Truly pithy chroniclers of the modern condition are few and far between. Osbert Lancaster was one such man. Waspish, moustachioed and superficially a paragon of the British architectural establishment, Lancaster was an
illustrator with a sharp eye and even keener wit.

Osbert Lancaster

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Cartoons & Coronets, an exhibition at The Wallace Collection in London as well as an illustrated biography of Lancaster’s work, demonstrates his aptitude for snappy social pigeonholing, able to name a sub-section of architectural style or new political affiliation with accuracy (it was Lancaster who coined the memorable term ’Stockbroker Tudor’ to describe the ersatz medieval mansions that studded the Home Counties, pride and joy of the newly moneyed professional classes). As well as skewering the architectural profession and its pretensions, Lancaster evolved into a famed political cartoonist, a household name in the post-war years.