Monday, 4 October 2021

Raymond Sheppard and Regent Petrol

Picture Post 12 November 1956

In a previous article we looked at Raymond Sheppard's work for Regent Oil Vaporising Oil . Today I want to move on to other Regent products starting with the Regent 100 Petrol adverts.

"It's the most dynamic petrol of all time!" they boasted in 1956. This Regent 'lion' advert has been found in various local newspapers dating between 31 August to the 12 November 1956, from the Marylebone Mercury (31 August 1956) to the local to Raymond Sheppard Harrow Observer (20 September 1956) all the way to Aberdeen Evening Express (9 October 1956) and Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail (12 November 1956), so all corners of Britain. They might also have local garages listed who were stockists.

The full advert

It's interesting to note how Regent used a lion and Esso used a tiger for their adverts! More on Sheppard's involvement with the latter another day!#

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 7 February 1951
"Nature protects the Stoat in winter"

The next series Sheppard appears to have completed is for "Regent lubrication protects your tractor" in which Sheppard produced black and white drawings of animals. To date I have found five of them. I'll add more here if I discover any more.


Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 4 April 1951
"Speed protects the hare"

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 12 June 1951
"Cunning protects the fox"

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 8 August 1951
"Nature protects the hedgehog"

The last one I have found was as a result of Christine Sheppard and Iris Sheppard collecting all the artist's clippings. Here we also have the advertising agency's name, C. J. Lytle. Job No. 15,319 is for the farming press. It's published size was 6 x 41/2 inches. 

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 3 October 1951
"Thrift protects the squirrel"

The printer's proof to the above advert

The famous advertising company appears to have been founded in the 1930s by an American and sought to raise capital (only the second agency to do so) by going public in 1961. The company wound up in 1965. They had an address in Dean Street and also Bond Street on the corner with Conduit Street. I don't know for sure who the creative director was but John Allan (1922-2009) worked at C J Lytle as group art director and, later, creative director. He left in the 1960s so I suspect he may have figured in this narrative. 

I have one more article to write and images to share about Regent but I'm hoping to get more detail before showing these.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Raymond Sheppard and Regent Gold Vaporising Oil

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 8 August 1956 (Back cover)
Labrador and Golden Retriever
Raymond Sheppard drew many advertising illustrations and today I want to highlight a group that appeared in three issues (to my knowledge) of Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News in 1956 for Regent Gold Vaporising Oil and Regent Gas Oil. I'm out of my depth on oils, so please consult Wikipedia if you need to know more. The earliest advertising reference I could find to "Regent Gold Vaporising Oil" was 1953, which would after the time rationing was ending post-World War Two and the last mention in 1958 (or maybe 1959).

The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News was an English weekly newspaper/magazine founded in 1874 and published in London that covered sporting and theatrical events. later its focus was on country life and farming, which links into the theme here. The changes in name are confusing and need to be mentioned here, particularly regarding the Raymond Sheppard issues. 

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 8 August 1956
BUT note the title in large print!

In 1945 there was a name change to Sport & Country, (later changing again to Farm and Country in 1957, before closing in 1970). But if you look at the covers you'll see evidence of the ISADN title being retained - a librarian's nightmare. So should we technically say these adverts appeared in Sport & Country? I suppose we should!

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 17 October 1956, p.2
Red Setter and Pointer
What inspired me to write about these is that Christine Sheppard's cuttings files only contain two of the three pairs of dog illustrations and the eBay seller Paul Keevil (canineartconnections), who also has a website showed the other pair. I wrote to Paul to ask for permission to use the illustrations here and he kindly replied:

Hi Norman,
These came to me as part of a 1950's scrapbook I bought.
There was a whole collection of dog images that had been cut out and pasted into the book.
I think there were 6 Dog images,So these are the original prints from the 1950's and not modern reprints.
I am a specialist dealer in Canine related art and I think this is the first time I have come across these images

So here for your enjoyment are the full set discovered so far!

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 28 November 1956, p.2
English and Welsh Springer

So here are the four Paul presented:



English Springer Spaniel

Welsh Springer Spaniel

To complete the set, you'll need the Golden Retriever and Red Setter - see above

Sheppard produced other advertising illustrations for Regent - which I'll cover at a later date

Monday, 2 August 2021

Raymond Sheppard - By Beckoning Pathways (Part Two)

Previously I shared the first 18 drawings that Raymond Sheppard produced for the book  Adventures in Storyland IV: By Beckoning Pathways.It must have been a demanding assignment, with accompanying research as, so far, we've seen landscape, animals, Greek myths, snow scenes and Scotland!

