Puck Magazine, Very Collectible For a Number of Reasons

by pawpaw

If you've never heard of Puck Magazine, you aren't alone. Puck's first English language edition, was published in New York City, in 1877, and it's last edition in 1918.

I stumbled on a copy of Puck at a flea market. The image on the cover just grabbed me instantly. It was old, but it was in color, and the artwork was eye popping.
I enjoy things that are political, and the subject matter of the cartoon was political in nature. Not only did it have a great cover, but the contents were just as amazing. There was a great centerfold, also with great artwork, and it was almost like stepping back in time, to catch a glimpse of what was being hotly discussed in politics at the time. I was hooked. It was priced right, so I quickly became the new owner.
Here I will tell a little about Puck, and will share some images of past issues. If you get hooked by the great images, and political satire like I did, and you would like to own a copy or two, I will let you know how you can get one.
Image: Library of Congress

Politics at That Time.

Although Puck was presented as a non-partisan player in American political life, they did have their favorites. One of those was Grover Cleveland. Puck is given credit by some for Cleveland being elected, in 1884.

The photo below gives an Example of a cartoon from the time. It shows President Grover Cleveland handing over the U.S. Treasury to Benjamin Harrison, with a huge surplus. Four years later, Harrison hands the Treasury back to Cleveland, and it shows the safe door open, and the word Looted across the door. 


Presidents Cleveland and Harrison
Presidents Cleveland and Harrison

Being a follower of politics in today's very partisan atmosphere in America, I can imagine that many of the political cartoons in Puck, were received with glee by some, and disdain by others. I really wish they were around today, so I could see how they would present our present day politicians. Like people back then, I might be pleased, or I might be displeased, but either way, I'm sure I would be amused.  

No Person Escaped.

Even those who may have been slightly favored by Puck, didn't escape being victims of their satire. The cover below depicts Cleveland being blasted over and over by his own words, from a parrot on his desk. It repeats....."A Public Office is a Public Trust"

President Cleveland and Parrot
President Cleveland and Parrot

What is the value of a Puck Magazine.

Like with any collectible item, value depends on condition and rarity. Although I've seen some issues go for very large sums, the going rate for many issues is about $25.00, to $35.00. 

Sadly, many people like to frame the artwork, and for that reason  complete magazines are becoming fewer as the years go by, as people separate the magazines into single frameable pages. 

More Puck Images

Edward VII
Edward VII
Puck magazine, 19 November 1902
Puck magazine, 19 November 1902
Puck Cover
Puck Cover

Puck Magazines For Sale

If you would like to own one, here are a few to choose from.

Puck Magazine 1885 Bound Volume 17 U S Grant Monopolies Tarif...

Time left: 3 weeks, 3 days
Fixed price: $399.00  Buy It Now
Updated: 05/15/2015, pawpaw
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


pawpaw on 05/06/2013

I agree, it is neat to take a step back in time, by seeing how things have changed.

Natural_Skin_Care on 05/06/2013

This looks like the kind of thing I would pick up. I'm a sucker for old timey illustrations.

belinda342 on 05/06/2013

I would love a collectible issue of Puck! A few years ago I lucked into buying a box of old magazines at an auction. They just happened to be from the WWII era. I love each of every one of them! It's fun to see how life was in the olden days and just how much has changed.

You might also like

Sleeping Beauties: The Victorians and Post-Mortem Photography

Less divorced from death than we are today, the Victorians took keepsakes tha...

Ada Lovelace: The First Computer Programmer in 1843

She was the daughter of the poet Byron. But history knows Countess Lovelace m...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...