Victorian Caricature Visiting Cards

A series of five monochrome illustrated cards, featuring dogs and donkeys.

This is a small collection from the Centre for Research Collections, the University of Edinburgh, of twenty-one comic visiting cards caricaturing the photographic carte-de-visite. They were produced by Rock Co., a print and playing-card publisher in London, c. 1850-1870. Each card measures about 5.75 x 9 cm. The cards are grouped under their featured figures – men, women, and animals, either by themselves or as pairs and groups.


The photographic carte-de-visite, or visiting cards, had been made popular by the photographer Mayall of London around 1860 with his portraits of the Royal Family. This comic cards caricature such a trend as well as record Victorian fashion of the mid-19th century.


Not many of these kinds of cards survive, suggesting that they were not so popular at the time or not collected often. Some of Rock’s works are recorded at Victoria and Albert Museum.


For more archival information, visit The University of Edinburgh Archives Online.





Header: Caricature visiting cards featuring animals, No.7, 8, 34, 35, 36, the Centre for Research Collection, the University of Edinburgh, edited by Mayu Ishimoto, 2024, CC BY.