Thursday, 10 July 2014

Monograms of Charles Henry Bennett

Charles Henry Bennett (1829-1867) was an illustrator and caricaturist of comic genius. 

To view more about him and some of his illustrations in books, you can start with the wiki article.

Simon Houfe, in The Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists 1800-1914. Woodbridge, Antique Collectors Club, 1978, p. 232, states; “His earliest work is signed with an owl and a ‘B’ in its beak for a phonetic pun on Bennett.”

Below are a couple of examples of Bennett’s monograms. 

The first image below is on the front cover of Nine lives of a cat.  (You can view the full picture and a description of the design in the British Library database of bookbindings.)

You can see the the ‘C’ and the ‘B’ conjoined with the middle initial, the ‘H’. This monogram appears on many of Bennett’s illustrations. 

 The second example is on the spine of Quarles’s Emblems. A hugely elaborate all over design on both covers and on the spine, (British Library shelf mark 1347f11), here we see the joined monograms of Bennett and of William Harry Rogers. This is the only example I have so far encountered of two monograms being blocked together. 

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