Odds and quads

September 6, 2012

The wooden box contains the hands of David Low (1891-1963), the political cartoonist, cast in wax by Madame Tussauds in London.

In 1933, when the waxwork was made, Britain's political cartoonists were considered sufficiently important for three of them - Low, George Strube and Percy Fearon - to appear in a gallery of people "In The News", alongside the politicians they caricatured.

Low visited Madame Tussauds to see his waxwork and drew a cartoon of the surreal encounter for the London Evening Standard. His effigy remained on display until September 1940, when a German bomb shattered the galleries. Although Low's waxwork did not survive, he was presented with the hands, which had been cast from life. He displayed them in a velvet-lined casket with a glass lid.

They are now in the British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Much of the collection has been digitised and can be seen at www.cartoons.ac.uk.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

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