Posts Tagged ‘Lilian Hocknell’

Wartime woolly reality for Hocknell’s charming children

October 25, 2015
Lilian Hocknell and two of her charming children on the cover of Home magazine in March 1927

Lilian Hocknell and two of her charming children in an illustration on the cover of Home magazine in March 1927

Lilian Hocknell was renowned for her drawings of charming children, but I found it difficult to imagine children being dressed with so many perfectly-arranged woolly layers, as on the Home magazine cover above. Then, I came across the wartime Woman’s World cover from 1940, below. And there it all is, 13 years later the complete outfit to knit at home on the cover of a weekly woman’s magazine! The only thing is, it’s for a boy.

The real thing - Hocknell's children come to life on the cover of Woman's World in January 1940

The real thing – Hocknell’s children come to life on the cover of Woman’s World in January 1940

Chilprufe and Lilian Hocknell’s babies

October 7, 2015
Chilprufe advert from Queen magazine in 1961Chilprufe advert from Queen magazine in 1961

Chilprufe advert from Queen magazine in 1961

Chilprufe was once one of the biggest British clothing makes – the name derives frim ‘chill-proof’. It favoured illustration for its advertising of babies in its clothes, and the artist of choice in the 1920s and 1930s was Lilian Hocknell (1891-1977).

However, by the 1960s the company had turned to other artists, as this illustration from Queen magazine in 1961 shows. Chilprufe’s sans-serif typeface is still vogue, however. Bonhams sold a set of 12 drawings in 2008 and Hocknell’s work is also held by the V&A.

I don’t know the 1961 illustrator, but it has a more ‘modern’ feel. Would it be more appealing to potential customers though? Compare it with the 1936 advert below and make your own mind up.

By 2012, Chilprufe’s Leicester factory was specialising in lingerie and knitwear but the 90-year-old firm closed that year and the name was bought up by Manchester Hosiery Manufacturing of Hinckley. Goods are still made under the brand and can be found online.

Lillian Hocknell advertising illustration for Chilprufe children’s clothing. From Mother magazine 1936 – note the spelling error

Lillian Hocknell advertising illustration for Chilprufe children’s clothing. From Mother magazine 1936 – note the spelling error

Lilian Hocknell’s cute kids still have vintage value for women’s magazines

June 21, 2015
Lilian Hocknell artwork revived for Christmas 2014 Vintage View from Woman's Weekly magazine cover

Lilian Hocknell artwork revived for Christmas 2014 Vintage View from Woman’s Weekly magazine cover

Woman’s Weekly has been one of Britain’s most popular magazines for more than a century. The cover here is from a compilation magazine – Vintage View – of its past articles as owner Time UK exploits its archive. Although no signature is visible, it’s clearly by Lilian Hocknell, who was renowned for her illustrations of children in the art deco period leading up to the Second World War. You can even recognise the same cute toddler from this Mother cover of 1936:

Mother magazine cover of child with toys by Lilian Hocknell from November 1936

Mother magazine cover of child with toys by Lilian Hocknell from November 1936

Woman’s Weekly was originally published by Alfred Harmsworth’s Amalgamated Press (later rebranded as Fleetway), which was one of the three big groups that formed IPC in the 1960s and is today controlled by the US published Time Inc.

In its late 1950s heyday, Woman’s Weekly sold 1.5m copies a week and was one of IPC’s ‘big three’ women’s weeklies that ruled the roost in that market until the arrival of new niches in the 1980s, such as Best from Germany and the celebrity weeklies such as Hello and Heat. The other members of that vaunted trio are Woman (originally Odhams Press) and Woman’s Own (George Newnes). In 1959, they were massive money spinners, selling in total about 7 million copies a week between them. Then, both Woman (3.2m copies a week) and Woman’s Own (2.4m) outsold Woman’s Weekly (1.5m). Today, all have dropped sales but Woman’s Weekly has overtaken its rivals. The respective totals are 252,000, 220,000 and   307,000.

Cute babies for magazines in illustration and photographs

June 5, 2015
Margaret Banks drew this charmer for Home Chat magazine in 1938. Note the baby is wearing reins

Margaret Banks drew this charmer for Home Chat magazine in 1938. Note the baby is wearing reins

Cute babies and toddlers have long been a staple for appealing to magazine readers – for both editors and advertisers. Until the 1950s, they were usually better portrayed by illustrators, as in the 1938 Christmas cover above by Margaret Banks for Amalgamated Press’s popular women’s weekly Home Chat.

A favourite for such work was Lilian Hocknell, as on the 1936 cover for Mother below. Hocknell also drew the adverts for the Childprufe range for many years.

ilian Hocknell drew this cover for the November 1936 cover of Mother

Lilian Hocknell drew this cover for the November 1936 cover of Mother

By the 1960s, however, illustration was out of favour, except for fiction. This 1964 back cover advert for Heinz baby food from Family Circle is a good example of the photographer’s art.

Heinz baby food advert on the back cover of Family Circle from October 1964

Heinz baby food advert on the back cover of Family Circle magazine from October 1964

 

The charming children of Lilian Hocknell

November 20, 2014
Mother magazine cover of child with toys by Lilian Hocknell from November 1936

Mother magazine cover of child with toys by Lilian Hocknell from November 1936

Lilian Hocknell was the artist drew this cover for the November 1936 cover of Mother. She was renowned for her drawings of babies and children and by this time the country was coming out of the recession so the family is laden with presents and Christmas shopping. The cherubic little girl is clutching a red balloon as well as the teddy. the lettering ” ‘S TOY FAIR” can be seen on the balloon – Hamley’s? Harrod’s?

Notice they’re all wearing gloves; with gauntlets for the older sister.

Hocknell could certainly draw cute tots. An exhibition of her work, ‘Drawings of Children’ was held at the Sporting Gallery, London, in 1926 and she was prolific in producing adverts for Chilprufe kids’ clothing. This issue of Mother ran a Chilprufe advert, below. The V&A holds examples of Hocknell‘s work and Nottingham University notes that The Strand magazine, March 1938, ran an article by John Lothian entitled ‘Here’s fun! The Delightful Childhood Studies of Lilian Hocknell’. She drew a Clacton-On-Sea railway poster for LNER and her drawings have been sold at Bonhams. The clothing might have been proof from chills, but the proofreading left something to be desired, with the C left out of manufacturing.

Lillian Hocknell advertising illustration for Chilprufe children's clothing

Lillian Hocknell advertising illustration for Chilprufe children’s and baby clothing. From Mother magazine 1936 – note the spelling error

The address for the Mother was Martlett House, Martlett Court, in London’s Covent Garden. The same address was used later for the Odhams magazines Woman (1938), Picturegoer (1939) and Everywoman (1940).

WATCH OUT for my book on British Magazine Design from the V&A