London Sketch-Book: Faustin

Chromolithographs by Faustin Betbeder

{last updated Jan. 12, 2015}


129 Edinburgh Dr., Port Moody, British Columbia CANADA V3H 2T5

You may contact me via email at:

This WebSite address is:

TO ORDER & POLICY: All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars. Shipping charges are extra, see Home Page.

Front board

Rear board

"The London Sketch-Book: an Illustrated Newspaper and Magazine" was published in single issues in 1874 and 1875. The most notable feature of this short-lived magazine was the issuance of four to five chromo-lithographs with the Jan.-Aug. monthly issues. These original 4-colour caricature drawings were all executed by the well-known French artist of the day "Faustin"(Faustin Betbeder). Faustin was born in Soissons, France in 1847 and died about 1914. Working in Paris, Faustin executed many scathing caricatures of the Franco-Prussian War as well as conveying the atmosphere in Paris during this period, both politically and socially. He later moved to England, where he set up a printing business and contributed illustrations to the London Figaro.

The website of the National Portrait Gallery showed they have just one
original pen-and-ink drawing by Faustin as well as only 3 of the
chromo-lithographs from the volume I've described here. (This was 2006.)
I did a search on the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) website and did 
not find mention of either volume of "The London Sketch-Book".
I notice the British Library has a bound volume of each
but they do seem to be scarce elsewhere.

Marc Ward of the National Art Library at V & A has acknowledged that they
do not have a copy but due to budget cuts they are unable to commit to a
purchase at this time.

Robin Francis of the National Portrait Gallery did considerable checking into
uncatalogued material before discovering that they did have several of the
images that appear in this book. Otherwise,
the book would have been of interest to them.
NOTE: I see now that Mr. Francis has gotten his act together and there
are now 28 of Faustin's chromolithographs illustrated on their website.

Both gentlemen acknowledge that this is a scarce item.

I offer a bound volume of the 12 months of 1874 with boards detached
and spine missing. See two views above.
33 of the original 35 colour illustrations are present, including 32 cartoon
illustrations of London celebrities, mostly politicians, some royalty, as well
as a full-page, 4-colour cartoon entitled "Ashantee". Missing are two illus.
of Parisian Fashions for March and April (I don't believe they were ever
bound into this particular volume).
Each monthly issue consists of 32 pages plus the tipped-in plates. The book
measures abt. 7 x 10" tall and the caricature plates are abt. 5-1/2 x 8-1/2"
tall, a few slightly larger. A few plates have very minor foxing, one has
minor damage to one edge, otherwise they are in VG to VG+ condition.
The book itself has some scattered minor foxing plus edge damage to a couple
of pages.
The last four issues did not have bonus chromo-lithographs but instead had
a photo, abt. 3-1/2 x 4-1/2", laid-on to the cover (title) page. These
pages are slightly wrinkled, I think due to the photos being
affixed to them. (I have included a photo of one of these cover pages.)

The four people chosen for the photos and the feature articles of
these four months were: painter Miss Elizabeth Thompson;
writer A.A. Dowty (Figaro's "Smiff"); concert-singer Mdlle. Carlotta Patti; 
and writer George Augustus Sala.

Issues June, July and August include 12 caricatures of Disraeli (new
original image)
and 11 members of his administration as a sort of sub-set. Instead of being
as "chromo-lithographs", these 12 illustrations are referred to as

List of subjects portrayed by Faustin in Vol. 1, London Sketch-Book

1.   Queen Victoria
2.   Rt. Hon. Benjamin Disraeli, M.P.
3.   The Tichborne Claimant
4.   H.R.H. Count de Chambord
5.   Mr. Hawkins, Q.C. and Dr. Kenealy, Q.C.
6.   Rt. Hon. W.E. Gladstone, M.P.
7.   Rt. Hon. John Bright, M.P.
8.   Sir Alexander Cockburn, Chief Justice of England
9.   Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor of London (Lusk)
10.  George Odger
11.  Ashantee! (as already described and pictured)
12.  H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh
13.  H.R.H. The Duchess of Edinburgh
14.  Samuel Plimsoll, Esq., M.P.
15.  Rt. Hon. Robert Lowe, M.P.
16.  Lord Coleridge
17.  Professor Darwin (with ape)
18.  H.R.H. The Prince of Wales
19.  H.R.H. The Princess of Wales
20.  The Prince Imperial (Napoleon IV)
21.  Rt. Hon. A.S. Ayrton, Esq. (portrayed as a porcupine)

