Signed and dedicated to an unknown recipient “Compliments of yours truly, Leon Barritt" this large pen and ink political cartoon offers a biting commentary on the second phase of the Anglo-Boer War as seen through American eyes. Titled “A Slippery Customer” the cartoon depicts the then military situation in southern Africa is depicted as tusky wild boar (I am sure the Boer/boar pun was fully intended) giving a badly outmaneuvered John Bull the slip.
Leon Barritt was born in New York in 1852. Working for the New York Press. His hard-hitting political cartoons made him an enemy to the likes of William Randolph Hearst. In later life when his career as a cartoonist was sidelined by paralysis, he devoted himself to his second passion of astronomy. He became the publisher of The Monthly Evening Sky Map magazine.
Barritt died in New York in 1938.
A Slippery Customer is in a simpler style than Barritt usually worked in and may have been done as a gift and not intended for broad publication. Unfortunately, the intended recipient is not known, Barritt signed the cartoon twice. One in the cursive dedication and secondly in his usual cartouche. He also titled the work twice. Once in block letters (replete with a corrected spelling error) in the drawing itself, and secondly on the lower margin in cursive.
Pen & Ink Political Cartoon
20 Inches by 16 Inches
(50.8cm x 40.6cm)