AND

[Stuart Poole [Reginald Stuart Poole], numismatist and Egyptologist.] Signed Secretarial Note, on behalf of the British Museum, declining to purchase ‘the coin of Egbert’.

Author: 
Stuart Poole [Reginald Stuart Poole] (1832-1895), numismatist and Egyptologist, Keeper of the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum
Publication details: 
7 March 1885; on embossed British Museum letterhead.
£45.00

1p, 12mo. On first leaf of bifolium. In good condition, with slight wear at foot of gutter. Folded once for postage. The signature ‘Reginald Stuart Poole’ is large and expansive. The text, in another hand, reads: ‘Sir, / I regret to say that I cannot entertain the purchase of the coin of Egbert which you showed me the other day’.

[Sir John Betjeman, Poet Laureate, broadcaster and public figure.] Autograph Note begun in type to the proprietor of Books and Bookmen Philip Dosse.

Author: 
Sir John Betjeman (1906-1984), Poet Laureate and popular broadcaster and public figure [Philip Dosse (1925-1980), proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of arts magazines including Books and Bookmen]
Sir John Betjeman
Publication details: 
No date or place [1970s]. On his compliments slip.
£56.00
Sir John Betjeman

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. From the papers of Philip Dosse, proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of a stable of seven arts magazines including Books and Bookmen and Plays and Players. See ‘Death of a Bookman’ by the novelist Sally Emerson (editor of ‘Books and Bookmen’ at the time of Dosse’s suicide), in Standpoint magazine, October 2018; and Michael Barber, 'What was Books and Bookmen?', Literary Review blog, 18 August 2023. On one side of a 14 x 10 cm compliments slip in red ink, which has 'Sir JOHN BETJEMAN' at top left, and 'With Compliments' centred.

[Mary Whitehouse, campaigner against the ‘permissive society’, founder and president of the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association.] Two Autograph Notes Signed on compliments slips, and her ‘New Address’ in Autograph.

Author: 
Mary Whitehouse [née Constance Mary Hutcheson] (1910-2001), campaigner against the ‘permissive society’, founder and president of the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association
Publication details: 
None of the items dated, but from the 1960s or 1970s.
£100.00

A controversial figure much-ridiculed by the media, but nevertheless wielding considerable influence. See her entry in the Oxford DNB. All three items in good condition. Items 1 and 2 are 11.5 x 9 cm compliments slips for ‘The Secretary’ of the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association, with the address in the bottom left-hand corner: ‘MRS. MARY WHITEHOUSE | Triangle Farm House | Far Forest | Nr. KIDDERMINSTER | Worcs.’ and her phone number at bottom right. ONE: ‘The Secretary’ crossed out by Whitehouse and replaced with her signature ‘Mary Whitehouse’. Autograph message: ‘In haste.

[Walter Crane, book illustrator, designer and painter associated with the Arts and Crafts movement and the Art-Workers' Guild.] Autograph Signature and valediction of a letter.

Author: 
Walter Crane (1845-1915), book illustrator, designer and painter, associated with the Arts and Crafts movement and the Art-Workers' Guild
Walter Crane
Publication details: 
No place or date.
£35.00
Walter Crane

from the end of a letter. A good example of Crane's stylized and distinctive signature. Reads: 'Believe me, / Very truly yours, / Walter Crane'. The top part of a cropped 'P S' is present at bottom left. See Image.

[Newcastle and Berwick Railway, 1846.] Manuscript 'Minutes on projected Railways in the Manor of Tynemouth' by 'Thorp & Dickson', Alnwick attorneys, 'Read to Mr. Hudson' (i.e. George Hudson, 'the Railway King').

Author: 
Newcastle and Berwick Railway, 1846: Thorp and Dickson, Alnwick attorneys [George Hudson (1800-1871), 'he Railway King'; Duke of Northumberland; Manor of Tynemouth]
Publication details: 
?Alnwick October 23 - 1846?. ?Thorp & Dickson?.
£220.00

See Hudsons's entry in the Oxford DNB. 3pp, foolscap 8vo, on three leaves, with fourth covering leaf ('23rd Oct. 1846. / Copy / Railway Minutes / Thorp & Dickson / &c &c'). Attached at one corner with red ribbon. Headed: 'Alnwick October 23 - 1846 / Minutes on projected Railways / in the Manor of Tynemouth - / Read to Mr. Hudson, of which he requested a copy.' There are five minutes, the last covering two pages. The first three read: '1.

