New York, East
24 November 1998
BEERBOHM, MAX. Original self-caricature of Beerbohm as Apollo, driving the Chariot of the Sun. [N.p.] 1902. 320 x 205 mm (12.5/8 x 8 in.), pencil, ink, and yellow watercolor on stiff tan paper, framed. With "spoof" inscription by Beerbohm in lower right blank area: "Sandringham House, Norfolk -- November 10, 1902. Mr. Max Beerbohm is in receipt of Mr. Norreys O'Connell's interesting design. He has submitted it to H.I.M. William II, who has been graciously pleased to be disgusted by its sordid realism and to forbid Mr. Beerbohm to bestow on Mr. Connell the tin medal which has been prepared. In accordance to his custom, the Imperial Idealist [Kaiser Wilhelm II] has with His own hand roughed out the accompanying picture [Beerbohm as Apollo], to be developed (in mosaic: 60 feet x 40 feet) at Mr. Connell's leisure."
Kaiser Wilhelm visited Sandringham for the birthday of King Edward VII on 9 November 1902. "Norreys Connell" was the pen name of Conal O'Riordan (1874-1948), actor, dramatist and novelist, who in 1909 succeeded J.M. Synge as director of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. This caricature with "spoof" inscription was sent by Max to O'Riordan in November 1902 in response to a humorous (and amateurish) sketch by O'Riordan now in the Beerbohm Room at Merton College, Oxford (a photocopy of this sketch is on back of the frame). Entitled "Birthday Honours," the O'Riordan sketch depicts Max receiving a royal award while a guest at Sandringham and bears a long and cumbersome joke inscription. Apparently never exhibited nor published. Rupert Hart-Davis, A Catalogue of the Caricatures of Max Beerbohm (1972), no. 1415.
Conal O'Riordan (sent by Max Beerbohm); Mrs. O'Riordan; H.A. Cahn.
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