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Famed dynasty detailed in diaries and journals

26 August 2019

An archive relating to a once famous Suffolk dynasty comes for sale at Sworders in Stansted Mountfitchet on September 10-11. The diaries, journals and letters of Lady Ann Cullum (1807-75) of Hardwick House near Bury St Edmunds form part of a Fine Interiors sale.

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Royal Navy journals become surprise success at South Cerney auction

06 May 2019

Sent to auction by a descendant, two partly broken and disbound journals relating to the early years in the naval career of William Chimmo (1828-91) proved an unexpected success in a recent South Cerney sale.

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Satirical university challenge

12 March 2018

Magazine by ‘heathen staff’ sells for 10-times top estimate in the city where it was produced...

Quite a life: polar explorer, air pioneer and wartime pilot

04 September 2017

Tryggve Gran (1888-1980) – polar explorer and First World War aviator – was a man whose achievements and adventurous life were recognised in two lots offered by Christie’s (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on July 12.

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First Fleet footsteps in the Australian continent

19 June 2017

Written by Judge Advocate David Collins, secretary, close friend and adviser to Governor Arthur Phillip, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales of 1798-1802 was the last of the so-called ‘First Fleet’ journals to be published.

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Diary discovery unearths the horrors and delights of the trenches

22 October 2010

THIS watercolour sketch comes from a remarkable 120-page First World War journal penned by Lieutenant Kenneth Edwin Wootton of the 1/21 Battalion, London Regt Tank Corps.

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Stalag Luft III’s original scriptwriters

01 February 2010

A PENCIL and watercolour sketch showing men at work on a celebrated escape tunnel was a major attraction in a log or record compiled in 1943-45 by a Scottish P.O.W. sold by Lyon & Turnbull of Edinburgh for £3200 on January 13.

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Diary from ordinary seaman takes $110,000

26 August 2008

A DIARY kept by a sailor in Nelson’s navy was offered for sale in a US auction earlier this month. Given that diaries kept by ordinary sailors are exceptionally rare, there was huge interest in this visually striking document from both sides of the Atlantic with institutions, the trade and private collectors vying for the journal.

Museum buys unique archive of slave trade

18 December 2006

The Museum in Docklands have acquired a rare and significant archive of 18th century papers highlighting London’s role in the transatlantic slave trade.

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John Davis (?) and Nares in Arctic waters

14 October 2004

THE portrait of John Davis seen right – if it is indeed the man after whom the straits between Greenland and Baffin Island are named – was far and away the earliest of the Arctic lots on offer, but not the most expensive.

Executioner’s tales offered a slice of life a century ago

05 March 2003

LAST month, 14 notebooks containing the gruesome diaries of Anatole Deibler, France’s last public executioner, were sold in Paris at Beaussant-Lefèvre (17.94% buyer’s premium) for €85,000 (£55,600).

“Lose not therefore a Moment in preparing the Means of achieving so much Glory for your Country”

12 September 2002

Sold for £180 as part of a Hamptons sale on August 1 was the handbill exhorting Englishmen! to take up arms against Napoleon, right.

1858 first issue of Coral Island

09 April 2001

UK: AS well as a quantity of letters, journals and sketch albums written or compiled by R.M. Ballantyne – among them an album containing sketches made on excursions to Scotland and fishing trips to Norway in the 1850s, which sold at £1000 to David Miles – the Bonhams (Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent) sale contained an 1858 first issue of Coral Island, the publisher’s decorative blue cloth binding slightly worn but generally good, which made £4000 (Heritage).

Revolutionary freesheets and a note from the King of Siam

19 February 2001

UK: ONE of a group of seven newspapers, plus a printed edict, issued in March 1917, at the outbreak of the Russian revolution, which sold for £400 (Hanson). They were apparently distributed free in the streets of Petrograd and these copies were acquired by Gertrude Hitchcock, who was there working for a British engineering company at the time.