Francis Wilford-Smith SMILBY (Rugby 1927 - Ledbury 2009)

Joker and a Suit of Cards: Cover Artwork for Punch Magazine

Pen and ink and watercolour, with collaged paper, on Saunders board.
Signed smilby in black ink at the lower left.
Previously overlaid with a mount sheet inscribed Cover for November 19th. in the bottom margin and Title & price / in this colour at the lower left, as well as dimensions and printing instructions. Also previously overlaid with a transparent sheet inscribed with the Punch logo and the price 9d in black ink.
291 x 235 mm. (11 1/2 x 9 1/4 in.) [image]
526 x 380 mm. (20 3/4 x 15 in.) [sheet]


This is a rare cover design by Smilby for Punchmagazine, and was published on 19th November 1958. It was with Punch that Smilby had his big break. When his first submission was accepted, after many failed attempts at the magazine, Russell Brockbank, the Punch editor at the time, wrote ‘You’ve arrived’ on his acceptance slip. The seminal weekly magazine ceased publication in 2002, and most of its archive was acquired by the British Museum two years later.

The studio archive of the artist
Thence by descent. 

Punch, 19 November 1958, reproduced on the cover.

Francis Wilford-Smith SMILBY

Joker and a Suit of Cards: Cover Artwork for Punch Magazine


  • Name: *
  • E-mail: *
  • Phone:
  • Comment: