Automobile (The Comte de Dion)
12th October 1899.
10 x 15 inches
Chromolithograph, published 1899.
A early print featuring a motorbike. The Comte de Dion was the head of the largest motorcycle company in France and is shown astride a motorised tricycle wearing a straw boater and smoking a cigarette!
For nearly 50 years from 1868 until the outbreak of war in 1914, Vanity Fair produced weekly caricatures of royalty, politicians, cultural and sporting icons and other leading figures of the day. It became the most successful society magazine in the history of English journalism and its distinctive caricatures captured the people who shaped the British Empire when it was at the height of its powers. There were few within the Victorian and Edwardian establishment who were not secretly flattered to appear within the pages of Vanity Fair. The caricatures continue to fascinate the scholar and less serious collector alike for their historical and biographical value as well as their artistic and satirical qualities.