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Frederick Richards Rayner 1858–1951 was a funny man, a brilliant caricaturist, said to be the best raconteur in New Zealand.
He was a Welshman who fled the foundries of Swansea for a life in the colonies. In New Zealand, he was soon in demand for his witty songs accompanied by the banjo. Then he found he could draw and added stage lightning sketching to his repertoire. His cartoons drew such applause that he decided to publish them—and so began the irregular satirical magazine The Sketcher 1883–1908.
Rayner took a refresher in England in 1899, working in the Slade and Westminster Art Schools, and with the great caricaturist Phil May. His work improved hugely from the experience and when the 16-year old David Low, who would become our greatest cartoonist, worked for him, what he gained was, Low said, “more precious than rubies”.