which he used after 1914, when the Australian heavyweight boxer was knocked out at Olympia. Weldon died in 1930.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pen and ink and wash on paper
Brief Description
Caricature of the music hall comedian Harry Weldon (1882-1930), from an album of caricatures drawn by George Cooke. November 1907.
Physical Description
Pen, ink and wash caricature on pink paper of the music hall performer and comedian Harry Weldon as the highwayman 'Dick Turpentine' shown full-length, wearing a tricorn hat, a red 18th-century coat with frilled cuffs, a brown waistcoat, black trousers, brown riding boots and a checked scarf. In his right hand he holds a pistol, while in the background there are silhouette images of a stocking and a donkey.
Dimensions
  • Height: 25cm
  • Width: 16.8cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • I wish you all I can. Harry Weldon. 21/11/1907 (Signature; Hand written; Pen and ink)
  • THIS TOOK A BIT OF GETTING
  • WHOA BESS
  • DICK TURPENTINE
  • I SHOULD HAVE AN OLD BULLET SOMEWHERE
Object history
This caricature is of the music hall performer and comedian Harry Weldon (1881-1930) appearing at the Grand Theatre of Varieties, Hanley, during the week of 18 November 1907. Born in Liverpool, Weldon made his first appearance at the Tivoli Music Hall, Barrow in March 1900, and in London in November 1900 at the Marylebone Music Hall. The caricature comes from the second album of caricatures in a collection compiled by the graphic artist George Cooke. It is labelled by the artist 'Geo Cooke HYS BOOKE' and features music hall performers working in the early 20th century.
Summary
This caricature is of the comedian Harry Weldon performing his skit ‘Dick Turpentine’ at the Grand Theatre of Varieties, Hanley, during the week of 11 November 1907. He was billed as ‘The Swell Comedian with a Method Entirely His Own’. It is one of the many superb caricatures of Edwardian music hall performers that were drawn by the artist George Cooke and compiled in a series of albums.



Born in Liverpool in 1881, Weldon made his first appearance in music hall in Barrow in March 1900 and in London that year at the Marylebone. In 1910 he appeared with Fred Karno’s troupe and Charlie Chaplin in The Football Match at the Nottingham Empire. He was known for his eccentric clothes, eyes that seemed always shut, ponderous face and sibilant voice. His comic characters included ‘Stiffy the Goal-keeper’ and ‘Jack Sheppard’. His catchphrases included ‘‘s no use’ and ‘Tell them what I did to Colin Bell’, which he used after 1914, when the Australian heavyweight boxer was knocked out at Olympia. Weldon died in 1930.
Bibliographic Reference
The Performer 21 June 1906
Collection
Accession Number
S.393:56-2002

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdNovember 5, 2003
Record URL