One of many caricatures by Robert Browning Snr that filled the albums sold for £4000 by Tennants.

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They were the work of Robert Browning Snr and academic studies can be found online that discuss their influence on his much more famous son’s poetry, said the saleroom.

The caricature reproduced here featured among the 32 ink and watercolour or pencil examples found in an undated album.

The caption reads: “Gravesend already, Sir!! – No. This is only Grinnage – Besides[?] we hav’nt come to the West Indies yet – & every body knows that Gravesend is full 3 miles beyond Jamaica.”

The other album, titled ‘Sketches from the High Courts’ and dated 1831, contains 31 pencil portraits or caricatures that focus principally on criminals.

Some are identified – Black George and Tom Pipes for example – while others are characterised by location or commentary, such as “First appearance at Bow Street” or a dismissive “I’d rather see a Bearbait than a Coronation”.

The albums came to auction by descent from a family who had been neighbours of the Brownings in Peckham before moving to Arundel.

Wisden wisdom

Other highlights in this North Yorkshire auction included a complete run of the Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack sold for £13,000.

The volumes of the almanack ran from 1864 -2018 and included facsimile copies of 17 of the volumes. The enduring popularity of the ‘Bible of Cricket’ was demonstrated by the competitive bidding that pushed the hammer price well above a £2000-3000 estimate.