The Pickwick Club of Kew was founded by local residents in 1897. In 1904 it produced its first publication - Pickwick Portfolio Vol.1 No.1 - for which the local artist and member Alice Marion Ellen Bale (1875-1955) designed this frontispiece. The frontispiece was printed in Volume 1/1 and adapted for Vol.1/2 in 1912. Each member of the Club adopted a pseudonym from a work by Charles Dickens. Alice Bale is recorded in the 1912 edition as using the name Mark Tapley, a character in Martin Chuzzlewit (Dickens, 1842).
Frontispiece, created in watercolour and ink on artist's paper, for the first edition of the Pickwick Portfolio of 1904 by the Kew Pickwick Club. Signed lower left by Mark Tapley, the pseudonym within the Club of the artist A.M.E. Bale.
Inscriptions & markings
Lower left in pencil "Mark Tapley" (pseudonym). Initials above to the right AMEB (Alice ME Bale)