Not Krakatoa, Karaktus

Keeping up appearances
was a very important
cultural imperative to
folks in the early 1900’s.

It may seem,
today,
that any artist
would shudder
at the thought
of creating hundreds
of pieces without the
ability to take credit
for them…..

But, we can certainly
understand why an
artist back then might
be very careful …

The clearest
example that
I can point to,
is in the case of
“King of Saucy
Postcards ” Donald
McGill, whose very
funny double-entendre
postcards generated
an awful lot of drama
and aggravation for him,
up to and including
an obscenity prosecution
(more like persecution)
in his native country
of Britain.

So, many artists chose
to veil their identities
behind pseudonyms,
which have kept things
calm on the home front,
but makes identification
of their work very
difficult for today’s
collectors.

Today, I offer a
prime illustration
( if you will…. )
of this principle —
the postcard creations
of one ” Karaktus “,
an artist doing work
for the Crown Publishing
Company in St. Albans,
England around the
turn of the century.

I have known several
individuals who insist
that Karaktus was a
well known illustrator
who also did cards
under his own name —
Fred Spurgin.

I’m a fan of his work,
and Karaktus’s, as well.

I just don’t see enough
similarities to say the
two people were one
and the same.

And nobody else has
been able to find out
just who Karaktus was.

( If you’d like to compare
the work of the two
yourself, see one of my
posts featuring Fred
Spurgin art here

It’s a mystery that
probably never
will be solved.

But, at least we can
enjoy his cards,
remembering,
of course,
that being an artist
isn’t always as easy
as it seems.

!!! HOY !!!

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2 thoughts on “Not Krakatoa, Karaktus

  1. This is such an interesting mystery!
    And the artwork on these cards is great and their messages are fun!
    I especially got a giggle out of the last one! 😀
    HUGS!!! 🙂

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