(click image to enlarge)
SIGNED WITH MONOGRAM AND DATED 1883
INSCRIBED WITH TITLE AND PUBLICATION DETAILS ON ORIGINAL MOUNT
8 1/4 X 6 1/4 INCHES
PROVENANCE: MARY GREEN (NEE TENNIEL). THE ARTIST'S SISTER,
AND THENCE BY FAMILY DESCENT
ILLUSTRATED: PUNCH, 9 JUNE 1883, PAGE 171
EXHIBITED: 'THE ILLUSTRATORS. THE BRITISH ART OF ILLUSTRATION 1837-2012',
NOVEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013, NO 121
At the height of the racing season, Tenniel compares the decision to drop the Municipal Reform Bill for London to a horse that is scratched from a race. Gladstone, the Liberal Prime Minister, in the role of trainer, gives the order to the ‘jockey’, the Secretary of State for Home Affairs, Sir William Vernon Harcourt (1827-1904).
Intended to consolidate the administration of London, the bill was originally suggested to Harcourt by Sir Charles Dilke (1843-1911), the President of the Local Government Board.
It failed as the result of an argument about the democratic control of the police: Harcourt ‘wished to retain Home Office control ... whereas Dilke was for handing it over to a watch committee of the new corporation’ (David Nicholls, The Lost Prime Minister: a Life of Sir Charles Dilke, London: The Hambledon Press, 1995, page 126).