[J. K. Galbraith, Canadian economist, Professor of Economics at Harvard University.] Typed Letter Signed and Typed Note Signed to Philip Dosse, regarding his reviewing for 'Books and Bookmen'.

Author: 
J. K. Galbraith [John Kenneth Galbraith] (1908-2006), Canadian economist and diplomat, Professor of Economics at Harvard University [Philip Dosse (1925-1980), publisher of 'Books and Bookmen']
Publication details: 
1 October 1974 and 5 February 1975. Both on his Harvard letterhead.
£80.00

From the papers of Philip Dosse, proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of a stable of seven arts magazines including Books and Bookmen and Plays and Players. See 'Death of a Bookman' by the novelist Sally Emerson (editor of 'Books and Bookmen' at the time of Dosse's suicide), in Standpoint magazine, October 2018; and Michael Barber, 'What was Books and Bookmen?', Literary Review blog, 18 August 2023. Both items in good condition, lightly aged. Both folded once for postage. Both 1p, 12mo. ONE (1 October 1974): It was 'nice' of Dosse to write, but he 'needn't have given it a second thought'.

[Isaiah Berlin's secretary Patricia Utrechin.] Two Typed Letters Signed to Philip Dosse, conveying Berlin's unwillingness to review Golda Meir's autobiography ('no reviewing for at least two years').

Author: 
Isaiah Berlin's secretary Patricia Utechin [Isaiah Berlin (1907-1997), historian of ideas; Philip Dosse (1925-80); 'Books and Bookmen']
Publication details: 
16 October and 4 November 1975. Each on letterhead of Headington House, Old High Street, Headington, Oxford.
£150.00

See Berlin's entry in the Oxford DNB. The recipient Philip Dosse (often addressed, as in this letter, as ‘Dossé’) was proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of a stable of seven arts magazines including Books and Bookmen and Plays and Players. See ‘Death of a Bookman’ by the novelist Sally Emerson (editor of ‘Books and Bookmen’ at the time of Dosse’s suicide), in Standpoint magazine, October 2018. Both items 1p, landscape 8vo. In good condition, lightly aged.

[Barbara Cartland, ‘The Queen of Romance’, best-selling author of romantic fiction.] Typed Letter Signed to Philip Dosse, proprietor of ‘Books and Bookmen’, responding to his praise of a speech she has given.

Author: 
Barbara Cartland [Dame Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland] (1901-2000), ‘The Queen of Romance’, best-selling author of more than 700 works of romantic fiction [Philip Dosse (1925-80); 'Books and Bookmen']
Publication details: 
‘From: Miss Barbara Cartland, D.ST.J.’ 1 October 1979; on letterhead of Camfield Place, Hatfield, Hertfordshire.
£56.00

See her entry in the Oxford DNB. The recipient Philip Dosse (often addressed, as in this letter, as ‘Dossé’) was proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of a stable of seven arts magazines including Books and Bookmen and Plays and Players. See ‘Death of a Bookman’ by the novelist Sally Emerson (editor of ‘Books and Bookmen’ at the time of Dosse’s suicide), in Standpoint magazine, October 2018. 1p, 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded once for postage. Large and ebullient signature in red felt-tip pen.

[Alfred Parsons, landscape painter and garden designer.] Original pen and ink drawing of a clump of daffodils growing in front of mass of other foliage. Monogram signature on the drawing ‘AP.’, and with second full signature and date on mount.

Author: 
Alfred Parsons [Alfred William Parsons] (1847-1920), landscape painter, illustrator, and garden designer
Alfred Parsons
Publication details: 
‘Alfred Parsons. / Loseley Park. May 26th. 1893.’
£1,000.00
Alfred Parsons

An attractive and highly-finished production, in black ink, on 17.5 x 20.5 cm piece of wove paper, glued on the reverse at the four corners to a leaf extracted from the autograph album of the novelist George Meredith and his daughter Marie Eveleen (Mariette; 1871-1933), wife of Henry Parkman Sturgis (1847-1929), American-born banker and Liberal politician. Parsons' monogram signature 'AP. in its two-bordered square is at the bottom left of the drawing, and there is an additional autograph signature with date to the right of the drawing on the leaf of the Meredith album: 'Alfred Parsons.

[King George VI [as Prince Albert].] Printed post card of portrait photograph by Olive Edis (Mrs Galsworthy), with [facsimile?] signature ‘Albert’.

