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Absurd Collection

"Embracing the Absurd: A Whimsical Journey through Imagination" Step into a world where logic takes a backseat and absurdity reigns supreme

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Spring cleaning in Highgate woods (litho)

Spring cleaning in Highgate woods (litho)
1090681 Spring cleaning in Highgate woods (litho) by Robinson, William Heath (1872-1944); Private Collection; (add.info.: Spring cleaning in Highgate woods)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Pea Apparatus by William Heath Robinson

Pea Apparatus by William Heath Robinson
An interesting and elegant apparatus designed to overcome once for all the difficulties of conveying green peas to the mouth

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Mixing treated asbestos fibre, Heath Robinson machine

Mixing treated asbestos fibre, Heath Robinson machine
Efficient plant for the successful mixing of treated asbestos fibre with cement. A drawing done by William Heath Robinson for Turners Asbestos Cement Co

Background imageAbsurd Collection: 'There was an old man with a beard, who said, It is just as I feared

"There was an old man with a beard, who said, It is just as I feared
LLM386602 " There was an old man with a beard, who said, It is just as I feared! ", from A Book of Nonsense, published by Frederick Warne and Co

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Laying the foundation stone of the projected new structure to replace Waterloo Bridge (litho)

Laying the foundation stone of the projected new structure to replace Waterloo Bridge (litho)
1090673 Laying the foundation stone of the projected new structure to replace Waterloo Bridge (litho) by Robinson, William Heath (1872-1944); Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Illustration for Railway Ribaldry by W Heath Robinson (litho)

Illustration for Railway Ribaldry by W Heath Robinson (litho)
5210148 Illustration for Railway Ribaldry by W Heath Robinson (litho) by Robinson, William Heath (1872-1944); Private Collection; (add.info.: The building of Saltash Bridge)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Anti-Flu Masks

Anti-Flu Masks
A man and a woman wearing anti-flu masks. These masks cover the nose and mouth and are designed to prevent germs spreading. They may work but they look very curious!

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Parade of Elephants, rock formation of red sandstone, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah, USA

Parade of Elephants, rock formation of red sandstone, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah, USA

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Life Is Just One Damned Thing After Another (colour litho)

Life Is Just One Damned Thing After Another (colour litho)
3093963 Life Is Just One Damned Thing After Another (colour litho) by American School, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Life Is Just One Damned Thing After Another)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: The only way out of an Awkward Predicament (litho)

The only way out of an Awkward Predicament (litho)
1090675 The only way out of an Awkward Predicament (litho) by Robinson, William Heath (1872-1944); Private Collection; (add.info.: The only way out of an Awkward Predicament)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Troupes anglaises: le bagage de campagne, 1815 (hand-coloured etching)

Troupes anglaises: le bagage de campagne, 1815 (hand-coloured etching)
3664699 Troupes anglaises: le bagage de campagne, 1815 (hand-coloured etching) by Delacroix, Ferdinand Victor Eugene (1798-1863); Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Flat life, how the tenant of the top flat can enjoy all the amenities of a back garden (litho)

Flat life, how the tenant of the top flat can enjoy all the amenities of a back garden (litho)
1090695 Flat life, how the tenant of the top flat can enjoy all the amenities of a back garden (litho) by Robinson, William Heath (1872-1944); Private Collection; (add.info.: Flat life)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Illustration for Railway Ribaldry by W Heath Robinson (litho)

Illustration for Railway Ribaldry by W Heath Robinson (litho)
5210108 Illustration for Railway Ribaldry by W Heath Robinson (litho) by Robinson, William Heath (1872-1944); Private Collection; (add.info.: An old-fashioned method of testing the speed of engines)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Queeriflora Babyoides (engraving)

Queeriflora Babyoides (engraving)
973269 Queeriflora Babyoides (engraving) by Lear, Edward (1812-88); Private Collection; (add.info.: Queeriflora Babyoides)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Why not go the limit? For the benefit of those ladies who ask the right to smoke in

Why not go the limit? For the benefit of those ladies who ask the right to smoke in
1078685 Why not go the limit? For the benefit of those ladies who ask the right to smoke in public, 1908 (colour litho) by Dart

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Widecombe Fair (colour litho)

Widecombe Fair (colour litho)
3094380 Widecombe Fair (colour litho) by English School, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Widecombe Fair. Postcard, early 20th century.); © Look and Learn

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Clown on Bicycle Photo

Clown on Bicycle Photo
Harry, a guest of the Mayors Fancy Dress Ball poses in his costume, (that of a clown), on a bicycle in his back garden

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Shoebill stork (Balaeniceps rex) female feeding on a Spotted African lungfish (Protopterus