The entire Disraeli administration of 1874:

22.  The Marquis of Salisbury (Secretary of State for India)
23.  Lord Cairns (Lord Chancellor)
24.  Duke of Richmond (Lord President of the Council)
25.  Rt. Hon. G.W. Hunt (First Lord of the Admiralty)
26.  Rt. Hon. Benjamin Disraeli (First Lord of the Treasury)
27.  Rt. Hon. the Earl of Carnarvon (Colonial Secretary)
28.  Rt. Hon. Gathorne Hardy (Secretary of State for War)
29.  Rt. Hon. Lord John James Robert Manners (Postmaster General)
30.  Rt. Hon. Sir Stafford Northcote (Chancellor of the Exchequer)
31.  Earl of Malmesbury (Lord Privy Seal)
32.  Rt. Hon. R.A. Cross (Home Secretary) Portrayed as being crucified.
33.  Earl of Derby (Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs)

The Publisher's notice in each issue states that these portraits can
appear in the London Sketch-Book only.

The majority of the plates do not have any foxing, while some have two or
three spots in the outer right margin. One plate has suffered more than the
others--the illustration of Marquis of Salisbury--and I have attached a photo.

Many of the text pages, although slightly discoloured, are free of foxing,
especially in the first half of the book. Other pages have some scattered
minor foxing, increasing somewhat in the later numbers. The title pages
for the last four numbers with the photographs attached do have slightly
heavier foxing, along with one or two pages to each side of them.
I have already given you the heaviest-foxed example.

In 1872, the great American writer, Ambrose Bierce, settled in
Bristol with his new wife. For the next couple of years, Bierce
did some writing for a few humorous English journals including the
London Sketch-Book. A few of his short pieces can be identified
in this 1874 volume, including "Intellectual Phantoms" under
one of Bierce's common pseudonyms "Dod Grile".


I'd be happy to answer any other questions about
this item if you need more information.

I've not been able to find any of these original plates
for sale but I did find someone in England selling 
reproductions of these prints and others by Faustin for 22 Pounds 
each and someone is selling a reproduction poster of the "Darwin  
with an Ape" chromo-lithograph for about 40 Pounds.)


  • New Arrivals for November 2014
  • Children's and Illustrated Books: New Arrivals
  • Red Star Line History and Other Liner Books
  • Americana Books, Plus Western Americana
  • Aviation Books
  • More Aviation Books
  • Military Books
  • Sea and Naval Books
  • More Sea and Naval Books
  • Canadiana Books: Fiction and Non-Fiction
  • Books on Fishing, Fly-Tying, Knots
  • Books on Golf
  • Golf Books Page Two
  • Books on Sports Plus Car Books
  • ABC Books and a Few Counting Books
  • Aesop's Fables and Other Fables
  • Alice in Wonderland and Other Carroll
  • Antiquarian Books, Mostly Religious
  • Boys' British Annuals
  • British History Books
  • Children's & Illustrated Books
  • Children's & Illustrated Books Two
  • More Children's & Illustrated Books
  • Women Children's Book Illustrators
  • Christmas Books
  • Books of Folktales, Legends, Myths
  • Modern Fiction Titles
  • School Readers, Mostly Old, Other Schoolbooks
  • Poetry Books, Mostly 19th and 20th Century
  • Books on Canadian, American, British Railways
  • Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
  • Rupert Bear Annuals
  • Pop-Ups and Moveables
  • Pop-Up Books-Page Two
  • Art and Cartooning Books
  • Limited Editions Club Books
  • Joseph Smith and Dan Jones Mormon Books in Welsh
  • Sherlock Holmes Collection for Sale
  • Thoreau MacDonald, Group of Seven Books
  • Selected Books by Will James
  • {last updated Jan. 12, 2015}


    You may contact me via email at:

    Back to my homepage: