The present work is an early drawing by Beardsley, executed circa 1888-9 when he was just sixteen. The pen work is comparable to The Pay of the Pied Piper (see B.Reade, Beardsley, London, 1967, p.311, no. 10, pl. 10). The lettering resembles the play bills, which he drew for the beardsley family theatricals, see The Jolly Mashers (op. cit., p.312, no. 15, pl. 15). The inscription on the sheet contains Beardsley middle initial V; a form which he only used in these early years and which he soon dropped.
We are grateful to Stephen Calloway for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.