Shoebill stork (Balaeniceps rex) female feeding on a Spotted African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi) in the swamps of Mabamba, Lake Victoria, Uganda.. Sequence 2/13

Background imageAbsurd Collection: 0035 002

0035 002
8961675

Background imageAbsurd Collection: The Dunk and the Kangaroo (colour litho)

The Dunk and the Kangaroo (colour litho)
8652405 The Dunk and the Kangaroo (colour litho) by Brooke, Leonard Leslie (1862-1940); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Dunk and the Kangaroo)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Beauty and the beast (colour litho)

Beauty and the beast (colour litho)
8635538 Beauty and the beast (colour litho) by English School, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Beauty and the beast. Postcard, early 20th century.); © Look and Learn

Background imageAbsurd Collection: And now I suppose you're going to tell me that the last one's gone

And now I suppose you're going to tell me that the last one's gone
8663967 And now I suppose you're going to tell me that the last one's gone and there isn't another until next Thursday (litho) by Pont (Graham Laidler) (1908-40)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Bus transport (litho)

Bus transport (litho)
8663964 Bus transport (litho) by Pont (Graham Laidler) (1908-40); Private Collection; (add.info.: Bus transport. Bus driver's view through the windscreen)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: The Frog that wished to be as big as the Ox, c.1900 (engraving)

The Frog that wished to be as big as the Ox, c.1900 (engraving)
8698463 The Frog that wished to be as big as the Ox, c.1900 (engraving) by Gillot, Charles (1853-1903); (add.info.: Literature)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Searching for Halley's Comet at Greenwich Observatory, 1909 (Pen ink, monochrome watercolour, paper)

Searching for Halley's Comet at Greenwich Observatory, 1909 (Pen ink, monochrome watercolour, paper)
7340782 Searching for Halley's Comet at Greenwich Observatory, 1909 (Pen ink, monochrome watercolour, paper) by Robinson, William Heath (1872-1944); 42x29 cm; National Maritime Museum, London

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Mother's frantically interested in everything you say (litho)

Mother's frantically interested in everything you say (litho)
8663974 Mother's frantically interested in everything you say (litho) by Pont (Graham Laidler) (1908-40); Private Collection; (add.info.: "But of course dear)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Air transport (litho)

Air transport (litho)
8663963 Air transport (litho) by Pont (Graham Laidler) (1908-40); Private Collection; (add.info.: Air transport. Passengers on a plane)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Crossword puzzle enthusiast (litho)

Crossword puzzle enthusiast (litho)
8663960 Crossword puzzle enthusiast (litho) by Pont (Graham Laidler) (1908-40); Private Collection; (add.info.: Crossword puzzle enthusiast. Man sitting alone doing a crossword puzzle)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Winter evenings at home (litho)

Winter evenings at home (litho)
8663959 Winter evenings at home (litho) by Pont (Graham Laidler) (1908-40); Private Collection; (add.info.: Winter evenings at home. A game of hide and seek)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: From Dottyville (litho)

From Dottyville (litho)
8663024 From Dottyville (litho) by May, Phil (1864-1903); Private Collection; (add.info.: From Dottyville. Illustration for Sketches from "Punch" by Phil May (Punch)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Self-criticism (litho)

Self-criticism (litho)
8663029 Self-criticism (litho) by May, Phil (1864-1903); Private Collection; (add.info.: Self-criticism. Illustration for Sketches from "Punch" by Phil May (Punch)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Another from Dottyville (litho)

Another from Dottyville (litho)
8663025 Another from Dottyville (litho) by May, Phil (1864-1903); Private Collection; (add.info.: Another from Dottyville)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Hydrocycle on the River Thames (engraving)

Hydrocycle on the River Thames (engraving)
8631594 Hydrocycle on the River Thames (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Hydrocycle on the River Thames. Illustration from Black and White)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Merry Widow Hat (b/w photo)

Merry Widow Hat (b/w photo)
8672191 Merry Widow Hat (b/w photo) by English Photographer, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Merry Widow Hat Lifting a large and heavy hat onto a woman's head)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Absurd women's hairstyle, 18th Century (engraving)

Absurd women's hairstyle, 18th Century (engraving)
8672835 Absurd women's hairstyle, 18th Century (engraving) by Robida, Albert (1848-1926); Private Collection; (add.info.: Absurd women's hairstyle, 18th Century)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: By train (litho)

By train (litho)
8663961 By train (litho) by Pont (Graham Laidler) (1908-40); Private Collection; (add.info.: By train. Couple travelling by train with their sleeping child)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Men at the beach dressed in nightshirts (colour litho)

