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Arthur Burdett Frost caricature: C.5F-1949

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Object information

Awaiting location update


Arthur Burdett Frost caricature


Decorator: Barnard, Frederick




Square, white earthenware tile with over-glaze image painted in brown enamel.

A gawky, bearded, young man, wearing an ill-fitting check suit and high collar, stands pigeon-toed looking at a dog. The dog, a dachshund or similar, is performing tricks – standing on its forelegs and winding its tail around its raised rear body. At right is an American flag above the initials A.B.F (part of the ‘F’ rubbed away), below which is the inscription ‘The […] Frost on record’. The tile is an industrially produced blank, from pressed dust; on the reverse is an impressed diamond pattern. It is fixed in a (later) wooden frame and stand.


History note: Bequeathed by Miss Dorothy Barnard, the artist’s daughter

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Miss Dorothy Barnard, the artist’s daughter

Measurements and weight

Height: 15.2 cm
Width: 15.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1949) by Barnard, Dorothy


19th Century, Late#
Production date: circa AD 1880


Fred(erick) Barnard (1846-96), the son of a silversmith, was an illustrator, caricaturist, genre painter and portraitist. After training in Paris, he contributed to journals, such as 'Punch', ‘Harper’s Weekly’ and the 'Illustrated London News' and became known as an illustrator of Dickens and Bunyan. He also showed large-scale canvasses at the Royal Academy which commented on urban social conditions; a reviewer greeted his ‘Saturday Night in the East End’, 1876, as amongst ‘the most remarkable illustrations of London low-life […] full of grime and flare, and of human uncouthness’. He settled for a time in Broadway, Gloucestershire, where John Singer Sargent painted his wife Alice Faraday (‘Mrs Frederick Barnard’, 1885), and his two daughters Polly and Dorothy (‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’, 1885-86) [Tate, nos. N05901 and N01615] , and his neighbours included Henry James and Edmund Gosse, the latter recording him wearing an ‘enormous stage slouch hat’. The Fitzwilliam Museum also holds a portrait of Dorothy Barnard, the donor, painted by Sargent in 1889.

One of a series of seven tiles, each depicting a fellow contemporary artist, this design is a caricature of Arthur Burdett Frost (1851-1928), an American illustrator and graphic artist. Though color blind, Frost illustrated more than ninety books as well as journals such as Harper's Weekly and Life magazine. An ardent sportsman, he also produced dramatic hunting and shooting watercolours, oils and prints. In 1877- 1878, Frost came to London to study with other cartoonists, and worked with Barnard, Charles Green and others on a Household Edition of Dickens novels published by Chapman & Hall. Later he published stories formed of sequential drawings with captions, a form that would develop into comic strips.

School or Style

Arts and Crafts (movement)

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( brown) clear glaze

Materials used in production

White earthenware

Techniques used in production

Dust pressing : White earthenware tiles, painted overglaze with brown enamel

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On back of tile
  • Method of creation: Inscribed on label
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.5F-1949
Primary reference Number: 15297
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Tuesday 5 March 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Arthur Burdett Frost caricature" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-24 01:10:06

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{{cite web|url= |title=Arthur Burdett Frost caricature |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-24 01:10:06|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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