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 December 2nd, 1871 edition of “The Graphic” and the caption simply reads: “Cats and Cat Shows”. It is signed (initialed) by F.S.W.
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. Note: we have added a detail showing the image “in situ” on the page of “The Graphic”. If desired, prints may be ordered of the whole page image, including the newspaper header.
Detail: 1871 -Cats and Cat Shows (The Spectators)
Details: 1871 – Cats and Cat Shows (The cats!)
Detail: Full page of “Cats and Cat Shows” from ‘The Graphic’