In April 1871, New York antiquarian bookseller, Joseph Sabin (1821-1881) told why works by artist George Cruikshank (1792-1878) were valued and deemed collectible.
“CRUIKSHANK. This veteran inimitable and popular artist, whose works have afforded boundless amusement to all classes on both sides of the Atlantic, …. … There is no living artist who has used his pencil so often or so well for the benefit of mankind. Society owes him a debt not only for much enjoyment but for many valuable lessons. He is a great teacher of morality, whom the people should ‘delight to honor.’ It need only be added that George is popular among his associates. His face is an index to his mind. There is nothing anomalous about him or his doings. His appearance, his illustrations, his speeches are all alike – all picturesque, full of fun, feeling, geniality and quaintness. His seriousness is grotesque, and his drollery is profound. He is the prince of living caricaturists, and one of the best of men.”
The American Bibliopolist Vol 3 1871 page 134-135.
Note on pictures above: At right, detail from a photograph taken ca. 1920 of Case 50 in the Exhibition Room of the Princeton University Library. The case shows several books from the Library’s collection of George Cruikshank, presented by Richard Waln Meirs, Class of 1888, in 1913. Two items are identifiable: cover of My Sketch Book (1834, issued in 9 parts) and plate 3 of part 6 “Porters.” [Call number: (GA) Cruik 1834.2q]
Further details about the Library’s extensive holdings of Cruikshank books, prints, drawings, and manuscripts are the following links: