The concept of “Cat” shows was still very new in the early 1870’s and truly captured the imagination of Victorian spectators, used to a regular diet of “Naturalist” exhibitions. The media of the day gave such events consistently good coverage, including The Illustrated London News, The Graphic, The Pictorial World, and the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News among others. This particular image comes from the January 27th, 1872 edition of the supplement to “Harpers Weekly” (USA) and the caption simply reads: “Prize Cats at The Crystal Palace”. It is the work of newspaper artist, Percy MacQuoid. An earlier, non-coloured version of this piece was originally printed in the December 16th, 1871 edition of “The Graphic” and that version is also available on this site.
Such images are of significance as they assist in putting these events into an historic and social perspective. They are also a valuable eye witness record and a useful snapshot of social commentary at the time.
The Show took place on December 2nd to 4th, 1871; and was in fact, the second National Cat Show at the Crystal Palace that year. Although this image was not drawn by Weir, the Judges for this show are recorded as: Mr Harrison Weir, Rev.J.Cumming Macdona, Lady Mildred Beresford-Hope, Lady Dorothy Nevill, Lady Cust,and the Hon.Mrs Henry Walpole (a relative of Lady Dorothy).
Prints are currently available in A4, A3 and A2 sizing options. A1 is currently being considered.
Detail: Rare violet persian (possibly Bluecream) Detail: Wildcat Hybrids (from Regents Park, Scottish Wild Cat cross)
Detail: Silver Tabby Detail: Best Litter of Kittens
Detail: Prize winning litter Detail: Mouse coloured English (British Blue)
Detail: Tortoiseshell Tom Cat Detail: Persian Cats (note odd-eyed White)
Detail: Abyssinian (The first recorded as shown)