Reference numberVF/30
Alternative reference numberVF30
TitlePortrait of Lyon Playfair by Carlo Pellegrini
ArtistPellegrini, Carlo ['Ape']
Vincent Brooks, Day & Son
Date20 February 1875
DescriptionVanity Fair cartoon titled 'Chemistry' featuring Lyon Playfair holding a bundle of papers. Full length, right profile. Number 195 of the 'Statesmen' series.
InscriptionContentRecto inscription: 'VANITY FAIR Feby 20 1875/ Vincent Brooks Day & Son. Lith/ “Chemistry”’
CaptionStatesmen. No. 195
Dr Lyon Playfair, C.B., M.P.
He was born five-and-fifty years ago in India; he took early to Scotland and chemistry, he engaged naturally in calico-printing, and he became a chemical professor in Manchester. In his particular vocation he grew to be an authority, was set to do various things by the Government, and, being adopted as a Special Commissioner in the Exhibition of 1851, he blossomed into a Companion of the Bath and a Court functionary, so far as the Prince Consort could make him one. Of course he became one of the Department of Science and Art when that was invented, and he has been made a member of many learned societies, a Knight of many Orders, and a Doctor of Laws by the University of Edinburgh. He believes truly in nothing but chemistry, but in that he believes always and everywhere. He has attached himself to Ozokerit candles and Liberalism, and thus has become a Member of Parliament, where he has been believed to be distinguished without ever having proved that he was a statesman. Wherefore he was made a Postmaster-General, for which he proved his peculiar fitness by discovering that if penny stamps had been blue instead of red he could have saved the country thirty thousand a year. Nevertheless, before he took office he was wont to attempt criticism of the Liberal Leader; but although he always assumed to exercise an independent judgment, it always led him to give a dependent vote. He is an excellent Professor.
Physical descriptionColoured lithograph on paper, mounted on card
Dimensions380mm x 263mm
NotesText is accompanying article from "Vanity Fair" (by Jehu Junior?)
Access statusOpen
ProvenancePurchased by the Royal Society from Patrick Pollak Antiquarian & Rare Books, September 1999
Related materialColour transparency, Box N101. IM/003601
Related records in the catalogueIM/003601
Fellows associated with this archive
NA8270Playfair; Lyon (1818 - 1898); 1st Baron Playfair1818 - 1898
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