The letters, from Burne-Jones (1833-98) to Agnes Graham (1861-1937), the youngest daughter of his patron William Graham, were written between 1876-94 and many include illustrations and doodles by the artist.
Graham, the Scottish merchant, Liberal MP and patron of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, first encountered Burne-Jones’ works in 1864 and became close friends with the artist and started collecting his works.
Written in an “intimate and caring, emotional and often effusive manner, clearly showing the depth of fatherly feeling” Burne-Jones felt for Agnes, the 83 letters are contained in an album that will be offered at Cheffins in its June 12-13 sale with an estimate of £20,000-30,000.
The album, which is being sold alongside three leaves of single figure pencil sketches and one letter to Agnes’ husband Herbert Jekyll, have been consigned by Agnes’ descendants.
Also consigned by the family are two pencil on card sketches: one depicting the goddess of marriage Hymen holding a harp and the other a blessing of a married couple. They are inscribed AG/1876 and From EBJ. These are preparatory studies for the painting Hymenaeus, now in the Delaware Art Museum. The sketches are also offered at £20,000-30,000.