[ 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'.

Author: 
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.
£320.00
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.'