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The Sketch

172, Strand, London, W.C.

The Sketch was one of the 'Great Eight' weekly 'news' magazines published in London in the early 20th century. Its aim was to inform people in high society about the arts, mainly about the theatre. During the Great War it offered little coverage of events, that was left to The Illustrated London News, which was published from the same offices.

These were both large format magazines, almost 36 by 26 cm, and The Sketch had very odd page numbering: the first pages of adverts were lettered from 'a' onwards; then pages were numbered until a 12-page 'Supplement' in the middle, which had separately numbered pages; the numbering continued until the final pages - mostly adverts - which were given Roman numerals.

Blampied's drawings featured in The Sketch in two main periods: from 1912 to 1916, when he usually provided a drawing in the Supplement of a pretty but anodyne young woman; and from 1935 to 1939, when he provided humorous drawings, some of which featured two 'tramps' named 'Orace and George who ruminated on events, and then he illustrated more of the 'schoolboy howlers' that were featured in the books published by Methuen. School girls didn't make 'howlers' in those days. The market for etchings had collapsed after 1930 in the Great depression, so Blampied had to make a living as an illustrator again.

These magazines usually had a large and lavishly illustrated Christmas issue, although during the Great War they were more restrained. The Christmas issue of The Sketch in 1933 is notable for a cartoon by Blampied signed Hebee, a play on his initials.

Photo of magazine cover

Blampied's only cover design (click to enlarge)

The Sketch was one of the few magazines that published drawings by Blampied after the Second World War, but they were very sketchy cartoons, and his heart wasn't in the work.

Published: 2,989 weekly issues from February 1893 to June 1959

Price: 6 pence until the early 1920s, then 1 shilling. Christmas issues were double the cost of the weekly paper.

Numbering: Each volume contained 12 weekly issues for 3 months from January to March, April to June, July to September, and October to December. All issues were numbered consecutively.

Pages: 48 pp in the 1910s; 86 pp in the 1920s; 58 pp in the 1930s. All pages were numbered consecutively within each volume.

Dimensions: 357 x 258 in the 1910s; 327 x 250 mm in the 1920s; 317 x 240 m in the 1930s

Editor: Bruce Ingram (1877-1963)

Printer: The Illustrated London News and Sketch Ltd, Milford Lane, London, W.C.

Blampied issues: 115

Image of drawing1912-1913 (14 issues)     Image of drawing1914-1915 (16 issues)   Image of page1916-1919 (9 issues)

Image of drawing1920-1934 (4 issues)     Image of drawing1935 (31 issues)       Image of page1936-1937 (10 issues)

Image of page1938 (23 issues)       Image of page1939-1951 (8 issues)