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Generally regarded as the world’s first comic in 1825, the 4-page Glasgow Looking Glass was published by John Watson and illustrated by William Heath encompassing the humourous and satirical content of the day. Royalty, the Clergy, politicians and foreign nobility were all lampooned with punning regularity. Not even Glasgow’s great and good were immune from Heath’s acerbic pen.


Two of the issues in the lot were stamped with the onerous ‘knowledge tax’ increasing their cover price by 50% and thus denying readership to those at which the illustrated paper were aimed. The canny Scots got around this with early entrepreneurs hiring out the comic to queues of patient readers for a farthing and a few minutes each. Originally running to 19 issues there are only a few collections in existence and this 13 issue run is the first to come into private hands after a huge battle between 3 determined bidders. £2350 eventually won the day and the new owner will probably need to jack up the rental price to get his money back.


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Malcolm Phillips
Comic Book Auctions Ltd.


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