BEERBOHM, Max (1872-1956) -- Souvenir of the Charing Cross Hospital Bazaar held at the Royal Albert Hall June 21 & 22, 1899, compiled and edited by Herbert Beerbohm Tree, [London:] The Nassau Press, 1899. 4° (368 x 295mm). Half title, title and contents leaves printed in red and black, half tone portraits. (One leaf detached, some mainly light staining.) Original cloth-backed green decorated paper-covered boards (head of spine torn away, stained, corners rubbed). Provenance: "Max, June '99" (signature on front free endpaper).
MAX BEERBOHM'S OWN COPY CONTAINING HIS HUMOUROUS CARICATURAL ALTERATIONS TO THE PORTRAITS. The collection of some 60 printed portraits represents a cross-section of the great and the good of Victorian society, drawn from all walks of life but particularly well-represented in the musical field. Their whiskery distinction and the charitable purpose of the publication in which they appear, however, has not deterred Max Beerbohm from practising his acute caricatural art on each and every one of them, sometimes to devastatingly humourous effect. With the aid of a pen and indian ink, he has set about altering profiles, features and clothing - including those of his own brother Herbert Beerbohm Tree who now sports an enormous handlebar moustache (before and after images illustrated above). The portrait of himself (on page 16), is, however, left unvandalised.
The "altered" portraits are of Alfred Austin (Poet Laureate), Arthur William à Beckett, F. Anstey, Sir Robert Ball, F. C. Burnand, William Archer, Sir Walter Besant, Augustine Birrell, Dr. Troutbeck, Sir Frederick Bridge, C. Haddon Chambers, Hall Caine, Frederic H. Cowen, John Davidson, Frank Dicksee (an untitled portrait of a woman by him), Edward Elgar, A. Conan Doyle, Edward German, Sydney Grundy, W. E. Henley, Basil Hood, Dean Hole, Anthony Hope, Violet Hunt, Henry Arthur Jones, Andrew Lang, Sidney Lee, Sir A. C. Mackenzie, Hamish MacCunn, F. Frankfort Moore, Sir Lewis Morris, Gilbert Parker, Louis N. Parker, Sir Hubert Parry, W. Pett Ridge, Stephen Phillips, C. Villiers Stanford, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Lloyd Sanders, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Mrs Humphrey Ward, William Watson, Theodore Watts-Dunton, I. Zangwill, Arthur W. Pinero, W. L. Courtney, The Honourable Francis Lawley and Herbert Beerbohm Tree. Also included in the lot, and contained in a modern common slipcase, is another copy of the book with the portraits in their original condition, enabling instructive comparisons.
The book was included in the sale of The Library and Literary Manuscripts of the Late Sir Max Beerbohm held at Sotheby's in London on 12 and 13 December 1960 (lot 209) where it fetched 480 - the fifth highest price of the sale.