Herbert Samuel Bert Thomas (1883-1966) born in Newport, Monmouthshire. His father Job Thomas was a monumental sculptor who had helped decorate the Houses of Parliament. Bert at age 14 was apprenticed to a commercial metal engraver in Swansea, engraving names on brass doorplates and monograms on cutlery. He sketched in his spare time and sold his first cartoon to the magazine Pick-Me-Up, subsequently providing music-hall cartoons for local newspapers. At 17 Sir George Newnes, MP for Swansea saw and published some of his cartoons. In 1900 Albert Chevalier, a popular music-hall comedian, paid him £5 to design a poster, which was so successful that he moved to London. He got a job as Art Editor with an advertising agency Percy Bradshaw. He freelanced for Pick-Me-Up, The Bystander and The Graphic and other papers and in 1905 began a long association with Punch, which published more than 1,000 of his cartoons. In 1909 he began an even longer association with London Opinion, with political and social cartoons. He enlisted with the Artists' Rifles during the First WW. His most famous cartoon, which he drew in ten minutes during the early months of the war was of a grinning Cockney Tommy lighting a pipe Arf a Mo, Kaiser. The purpose was to raise funds to supply tobacco and cigarettes to front-line soldiers. It raised £250,000. The cartoon was re-used during the 2nd WW. Thomas contributed to a huge number of magazines , produced memorable posters during the 2ndWW including the series Is your journey really necessary which he drew in 1942 for the Railway Executive Committee. He published cartoon and other books, include Red and Black:A Book of Drawings 1928; Fun at the Seaside (1944) and A Trip on a Barge (1947). He also designed postcards and sketched portraits in the 1930's and 40's including one of Nancy Astor.
screen printed cotton handkerchief Umbrella Man the centre with a man parachuting, the four corners with The Air Minded Marshall with an officer holding binoculars; Taking Off a young girl underessing; Tails Up two dogs playing; Contact a couple embracing, all in yellow and beige on a white ground, with beige border, 17 in; 43 cm sq.
A little washed out. Obviously well used.
See British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent.
An oil c 1913 and two silhouettes 1937 are held by the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Price: £55 | $80 | €60
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