The Sphere and Tatler, Ltd., Great New Street, London E.C.
The Sphere, subtitled An Illustrated Newspaper for the Home, was one of the Great Eight magazines published in London in the early 20th century. The others included The Illustrated London News, The Sketch and The Graphic, all of which printed Blampied's drawings between 1913 and the early 1920s. The Sphere was established in 1900 by the journalist Clement Shorter who also founded The Sketch and The Tatler. The magazine closed in June 1964 after 3,343 issues, perhaps because daily newspapers and television had replaced the market for a weekly news magazine with photographs.
In the 1910s The Sphere was a very large magazine and the Christmas issues were substantial and lavish. The Christmas number in 1915 had a printed wrapper made of textured paper with a cut-out, to show the picture on the cover; 56 pages of heavy coated paper and many original illustrations, three of which were by Blampied in colour, including the title page (see left); and an insert of several pages of dark textured paper with tipped-in reproductions of artwork in colour. There was very little within its covers about the war.
I think that Blampied may have started working for the magazine in a minor way, providing small line drawings of women's fashions for the weekly article by
Angela called About woman's sphere and interests. These drawings were simply initialled
B– (see below, left). The angular letter B is similar to the first letter of Blampied's signature in the first piece of sheet music he decorated in 1911. And a drawing of the same type is printed in the same column in the magazine on 27th February 1915 which is signed
Blampied in full (see below, right), although the weekly feature had been renamed Woman's sphere in war time and was by
Olivia. However the drawings are not very assured (but could be hurried) and the initial B could be a coincidence. There are 21 of these small drawings, published between 27th Febrary 1913 and 17th January 1914, when Blampied started to get more substantial commissions from the magazine perhaps, but I have not listed or shown them here.
What is notable is that more than one illustration by Blampied was used in several special issues, such as the three drawings in colour in the Christmas number in 1915 and four drawings in the Summer Season Number of 1920. He may well have been sent to see Anna Pavlova in
Sleeping Beauty at Drury Lane in 1920 so that he could draw her for the magazine in her costume.
The double page painting in colour of the Thames at Henley in the issue of 2nd July 1921 is a lovely example of Blampied's work, in an unusual style. I suspect that it was done from a monochrome photograph, because of the way that three people are looking up, and Blamped added the bright primary colours.
I have searched 804 issues of the magazine from July 1912 to December 1917, when Blampied returned to Jersey; from July 1919, when he returned to London, to June 1927, when he left England for Tunisia; and all issues in 1935 and 1936. I spent a lot of time in the Bodleian Library.
Title page of the Christmas number of The Sphere in 1915
Simple fashion drawings: signed 'B' in 1913 (L) and 'Blampied' in 1915 (R).
Numbering: Each volume was 13 issues a quarter, all issues sequentially numbered.
Price: 6 pence, then 1 shilling from 20 March 1920.
Pages: 30 pages in 1915; 36 pages in 1920; Christmas and summer numbers had more pages
Dimensions: 425 x 210 mm
Editor: Clement Shorter from 1900-1926
Printer: Eyre & Spottiswode Ltd, His Majesty's Printers, East Harding Street, London E.C.
Blampied issues: 15
Type: MO = monochrome drawing; CO = colour drawing; the number indicates the number of drawings or pages.
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Issue: 18-Apr-1914, vol. 57, no. 743, page 83. Price: 6 d. Type: CO2. Title: Spring Section of "The Sphere". Wayward Aurora visits the fields of Arcady.
Issue: 18-Apr-1914, vol. 57, no. 743, page 86. Price: 6 d. Type: CO2. Title: Spring Section of "The Sphere". The passing of winter - the last use of fur.
Issue: 2-May-1914, vol. 57, no. 745, Special Guide to the London Season, page 155. Price: 6d. Type: CO1. Title: Cupid in the park. Author: None
Issue: 2-May-1914, vol. 57, no. 745, Special Guide to the London Season, page 156. Price: 6d. Type: CO2. Title: The Season in London, 1914. My lady walls. Before the mirror. Author: M.S.W.
[These two illustrations were also reproduced in a Spanish magazine called La Esfera which, curiously, means The Sphere.]
Issue: 20-Jun-1914, vol. 57, no. 752, The Summer Season 1914, page 352. Price: 1/-. Type: CO1. Title: The Season of 1914. The Hendon Girl of 1914.
Issue: 20-Jun-1914, vol. 57, no. 752, The Summer Season 1914, page 353. Price: 1/-. Type: CO1. Title: The 1914 season: in Kensington Gardens. Tea in Kensington Gardens under the elms.
Issue: 20-Jun-1914, vol. 57, no. 752, The Summer Season 1914, page 358. Price: 1/-. Type: CO1. Title: The 1914 Polo Season.
