The Face of Sherlock Holmes Part I: The Victorian Illustrators

Which 19th century sketch depicts the famous fictional detective?


If you guessed all the images, you are correct. Although many Victorian era artists sketched Sherlock for publications, only six illustrators are featured above.

H. 1887 by David Henry Friston from the first story edition of a “Study in Scarlet”

O. 1888 by Charles A. Doyle, Arthur Conaan-Doyle’s father, from the first book edition

L.  1890 by Charles Kerr from “The Sign of Four”

M. 1891 by George Hutchinson from the second edition “Study in Scarlet”

E. 1893 by Sidney Paget from “The Greek Interpreter”

S. 1894 by unknown artist from the First American edition of Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by A.L. Burt Publishing Company

Sidney Paget emerged as the Victorian illustrator who most influenced the public image of Sherlock Holmes. He created over 350 sketches of the fictional detective and first added two details never described by Arthur Conaan-Doyle. The deerstalker cap and Inverness cape.

Bosc-011891 Sidney Paget illustration from “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”

A complete set of Paget’s illustrated issues for The Strand is extremely rare and valuable. His original drawing of the image below sold for $220,800.00 in 2004.

1893 Sidney Paget illustration from “The Final Problem”


Future post:

Jan. 21st  The Face of Sherlock Holmes Part II: The Victorian Actors

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Which Victorian illustration of Sherlock Holmes do you prefer? Why?


  1. I’m soooo disappointed. None of them look like Robert Downey Jr.

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