It’s perhaps not well known that for a short period after Sherlock Holmes’ death in 1915, amidst the confusion and grief, a ne’re-do-well calling himself Jonathan Holmes, and claiming to be Sherlock’s estranged brother, sought and was granted legal control of the Holmes estate, and (more to the point) the Holmes name. It seems that for the 8 short months Jonathan Holmes held the rights to the famous name, before being discovered, he attempted most vigilantly to cash in on its renown. At some time in early 1916 receipts reveal that he employed the services of an American printer by the name of Stanley Wieden to create a group of broadsides in the hopes of enticing the public to part with some coin to learn for themselves the “recondite practices” of the beloved master detective. Above we see the only surviving example of Weiden’s efforts. (click here for larger version) How effective this vague (yet vaguely familiar) tack proved remains unknown.

12.05. filed under: design. lies. 1