GALLERY: Belcher in the Public Bar

It is George Belcher’s reputation that he never uses professional models. For 40 of his 63 years he has haunted the bar parlors of second-rate London pubs in his search for the frowsy charladies, convivial rumpots, and pompus harpies whom he cajoles, wheedles and bribes into posing for the long series of charcoal and soft ground etchings that has made his work familar to every reader of Punch.

LIFE magazine, 7 march, 1938.

Most of the pictures in this gallery first appeared in Punch c.1914; we’ve chosen to omit the original joke captions because (a) they’re not all that funny and (b) they rather undercut the power of the images to evoke pub life of a hundred years ago.

3 replies on “GALLERY: Belcher in the Public Bar”

In a couple of those such as the one with the back of bar view, bartender sitting the drinking vessel appears to be as wide as it is tall and there is a consistent design like a garland long the rim. Are those pottery quart pots? Would those have been pink a la “Moon Under Water”?

I’m sure they’re mesant to be pottery mugs, Alan, though not necessarily quarts. There were quite a few other designs, including the sort of mochaware illustrated here, an example of which I have, and which I am staggered to see now go for £100+.

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