London: Leadenhall Press, . First edition. Frontispiece and illustrated title page. Full page black and white illustrations on the recto of leaves. Binding extremities rubbed with some soiling, toning, and light wear to boards. Crown of spine worn away approximately 1/2" and tail of spine slightly chipped with minor fraying. Minor foxing to leaves and endpapers. Small chips to outer margins of a few leaves, not touching illustrations. Contemporary advertisement for Stickphast Paste Sticks printed by the Leadenhall Press laid in. A good copy. Pebbled red cloth with gilt-lettered front board. Edges stained red and floral patterned endpapers. Quarto. Unpaginated. Item #16287
Philip William May (1864-1903) was an English artist. He had been an occasional Punch contributor from 1893 but was not elected to the staff until February 1895. May was not a caricaturist, but descended from that distinguished group of illustrators including John Leech and Charles Keene. The humor of his work lay in the generic physiognomy of his drunks, landladies, publicans, and cabbies. The hallmark of the successful illustrator was the publication of his own annual. May achieved this very quickly: Phil May's Winter Annual appeared in 1892 and continued yearly until 1905. He supplemented this regular output with some larger albums, Phil May's Sketch Book: Fifty Cartoons (1895), Guttersnipes: Fifty Original Sketches (1896), and Phil May's ‘Graphic’ Pictures (1897). He collaborated with Punch colleagues in books such as F. C. Burnand's Zig-Zag Guide (1897) and Henry Lucy's Essence of Parliament (1902). He was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 1896, a singular honor for an illustrator whose work was only occasionally in this medium (Oxford DNB).