[ William Chaffers and Eliza Meteyard, authorities on pottery. ] Two Autograph Letters Signed (both 'W. Chaffers') from Chaffers to Meteyard, the first on her forthcoming biography of Josiah Wedgwood, the second on 'the Wedgwood vase' of 'Mr Avery'.

William Chaffers (1811-1842), authority on hallmarks and potters' marks [ Eliza Meteyard (1816-1879), writer, advocate of women's rights and biographer of Josiah Wedgwood; Rev. William Avery ]
Publication details: 
The first letter from 19 Fitzroy Square [ London ], 1 March 1865; the second letter on letterhead of same address, 16 February 1868.
SKU: 20131

See the entries on both parties in the Oxford DNB. Both letters in good condition, lightly aged. Each with a different monogram letterhead, the second also with printed address. ONE: 1 March 1865. 2pp., 12mo. With an eye to the two-volume biography of Josiah Wedgwood which Meteyard would publish later in the year, Chaffers writes that '[s]ome time since' he saw, while 'visiting a gentleman at Manchester […] some correspondence from Wedgwood to his Grandfather', and he now thinks 'they might serve to add a link to the Chain of his history which you are now engaged upon'. He has 'begged copies of these' for her. He continues: 'I wrote to my friend C Roach Smith [ the antiquary Charles Roach Smith (1806-1890) ] for your address and he tells me that your interesting work is already in the press if it should not be too late & of sufficient importance the letters might be put in an appendix.' TWO: 16 February 1868. 3pp., 12mo. Chaffers' entry in the Oxford DNB states that he 'also dealt in antiques', and the letter is a disingenuous and none too subtle attempt to acquire a valuable item at a low price , the subject of the letter being the 'most lovely vase' of the 'Rev. Wm. Avery, of St. Goran, Megavissey, Cornwall', for which see Meteyard's Wedgwood, vol.2, p.515. The letter begins: 'Mr Barlow brought the Wedgwood vase to me this morning; I thought it was still at the Sk Museum as I saw it in the lock up the last time I was there, but not exhibited to the Public.' He would like to know 'the lowest possible price Mr Avery will take for it to me[.] I do not mean the asking price; - as buyers sometimes like an abatement; I really think between ourselves £50 would be a fair price, in fact I have seen them sold lately for a less sum, the finish does not come up to my expectations, especially in the snake handles and leaves, the frieze is certainly fine and sharp – the colour also is rather too deep a blue; and it has not “Wedgwood” stamped.' He asks her not to show Avery the letter, 'as he may think I wish to run it down'. He will do his best to 'dispose' of the vase once he knows Avery's lowest price, 'and will get as much more as I can for him'. Despite his protestations, he continues to run down the statue in a postscript: 'The pattern is far from unique[.] I saw a vase yesterday of the same subject but smaller in size and slightly damaged at the handle – the price asked me was £25.'