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Nibs (Frederick Drummond Niblett) (1861-1928)

Frederick Drummond Niblett, RSA (1861-1928), known as ‘Nibs’

Though too little known today, Frederick Drummond Niblett produced some of the most striking caricatures of the Edwardian period in a style reminiscent of the posters and illustrations of William Nicholson and James Pryde, who worked together as the ‘Beggarstaff Brothers’.

Frederick Drummond Niblett was born in Edinburgh as possibly the youngest of three children of an English father, the commission agent, Francis Burgess Niblett, and his Irish wife, Eliza (née George). His uncle was Vice-Admiral H S F Niblett, and he too was intended for the sea. Educated at Fettes College, he then studied architecture, which led him into an artistic career. In the early 1880s, he worked from 17 Drummond Place (1882) and then from Albert Studios, Shandwick Place (1884), designing posters and painting portraits in oil and watercolours of churches. Two of his views of St Giles’ Cathedral were exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy (1882 and 1884).

Niblett is likely to have moved to London in the mid 1880s to establish himself as an illustrator.

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