Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Cartoon Postcard of Earlston High Street

An amusing image of Earlston High Street on a  cartoon postcard has recently come into the Auld Earlston Collection.
But despite the caption,  it is not  original to Earlston.  It was penned by  Fife born artist  Martin  Anderson - you will see his pseudonym signature of Cynicus  at the bottom left of the card.  Many of his illustrations were overprinted with different titles and town names, as here.  

Martin Anderson, (1854 –1932)  studied  at Glasgow School of Art, set up the St. Mungo's Art Club and exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh.    In 1880 he joined  the publisher of  The Dundee Advertiser, The Evening Telegraph, People's Journal, and People's Friend - the first  such staff artist to be employed by any daily newspaper in Britain, for until then daily newspapers were not illustrated. 

He turned increasingly to satirical and political cartoons and comic postcard illustrations setting up the "Cynicus Publishing Company" in London.   After initial success, the company was forced to close.  Martin Anderson returned to Edinburgh in 1915, leasing a basement shop in York Place. Nine years later  his Edinburgh shop was destroyed by fire, everything inside it was lost, and he did not have the funds to repair and restock it. 

He retired to Fife to live in increasing poverty.  He died in 1932  and was buried in Tayport Old Churchyard, in an unmarked grave.  

A sad end for such a prolific artist who was a forerunner in  the  field of humourous postcards.  His work is still regularly available today  in auction houses and online.

Source:  Wikipedia  
Below are two more Cynicus postcards that were first shown on our blog in 2016 as part of our "Remembering Earlston's Railway Project".

Our Local Express - The Good Old Berwickshire Railway Acceleration of Trains - the Greenlaw  Corridor makes the journey from Greenlaw to Earlston  and back in twenty four hours.    Postcard franked 1906. 

The Last Train from Earlston 

If you have any postcards of Earlston, 
the Auld Earlston Group would love to hear from you.  

Your postcards can either be donated or loaned, 
scanned and returned to you.    Contact: 

More postcards on the village  can be viewed on our Lost Earlston Facebook page.


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