Issue: 20-Jun-1914, vol. 57, no. 752, The Summer Season 1914, page 362. Price: 1/-. Type: CO1. Title: The Popularity of the four-in-hand.
Issue: 4-Jul-1914, vol. 58, no. 754, page 24. Price: 6d. Type: CO1. Title: Henley's Royal Regatta. Author: Reed, R.C.
Issue: 27-Feb-1915, vol. 60, no. 788, page ii-iv. Price: 6d. Type: MO1. Title: Woman's Sphere in War Time. Author: Olivia
Issue: 11-Nov-1915, vol. 63, no. 776A, Christmas Number, page 1. Price: 1/-. Type: MO1. Title: The trophy.
Issue: 11-Nov-1915, vol. 63, no. 776A, Christmas Number, page 10. Price: 1/-. Type: CO1. Title: Ministering Angels, 1915.
Issue: 11-Nov-1915, vol. 63, no. 776A, Christmas Number, page 26. Price: 1/-. Type: CO1. Title: I know two bright eyes.
Issue: 26-Nov-1917, vol. 71, no. 931A, Christmas Number. For home and beauty, page 1. Price: 1/6. Type: CO1. Title: Christmas leave - it was like this, Mother.
Issue: 26-Nov-1917, vol. 71, no. 931A, Christmas Number - for home and beauty, page 16. Price: 1/6. Type: CO1. Title: Seventeen and nineteen.
Issue: 4-May-1918, vol. 73, no. 954, Women in Wartime Number, page 92. Price: 1/6. Type: CO1. Title: Nursing the wounded, Spring, 1918.
Issue: 26-Jun-1920, vol. 81, no. 1066, Summer Season Number, page 332. Price: 1/-. Type: MO1. Title: Discussing the performance.
Issue: 26-Jun-1920, vol. 81, no. 1066, Summer Season Number, page 333. Price: 1/-. Type: CO1. Title: The 1920 Season: as recorded by Blampied. Pavlova's ballet season at Drury Lane. The spirited and beautiful dancing of Madame Pavlova at Drury Lane has been one of the aesthetic successes of the season. She is here seen in the choreographic part of the Princess Aurore in the ballet of
The Sleeping Beauty.
Issue: 26-Jun-1920, vol. 81, no. 1066, Summer Season Number, page 334-335. Price: 1/-. Type: CO1. Title: The season of 1920. As recorded by Blampied. Mr Edmund Blampied here gives us a corner of Kensington Gardens on a warm, sunny afternoon in June. The return of the war hero to the silk hat is here set on record.
Issue: 26-Jun-1920, vol. 81, no. 1066, Summer Season Number, page 336. Price: 1/-. Type: CO2. Title: The season of 1920: as recorded by Blampied. Top: Discussing water-colours at the Fine Art Galleries in Bond Street. Bottom: Afternoon in Piccadilly.
Issue: 9-Oct-1920, vol. 83, no. 1081, page 45. Price: 1/-. Type: MO1. Title: At the farm - an autumn study, by E. Blampied. A slim farm hand, mounted on an enormous carthorse, turns her head towards the farm again after a strenuous day's work..
[This drawing is dated 1917 but has not been found in any earlier issue of The Sphere.]
Issue: 16-Apr-1921, vol. 85, no. 1108, Spring Number, page 65. Price: 1/-. Type: CO1. Title: Spring 1921. Sweet Lady-Flower, I never brought, Hither the least one theeving (sic) thought: But taking those rare lips of yours, For some fresh, luscious flowers: I thought I might there take a taste, Where so much sirrop ran at waste - Herrick.
Issue: 2-Jul-1921, vol. 86, no. 1119, page 18-19. Price: 1/-. Type: CO1. Title: The great river carnival of the Thames - An impression of Henley.
[It is possible that Blampied was influenced in this picture by the painting style of Vincent van Gogh, but the first exhibition of his paintings was not shown in London until December 1923, but it was held at the Leicester Galleries of Ernest Brown and Phillips, where Blampied also had shows, so perhaps they had shown some of van Gogh's work before then which Blampied had seen?]
Issue: 28-Nov-1921, vol. 87, no. 1140A, Christmas Number, page 33. Price: 2/-. Type: CO1. Title: Christmas sprites.
Issue: 21-Jun-1924, vol. 97, no. 1274, Summer Season Number, page 332. Price: 1/-. Type: CO2. Title: The season of 1924: two Blampied visions of beauty by day and night. L At once a weapon and a shield - the parasol. R. Armed with ermine cloak and feathered fan - at an evening reception.
Issue: Dec-1927, vol. 111, no. 1452A, Christmas number, page 40. Price: 2/-. Type: MO1. Title: Hearts Aflame. Author: Manning Campbell.
[This uses part of a drawing called
Seventeen and nineteen that had appeared in the Christmas issue of 1917.]