Watch presented to Charles Dickens by Bentley’s Miscellany, £11,500 at Stride & Son.

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Initialled CD, the William IV gilt metal watch by London maker William Tyas is engraved to the reverse Dearest Boz editor Bentleys Miscellany Dec.1836.

The relatively modest timekeeper on a leather fob is understood to have been given to Dickens (under his pseudonym Boz) to mark the first year at the helm of Bentley’s Miscellany, the general interest magazine founded by publisher Richard Bentley that serialised Oliver Twist in 24 instalments from 1837-39 accompanied by George Cruikshanks’ illustrations.

In 1839, Dickens resigned from the editorship after falling out with Bentley over money and editorial control, calling him a ‘Burlington Street Brigand’. “I am conscious that my books are enriching everybody connected with them but myself,” he had written to Bentley in January 1839.

The watch was estimated at £2000-4000 on March 6 but made £11,500.


Watch presented to Charles Dickens by Bentley’s Miscellany, £11,500 at Stride & Son.

Daughter nicknamed 'Lucifer Box'

The three lots came from a deceased estate originating in the Portsmouth area. Stride said it was likely they had belonged to the author’s youngest and favourite daughter, Catherine Elizabeth Macready Dickens (1839-1929).

Dickens is said to have referred to her as ‘Lucifer Box’ on account of her fiery temper.

Sold at £3400 (guide £400-600) was a gift he gave to her on her 20th birthday: a Victorian figured walnut and gilt brass combined writing slope and stationery casket. Two inset plaques read Happy Birthday Little Lucifer Box 20 Oct 1859 and Catherine Elizabeth Dickens.

Another lot, a copy of Children’s Stories from Dickens, re-told by his Grand-Daughter published by Raphael Tuck & Sons in c. 1911 sold within estimate at £95. Number 323 from an edition of 500 copies, it was also signed by five of Dickens’ granddaughters to the limitation page.