London: Vanity Fair, June 9, 1877. Spy cartoon of the eminent Victorian cricketer, with a cut signature of Grace. Impressive full length portrait of Grace, putting on his right hand glove, his bat tucked under one arm, wearing a colorful hooped cap and sash. His beard carefully trimmed and a quizzical expression on his face.
William Gilbert Grace (1848 - 1915), was an British amateur cricketer considered to be one of the greatest players of the game and known by all as W. G. (also the Doctor, the Champion, the Big 'Un, and the Old Man). The Guardian said of Grace: "Dr. William Gilbert Grace was by common consent the greatest and most attractive figure that ever appeared on the cricket field. In his all-round mastery of the game, in the length of years during which he stood far above all rivals, in the amazing sum total of his cricketing achievements, and by no means least of all in the popular interest he excited, no cricketer, living or dead, has ever approached him, and it is doubtful if any ever will... For many years he held the record for the highest individual score. The most remarkable year of Dr. Grace's career was 1895, when he was 47 years of age. In that season he scored a thousand runs before the end of May, completed his hundredth century and finally scored 2,346 runs. (The Guardian, obituary Monday 25 October 1915).
Printed for "Vanity Fair" magazine supplement, color chromolithograph, 10 1/2 x 16" [with] nicely signed autograph "W. G. Grace" in black ink and underlined, approximately 4 1/2 x 1 1/2". The caricature with a shallow quarter inch crescent chip at right edge and faint damp stain which is completely obscured by archival mounting. Very good condition. Item #21945