Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Inspiration - fiddlesticks ...

                  ... that's all bunkum I just sit down to draw a picture as one might sit down to make a pudding, then I concentrate on possible subjects until I strike a good one. If I were to wait for inspiration, I'd starve."   G. E. Studdy, The Royal Magazine 1924. 


George Ernest Studdy is probably best remembered for his drawings of ‘Bonzo’, a mischievous white puppy, but he also created several other characters like those featured in this calendar from 1922. 

Missed boat. Will turn up later, Tom. 

Sorry could not dine with you last night. Got a touch of flu, Bertie.

Sorry to disappoint you. Cannot possibly put you up, Horace.

Spending week-end on river. Hope to get a line from you, Percy.

Expect to arrive in dock shortly. Portland in sight, Bill.

I found the calendar at the Bath & West Flea market a couple of months ago...


...it was produced for D. J. Snell Music Publisher, Piano & Gramophone Dealer, 
Alexandra Arcade, High Street, Swansea. 


I'm not sure if I have an enquiring mind or a nosy nature but either way I felt compelled to find out more about D. J. Snell.

David John Snell was born at 44 Dyvatty Terrace, Swansea on the 1st August 1880. He was the son of Henry Snell and his wife Eliza (nee Lewis). David had a brother James and sister Ann. Nothing is known of his early life but on the 7th October 1906 he married Elizabeth Ann Evans, and together they had four sons. On the cover of one of his early catalogues, he is shown to be selling gramophones, phonographs and records (by far the largest stock in Wales) and to be an agent for Spencer pianos and Malcolm organs.

By 1911 D. J. Snell was dealing in sheet music as well as musical instruments – indeed one of his catalogues boasts: Every popular song (Welsh or English) kept in stock. At the same time, he was acquiring the copyright to musical compositions with the intention of publishing them. The majority of the works he purchased in the early years had already been published, but he republished them under his own name. He was scrupulous about buying not only copyright but also the available stock and the printing plates, and by so doing he was free to sell the stock with his own name over stamped on the previously printed copies.

In 1917 he purchased the copyrights and all stock and plates of the North Wales Music Company. Four years later, he purchased the music published by the Welsh National Publishing Company of Caernarfon. When he acquired the firm of J.R. Lewis of Carmarthen in 1924 and that of Isaac Jones of Treherbert in 1930, he effectively established for himself a music publishing empire in South Wales. The growth of the publishing side of the business in the years to 1939 is reflected in the catalogues which he issued.  The earliest such catalogue was just seven pages long, later catalogues ran to thirty one pages. Though the firm continued to publish during the forties and fifties, the last-known catalogue was the one issued in 1939. Bombing raids over Swansea in February 1941 saw the loss of numerous printing plates and a large amount of stock.  In spite of his advancing age, D. J. Snell continued to be active in the business until his death on the 13th January 1957. His wife died a few months later.

It’s possible his sons continued the retail side of the business but having trawled through hundreds of newspapers and online records I'm unable to say for sure.  I will keep looking and update this post if I should find any answers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Sources
The National library of Wales https://www.llgc.org.uk/
Find my past http://www.findmypast.co.uk/
Chris Beetles Gallery http://www.chrisbeetles.com/


25 comments:

  1. Great quote to start out with! Sometimes we wait for inspiration to hit us, but sometimes we just need to work regardless. :)

    Thanks for sharing the calendar illustrations and tags. I love that you have an inquiring mind at that you found so much information about Snell. Fascinating- he sounds like quite the entrepreneur.

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    1. Hi Stephanie, I loved that quote, glad you enjoyed it and the rest of the post. Thanks for visiting, Barbara.

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  2. An interesting character you have discovered for us!

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    1. Hi Darlene, he was quite the character, wish I could find out what happened to his sons.

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  3. Wow, that calendar is certainly for adults and quite a departure from puppies. That couple better figure out a way over the wall because that bull loves that red hat!

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    1. Hi Eve, I hoped a departure from puppies might be a welcome change, but I’m sure it won’t be long before they are back. Love Barbara

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  4. Good evening dear, dear Barbara! You take me to another world and facet of the language I was born into; England and all that has come out of England has always fascinated me as I see these lovely books with a WHOLE OTHER WORLD unlike my own, and yet real. Such beautiful countrysides, such interesting expressions in the language, and I adore it all. Thank you for bringing it to us!

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    1. Good morning dear Anita, thank you for your sweet comment. I’m so pleased you enjoyed this rather different post. I hope your first day back at school went well. Hugs Barbara

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  5. Hello Barbara you again found something interesting for us, those illustrations are amazing, a nice read indeed :)

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  6. Brilliant! Love those cards...and the jokes! :).
    As they say...'You can'y beat the oldies'. or
    the jokes!
    I will laugh at anything..always see the funny side.
    Saw an old friend in Tesco last Sunday. she told me
    she'd lost her husband recently...Me! I just said, l thought
    that was rather careless of her...! :). And, did she find him!
    She slapped my arm...And we had a chuckle!

    And..the calender...1922...year my Dad was born..19th Aug.
    All very interesting Barbara...
    Remember...
    "We don't stop laughing because we grow old.....We grow old
    because we stop laughing".

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    1. Good morning Willie, how right you are, and I’m glad to say you always make me laugh! I’m 67 today but thanks to keeping cheerful I don’t look a day over 67! Have a wonderful day despite the rain – Keep Laughing xx

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  7. Fascinating stuff. The style of these illustrations definitely put me in mind of those old seaside postcards.

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    1. Hi Tracy, I know exactly what you mean. Barbara x

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  8. I love the calendar images. They're witty as well as colourful. The history of DJ Snell is interesting too. :)

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  9. Its an enquiring mind. I like to look things up too.
    Julie xxxxxxx

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    1. Of course it is Julie, we are not nosy at all!! xx

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  10. Yes we are nosy sister! Love those illustrations and the history.

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    1. You speak for yourself Sue. I'm just inquisitive! :-)

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  11. Those are too fun, too precious. What a delightful sense of humor.

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  12. This is so interesting. I love to research (be nosy about) industrious people of the past and that opening quote is perfect. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Marcia. I think I must have caught the researching bug from you. It's all I want to do at the moment. :-)

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  13. Those illustrations are absolutely priceless. Your inquisitive mind is our gain keep looking:-)

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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