 There are other illustrations in this small-sized 248 page book but very few not by Sheppard, with some photographs of ships and models. The back of the book has explanations and also questions about the texts.

Interestingly, despite a Contents page and an Acknowledgements page all I can say - from this book - is that the next item "Blood Money" is from Boy's Own Paper. No author unfortunately,but those who know me as a bloodhound, will know I've found where it was originally published. Guy N(oel) Pocock was the author and it was originally published in Boy’s Own Paper January 1932

 By Beckoning Pathways - "Blood Money" p.106
"The surface broke, and there, not fifty yards off their starboard bow,
slid the great steel whaleback of a German submarine"

 By Beckoning Pathways - "Blood Money" p.110

I lived in Malta as a kid and knew St. Paul's Bay very well where Saul of Tarsus - later Paul - was shipwrecked on the way to Rome.

 By Beckoning Pathways - "Paul taken to Rome" p.127

Now the next illustration might not be Sheppard, but I think it is. It accompanies an outline of Archimedes efforts for Hiero, the King of Syracuse and the weapons installed on "The Queen of Syracuse", a ship.

 By Beckoning Pathways - "The Queen of Syracuse" p.135
A catapult

The next three illustrations are of a bear, and accompany the story by H. Mortimer Batten called "The Call of the Woods"

By Beckoning Pathways - "The Call of the Woods" p.144
"Another river, too rapid for her to swim, barred her way"

By Beckoning Pathways - "The Call of the Woods" p.155

By Beckoning Pathways - "The Call of the Woods" p.158

That first image of the three above reminds me of the story "The Bear and the Baby" in The Golden Gift Book.

Quick change for the next drawing of an outline of Vesuvius exploding. The picture shows a Roman in a toga at this writing desk.

By Beckoning Pathways - "Two Famous Letters" p.159

"How Davy went to Castle Farm" is the next illustration showing a policeman taking a driver's name in his notebook. 

By Beckoning Pathways - "How Davy went to Castle Farm" p.177
“O-ho! Ye'd be insolent, would ye? I'll need tae take your names”

Do you remember all those films and TV programmes where everyone was smoking? It was socially acceptable in the 1940s when this next article was written to educate children about the history of tobacco. Several accompanying illustrations to "Tobacco" are so crude I'm sure they are not Sheppard but here are those we can be certain about.

By Beckoning Pathways - "Tobacco" p.181

By Beckoning Pathways - "Tobacco" p.197
“Why, no wonder they said you breathed fire!” cried Amyas

For the two above, Sheppard needed reference for an Indian Chief's headdress and Tudor clothing!

By Beckoning Pathways - "Railway Signalman" p.205

H. V. Morton (Henry Canova Vollam Morton - who knew?) wrote "Railway Signalman" - the author famous for a series of travel books some of which I've read. 

 Next we have an interesting poem called "Robert O'Lincoln" by W. C. Bryant about a bird. At first I thought it was an old English reference to the magpie but I couldn't be more wrong! The Bobolink is a grassland bird in the USA and Canada! Emily Dickinson also wrote in praise of the Boblink. The origin of the old-fashioned name is due to the bird's call - variously called the Boblincon, Bob-a-linkum, Bob-o'-linck or Bob-o-Lincoln.

By Beckoning Pathways - "Robert O'Lincoln" p.206

By Beckoning Pathways - "Robert O'Lincoln" p.208

The last two illustrations in this book by Sheppard are accompanying "The Battle at the Ford" - an Irish Hero-Story, by Marie Bayne. The first  shows an aspiring King Conor Boy-knight throwing a spear and the second Chu-chulain carries his dying friend Ferdia.

 By Beckoning Pathways - "The Battle at the Ford" p.211

 By Beckoning Pathways - "The Battle at the Ford" p.218

Now to wind this up I said I'd mention the others in the series of "Adventures in Storyland".   Firstly, I have to say, hen's teeth are nowhere near as rare as these titles. The British Library entry is thin - they hardly collected children's books let alone 'school readers'. Next time I get the BL I shall investigate further. I can't even find the title of Volume 3!