Men at the beach dressed in nightshirts (colour litho)
8656481 Men at the beach dressed in nightshirts (colour litho) by French School, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Men at the beach dressed in nightshirts. Postcard, early 20th century)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Title-page for The Jumblies and Other Nonsense Verses (colour litho)

Title-page for The Jumblies and Other Nonsense Verses (colour litho)
8652409 Title-page for The Jumblies and Other Nonsense Verses (colour litho) by Brooke, Leonard Leslie (1862-1940); Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo (colour litho)

The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo (colour litho)
8652408 The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo (colour litho) by Brooke, Leonard Leslie (1862-1940); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: And at home it's always mind you don't get your feet wet'! (litho)

And at home it's always mind you don't get your feet wet'! (litho)
8663966 And at home it's always mind you don't get your feet wet'! (litho) by Pont (Graham Laidler) (1908-40); Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Waiting (litho)

Waiting (litho)
8663958 Waiting (litho) by Pont (Graham Laidler) (1908-40); Private Collection; (add.info.: Waiting. Illustration from Most of Us are Absurd, by "Pont" (Graham Laidler) (Collins, London)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Theatrescape with critic (litho)

Theatrescape with critic (litho)
8663955 Theatrescape with critic (litho) by Pont (Graham Laidler) (1908-40); Private Collection; (add.info.: Theatrescape with critic)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Dottyville again (litho)

Dottyville again (litho)
8662997 Dottyville again (litho) by May, Phil (1864-1903); Private Collection; (add.info.: Dottyville again. Illustration for Sketches from "Punch" by Phil May (Punch)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: 'The feller who caught that fishs dem liar' (litho)

"The feller who caught that fishs dem liar" (litho)
8655422 "The feller who caught that fishs dem liar" (litho) by Townsend, Frederick Henry (1868-1920); Private Collection; (add.info.: "The feller who caught that fishs dem liar")

Background imageAbsurd Collection: The New Vestments (colour litho)

The New Vestments (colour litho)
8652406 The New Vestments (colour litho) by Brooke, Leonard Leslie (1862-1940); Private Collection; (add.info.: The New Vestments)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: The Dong with a Luminous Nose (colour litho)

The Dong with a Luminous Nose (colour litho)
8652407 The Dong with a Luminous Nose (colour litho) by Brooke, Leonard Leslie (1862-1940); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Dong with a Luminous Nose)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Calico Pie (colour litho)

Calico Pie (colour litho)
8652404 Calico Pie (colour litho) by Brooke, Leonard Leslie (1862-1940); Private Collection; (add.info.: Calico Pie. Illustration for The Jumblies)

Background imageAbsurd Collection: Not to be Outdone by the Royal Academy, our 'Dadaists' Hold an Exhibition of Their Own (litho)

Not to be Outdone by the Royal Academy, our "Dadaists" Hold an Exhibition of Their Own (litho)
8663501 Not to be Outdone by the Royal Academy, our "Dadaists" Hold an Exhibition of Their Own (litho) by Poy (Percy Hutton Fearon) (1874-1945); Private Collection; (add.info)



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"Embracing the Absurd: A Whimsical Journey through Imagination" Step into a world where logic takes a backseat and absurdity reigns supreme. From the mind of William Heath Robinson, we are introduced to the Pea Apparatus - a contraption so convoluted it could only exist in dreams. In this topsy-turvy realm, even mundane tasks like mixing treated asbestos fiber become an outlandish spectacle. Witness the Heath Robinson machine, an intricate web of gears and pulleys that defy all reason. But let us not forget the words of that old man with a beard who warned us long ago - "It is just as I feared. " As we delve deeper into this nonsensical universe, we encounter anti-flu masks that transform faces into peculiar creatures from another dimension. And what about those living in flat life? The tenant on the top floor finds solace amidst their urban surroundings by enjoying all the amenities of a back garden. Oh, how delightful it must be to escape reality's constraints. Life itself can sometimes feel like one damned thing after another, but why not embrace its absurdities? With colorful illustrations from Railway Ribaldry and Widecombe Fair, W. Heath Robinson invites us to revel in whimsy and find joy in unexpected places. As we journey further into this fantastical landscape, we stumble upon rock formations resembling parading elephants in Arches National Park. And who can resist chuckling at Troupes anglaises' camp baggage from 1815 - surely no army would dare carry such comically oversized trunks. But perhaps most enchanting is Queeriflora Babyoides; an engraving depicting flowers with personalities as eccentric as their namesake suggests. In this world where imagination knows no bounds, anything becomes possible. So why not go beyond limits? For those ladies seeking equality even when it comes to smoking rights – here's a tongue-in-cheek suggestion to go the extra mile.