Sunday, December 4, 2011

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: A Caricature of Edwin Boyde Performing the sketch ‘Bread and Jam,' 1904

The Victoria & Albert Museum

In the early Twentieth Century, caricatures were all the rage—especially those of celebrities. This caricature depicts the famed comedian Edwin Boyde performing one of his celebrated sketches--‘Bread and Jam’ at the Grand Theatre of Varieties, Hanley on December 12, 1904--exactly sixty-four years to the day before my birth. (Just some personal trivia in case anyone cares.)

Boyde was billed exuberantly as “London’s Greatest Comedian from all the principal London music halls.” The character of the actor has been depicted by George Cooke who captured the images of many Edwardian Music Hall stars and compiled them in a series of albums.

The scene shown here was Boyde’s “comic ditty based on the breakfast table and his slapstick sketch about an old man in a lodging house, who holds a big slab of bread and jam, into which he is pushed face down by fellow lodgers.” It was, in fact, his most popular sketch.

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