Ewbank, Send, March 25
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent
UK: An amusing, illustrated letter sent by the 16-year-old Edward Coley Burne Jones to his aunt Amelia on May 7, 1849, topped this sale with a London bid of £880.
Browned at the folds and edges – as the illustration shows – it refers to a stay at her house at Harris Bridge and is enlivened with sketches of a wedding, a bell-ringing accident, a parish meeting in the churchyard, a curious cricketing scene, a sketch of an excitable Miss Sampson (who had looked after him from the time of his mother’s death in childbirth) knocking over a table, and ‘Ted Jones as he is – as he will be’, a tailpiece illustration which hints at a future career in the church.
Art historian Jason Rosenfeld, who assisted in cataloguing the lot and identifying some of the figures and incidents portrayed, points out that young Ted had been much influenced by a Calvinist minister encountered at his aunt’s house.
Sold at £500 in this Surrey sale was a Privy Council document of the 1590s, relating to the victualling of the navy prior to Essex’s attack on Cadiz and signed by Lords Essex, Howard of Effingham, Burghley, Hunsdon and Sir John Fortescue.
A subscriber’s copy of Edwin O. Sachs’ three-volume, illustrated record of Modern Opera Houses and Theatres, 1896, was described as “very brittle” and sold at £420. If complete with the supplementary plates, which brings the count to over 200, this is a work that can make close to £1000 at auction.
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