[Rev. Dr Robert Rainey of New College, Edinburgh, Presbyterian divine.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Robert Rainey') to 'Mr Willie', responding humourously to a request for an autograph, while exhorting him to be a good Christian.

Robert Rainy (1826-1906), Scottish Presbyterian divine after whom Rainy Hall in New College, Edinburgh (the Divinity faculty in Edinburgh University) is named
Publication details: 
On letterhead of 23 Douglas Crescent, Edinburgh. 12 October 1886.

2pp, 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. Given the contents of the letter, the recipient 'Mr Willie', whose father is a minister ('of the manse'), may well be 'Master Willie', i.e. a youth named William. He is 'much flattered' by the value Willie puts on his autograph, and he hopes that his collection 'will prosper, & become extensive & distinguished'. He remembers 'that Tom Hood replying to a similar application professed to be in doubt what style of signature was wanted.

[ Thomas Gilliland, London theatrical journalist, to 'Rainy Day' Smith. ] Autograph Note Signed ('Thos Gilliland'), sending from his 'Fruit Basket', the 'Apple' of Smith's 'Eye'.

Thomas Gilliland (fl. 1804–1816), London theatre journalist [ John Thomas Smith [ 'Antiquity' Smith; 'Rainy Day' Smith ] (1766-1833), artist and Keeper of Prints at the British Museum
Publication details: 
Fitzroy Square [ London ]. 17 March 1823.

An uncommon theatrical signature from the era of Lamb and Hazlitt. Gilliland was a professional journalist, liked by Monk Lewis and Thomas Moore. His presence in the green-room of Drury Lane Theatre as a 'spy' caused objections from Charles Mathews the elder and other actors. Gilliland was alive in 1816, in which year his name appears in the Biographical Dictionary of Living Authors. There is an 1807 engraving of Gilliland by Thomas Cheesman, after Samuel De Wilde. The present item is 1p., landscape 12mo. In fair condition, on aged paper with wear to extremities.

Engraving of bearded man walking while reading a book.

John Thomas Smith (1766-1833), artist and antiquary
Publication details: 
London Published as the Act directs December 31st 1815 by John Thomas Smith No 4 Chandos Street Covent Garden.'

On wove paper roughly eleven inches by seven and three-quarters; dimensions of print roughly seven inches by four and a half. Image clear and unaffected, on paper aged and creased, with some staining to extremities. Smith's monogram in bottom left-hand corner. The figure is formally dressed, in frock-coat and stockings, with his hat tucked under his left arm. Clearly a portrait, but of whom is uncertain: it is not among the six works by Smith catalogued by the National Portrait Gallery. A charming evocation of print culture in the early part of the nineteenth century.

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