Original 1940s CHARLIE CHAPLIN "The Great Dictator" Cartoon by the British Cartoonist: Sidney Strube (1891 - 1956). Signed, Pen & Ink


This is a very interesting drawing which dates to 1940.

It is an original artwork which has been drawn with pen and black ink - with touches of blue crayon or pencil, here and there.

The drawing is a unique and rare surviving cartoon by the celebrated British cartoon artist Sidney Strube.

Strube is looking at Charlie Chaplin and the release of his movie masterpiece "The Great Dictator".

Chaplin's film was a stirring condemnation of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Fascism, Antisemitism, and the Nazis. At the time of its first release, the United States was still formally at peace with Nazi Germany. Chaplin plays both leading roles: a ruthless fascist dictator and a persecuted Jewish barber.

The Great Dictator was popular with audiences, becoming Chaplin's most commercially successful film.Modern critics have also praised it as a historically significant film and an important work of satire. It was nominated for 5 Academy Awards.

BIOGRAPHY: Sidney Strube (1891–1956) was a British cartoonist, who was born in London. He started his artistic career at St Martin's College and then got a job as a junior draughtsman with a furnishing company - and also doing lettering for an advertising agency.

He joined the Daily Express with an exclusive contract - and he worked there until his retirement in 1948. He was one of the country's best-paid political caricature artists and received a huge salary of £10,000 to work exclusively for the Express.

His cartoons for the Express included his character the Little Man, the personification of the "man in the street", which appeared every day on the editorial page. The "Little Man" wore a bowler hat and an umbrella and represented the hard-pressed taxpayer suffering under politicians and vested interests (sound familiar ?)

Strube's career at the paper was interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. He joined the army in 1915, becoming a corporal in the Artists' Rifles. He served in France, sending back cartoons from the front - one entitled "Back to Rest" being especially treasured by the Daily Express editorial department, as it was "done with liquid mud from the trenches". On demobilisation in December 1918 Strube, still only twenty-six years old, returned to the Daily Express as staff political cartoonist, and the paper ran the headline "STRUBE COMES BACK."

Strube cartoons angered Hitler and Mussolini whom both had the Daily Express banned in Germany and Italy because of Strube's cartoons of them and which they took great exception to. Strube’s name, alongside many other prominent critics of Hitler’s regime, was discovered on a Nazi death list after the war.

This cartoon of Chaplin dreaming about scenes that he might direct in his movie and looking at events in recent German history would obviously not have been popular with the German leader.

Sidney Strube died at his home in Hampstead on 4th March 1956.

His life and career are fully documented in the 2004 publication: The World’s Most Popular Cartoonist by Dr Tim Benson.

Strube's political cartoons are very collectable with specialist collectors of political caricatures - this one is especially sought after with its contemporary reference to the release of Chaplin's film masterpiece. This work is an original work by Strube - it was probably reproduced in the Express - it is drawn in pen and black ink - with touches of blue pencil to add touches of colour. It is in its original frame - with an old Walter Jones, Sloane Street label on the back. It is signed in the bottom left-hand corner: Strube in his most identifiable signature.

This work is fresh to the market - and is being sold as a genuine original drawing by the artist from 1940. I cannot find Strube doing any other illustrations of Chaplin - so a very rare artwork. The text below the image reads: Charlie Chaplin: "And they all told me it was impossible to play a serious / part with a moustache like mine. He shows Chaplin sitting on a wee chest with scripts, film reels and a megaphone. Above head in a cloud we can see saluting Brown Shirts, Burning of Books and Hitler dressed in a bicorn hat like Napoleon - to the extreme right are images of the old Kaiser.

CONDITION: The drawing is in pretty good condition with no foxing or staining. No rips or tears. It is unmounted in its original frame. The caricature measures: 34 x 47 cm.

All the history behind this work is taken into consideration with my pricing of this caricature. It is probably an item which should go to a more specialist collector of Strube's works, wartime caricatures or someone who collects Chaplin memorabilia - on the market, this is a fair price for this interesting and unique work.


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Returns and exchange details

We have a very fair refund policy on anything sold to you. All our items are sold in excellent vintage condition, any issues with an item are photographed for your inspection and pointed out in the description. If an item is damaged in transit to you in the UK - we take full responsibility - and you get both the cost of the item and your postage costs refunded by Iconic. If you are outside of the UK, we would only refund you the cost of the actual item that you purchased (if an item is lost or damaged). Sadly we would not be able to refund your postage costs. Things posted outside of the UK would be sent at buyer's risk with regard postage refunds - you agree to this as a condition of sale.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you post items internationally?


As parcels are charged by weight there is often variations in costs for international shipping. We are happy to provide a personalised quote for your items. We use Royal Mail signed and tracked for postage - and make sure all items are fully insured in transit.

Any parcel over 2kg in weight might prove to be expensive to post; especially to the Americas, Australia and the Far East - but happy to search for the best shipping quotes and services for you.

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We hardly ever have any problems with items getting broken in transit - but we take full responsibility for any damages in the post.

We always use signed and tracked for post. If an item is lost in transit - again, we take full responsibility for your loss. The Royal Mail sets down guidelines on determining when an item is deemed lost in the post - and at such a date we would fully refund you personally the cost of the item you purchased as well as your posting costs.

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Sadly, we DO NOT OFFER DISCOUNTS on our stated prices, sorry about this - our best price is the one stated on our listing.

We regret that due to often protracted communications and some rather cheeky discounts being requested - any approaches with regard discounting our prices will not be answered. Sorry about this but nearly every second question we get relates to requests for high discounts and low best offers being submitted.

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For parcels under 2kg in weight, we use the Royal Mail tracked and signed for service.

For heavier parcels over 2kg, we use Parcelforce48 (always tracked and signed for) and try to find the best shipping deal for you to keep your shipping costs down.

The Royal Mail Parcelforce postal service is perhaps a little more expensive than other courier companies - but offer you the opportunity for a pick up from a Royal Mail depot if an attempted delivery has been made and you have not been in. We often under-quote shipping costs for Parcelforce and top up for you any required postal tariffs.

What do I need to do if I receive a damaged item?

If an item is damaged when you open your parcel, you must get in touch with us straight away so that we can take your claim forward for you.

To assist us in claiming for damages on your behalf you MUST provide us with a number of images of the damage.

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Sadly, if you cannot provide any images of the damage or packaging, it will invalidate any claims or refunds for the damage.

Rest assured that I will do all I can to take claims through for you promptly and without fuss.

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