Pears Soap original Victorian painting to be sold by primary school



2015-06-26 10:43:47

Pears Soap original Victorian painting to be sold by primary school

31 May 2012, 10:24 GMT+01

The original painting for an iconic Victorian Pears Soap advertisement will be sold at Bonhams’ 19th Century Painting sale, 11th July.

The painting, entitled Captain of the Eleven, was painted in 1882 by Philip Hermogenes Calderon. It depicts a young boy playing cricket.

It was first included in the Pears Annual of 1898, after Pears managing director Thomas Barratt, responsible for the famous Pears Bubbles advert and known to many as the father of modern advertising, saw its potential for popularity among the contemporary audience.

The image represented a significant Victorian ideal of childhood innocence, truth and honesty to a society emerging from that era into that of the early 20th century. Its popularity in Victorian England grew as it was reproduced in many forms including posters, postcards, and on presentation cricket bats.

For the last 86 years, the painting has hung in a Blackpool primary school, after being gifted by a former governor in 1926. It is now being sold, at an estimate of £100,000-£150,000, to raise money for the school to allow them to continue their passionate crusade to ensure opportunities for children.

The artist, Philip Calderon, painted in a Pre-Raphaelite style before turning his attention to historical painting. He was at the head of a Victorian artistic group known as the St John’s Wood Clique. These artists aimed to introduce a fresh approach to the historical genre.

The Pears Soap Company was vastly influential in the development of advertising methods, using art and illustration and the Pears Christmas Annual with stories and prints. Items relating to the company’s history and particularly advertising are hugely collectible.


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