Volume 1 is "Through Magic Portals" - a lovely bookseller mentions that Jean  S Cruikshanks and Rosa C Petherick are the artists and there are 8 colour plates in this - unlike my Book IV which has photographs and B&W illustrations

Volume 2 is "By Guarded Ways" - and the illustrations I have seen are not by Sheppard (one is by R. W. Matthews). I'm guessing that one or two artists got the commission for the bulk of articles and stories in each book. 

Volume 3 is "?"

Volume 4 is By Beckoning Pathways" as described in these two blog articles

If you can help with any further information please do contact me.

Monday, 5 July 2021

Raymond Sheppard - By Beckoning Pathways


By Beckoning Pathways - Contents page header

Today's offering is a lovely school reading book from the 1940s: Adventures in Storyland IV: By Beckoning Pathways. The copy I have has a dedication on a prize certificate dated 1945 and the series was published by Oliver and Boyd (no relation to myself, that  know!). Oliver & Boyd was founded in 1807 by Thomas Oliver and George Boyd and they published in Edinburgh and focussed on educational books and medical publishing. After multiple takeovers they closed their Edinburgh publishing operations in 1990.

I've included the full Contents page at the bottom of this article. You'll see that there are poems, stories, factual pieces etc.  and Sheppard has illustrated 36 black and white drawings covering those genres. 

The first is "Mice and Men" and has three images. The first of an older man reading a paper at a table with cheese on a plate. The second shows three mice crawling on floor over the man's shoe. The last a delightful portrait of two mice - one cleaning its whiskers


By Beckoning Pathways - "Mice and men" p.9

By Beckoning Pathways - "Mice and men" p.13

By Beckoning Pathways - "Mice and men" p.16

The next two come from a Constance Holme piece showing "she put her hand to the curtain for the last time and drew back".

By Beckoning Pathways - "Home" p.20

The second shows the view through the window:

By Beckoning Pathways - "Home" p.26

The poem by Robert Herrick "A thanksgiving to God for His house" has a pastoral header panel showing a mill, a church and a cottage

By Beckoning Pathways - "A thanksgiving to God for His house" p.26

The next three accompany a letter from Rev. William Cowper to Rev. John Newton (the famous converted slave captain who fought against the trade in people after his conversion) and Rev. William Unwin. The first drawing of a running hare is an image Sheppard has drawn several times.

By Beckoning Pathways - "A Poet's Pets" p.32

 The second is a cute gathering of kittens but with the addition of a viper!

By Beckoning Pathways - "A Poet's Pets" p.35

Despite the black and white nature of these illustrations, I can immediately spot the goldfinches in the next image as we get these gorgeous birds visiting our feeders every day. Such calm feeders, beautiful birds with a lovely trilling song

By Beckoning Pathways - "A Poet's Pets" p.38

 Now cast your mind back to the exciting stories of the Greek myths and legends learned at school and the story of Ulysses. "Ulysses in the cave of Cyclops" has two Sheppard illustrations and both bring back that excitement as my teacher read the story out loud, where imagined scenes are normally more exciting than illustrations - but not in this case!

By Beckoning Pathways - "Ulysses" p.54

By Beckoning Pathways - "Ulysses" p.67

I've written extensively about Raymond Sheppard's drawings for Seal Morning. And even showed two other sketches of a running hare, like the one above. We now have "The Story of the Seal" in which two accompanying illustrations show how even back in the 1940s, Sheppard's time at London Zoo, sketching, paid dividends.

 By Beckoning Pathways - "The story of the seal" p.69

 By Beckoning Pathways - "The story of the seal" p.77

The next illustration reminds me of  Sheppard's rural cameos in English Cavalcade. The first showing a cottage in the snow

By Beckoning Pathways - "The Little Postboy" p.78

By Beckoning Pathways - "The Little Postboy" p.85

By Beckoning Pathways - "The Little Postboy" p.90

I often feel sorry for Jenny our local postie when it's raining - as it does from time to time in Lincolnshire! - but what she does, looks like nothing compared to this! "The Little Postboy is a Swedish story - thus the sleighs and snow!

 Lastly, talking about rain,"Weather in the West of Scotland" opens with the line "You've probably heard it rains oftener in the West than the East of Scotland..." and talks about the Atlantic winds and peaks on the West coast. 

 By Beckoning Pathways - "Weather in the West of Scotland" p.99

That's half of the illustrations covered, next time we'll look at the rest and I'll say something about this rare series.

Contents Page 1

Contents page 2