Author: 
King George VI [as Prince Albert]; Olive Edis (Mrs Galsworthy) (1876-1955), photographer
King George VI [as Prince Albert)
Publication details: 
[Part of a photoshoot by Olive Edis, England, 1920.]
£90.00
King George VI [as Prince Albert)

A very nice print in grey tones. Landscape: 7.5 x 13 cm. With the words ‘POST CARD’ printed on the reverse. Image in very good condition; traces of black paper mount adhering to the reverse. A head and shoulders shot of the future king, taken from the left, with right shoulder slightly forwards, face turned to the right and eyes staring vacantly ahead over the viewer’s right shoulder. Clean-shaven with parting on left; arms folded across chest, smartly attired in double-breasted check lounge suit with white shirt and ‘oriental-knot’ tie.

[Jesse Collings, Liberal politician, advocate of free education and land reform.] Five Autograph Letters Signed to Bernard Piffard, regarding opposition to Lords of the Manor over enclosures, and 'Allotments and Small Holdings Associations'.

Author: 
Jesse Collings (1831-1920) of Birmingham, Liberal and Liberal Unionist politician, advocate of free education and land reform [Bernard Piffard (1833-1916), entomologist]
Publication details: 
Between 27 July 1885 and 22 March 1886. All from Edgbaston, Birmingham (the second a letterhead).
£150.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. From the Piffard papers. A total of 9pp, 12mo. The recipient is 'B. Piffard Esq.' and the letters are all signed 'Jesse Collings'. ONE: 27 July 1885. 2pp, 12mo. He apologises for the delay in replying: 'I have been so over-pressed with Parliamentary and other work.' He will go into the matter of Piffard's letter at the 'Committee meeting of our Allotments & Small Holdings Association' that very day.

[Bamber Gascoigne (1935-2022), television presenter and author, original quizmaster on the ITV television series ‘University Challenge’.] Autograph Letter Signed to Philip Dosse, on reviewing (for ‘Books and Bookmen’), Harold Acton and Lord Longford.

Author: 
Bamber Gascoigne (1935-2022), television presenter and author, original quizmaster on the ITV television series ‘University Challenge’ [Philip Dosse (1925-1980), publisher]
Publication details: 
27 February 1974. On letterhead of One Saint Helena Terrace, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1NR.
£100.00

Victoria Coren’s comment to the BBC on Gascoigne’s death is most apt: ‘No quiz host has ever seemed more like they could answer all the questions themselves.’ The recipient Philip Dosse was proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of a stable of seven arts magazines including Books and Bookmen and Plays and Players. See ‘Death of a Bookman’ by the novelist Sally Emerson (editor of ‘Books and Bookmen’ at the time of Dosse’s suicide), in Standpoint magazine, October 2018. 1p, 4to. Written in green ink. Addressed to ‘Dear Mr.

[Alexander W. Williamson, Professor of Chemistry at University College, London.] Autograph Signature on engraved ticket to his lecture on ‘Chemistry’, made out for the microscopist Bernard Piffard.

Author: 
Alexander W. Williamson [Alexander William Williamson] (1824-1904), Professor of Analytical and Practical Chemistry, University College, London [Bernard Piffard (1833-1916), entomologist; Choshu Five]
Alexander W. Williamson
Publication details: 
University College, London. The ticket is 'Renewed 1 Oct 1861 Perpetual Jany / 52 Session 1861-62.'
£56.00
Alexander W. Williamson

Williamson is notable for his work on the formation of ether, and for furthering Anglo-Japanese relations by welcoming the 'Choshu Five' and later members of the Satsuma han into his home. See his entry in the Oxford DNB. From the Piffard papers. Signed ‘Alexr W. Williamson’ on ticket engraved in copperplate on one side of 15.5 x 10.5 cm card. In fair condition, a little worn and somewhat discoloured with age. Central horizontal fold. Blind-stamped with ‘Treasury Seal’. The signature is at bottom right, with number of ticket (40) and the initials of the secretary ‘’ at bottom left.

[Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.] Manuscript text of an 1862 telegram from ‘Prince Alfred to The Queen / Osborne’, asking for ‘the Fairy’ to be sent to Southampton.

Author: 
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha [Alfred Ernest Albert, Duke of Edinburgh; 1844-1900], second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Publication details: 
Dated from Rugby, 26 February, with '1862' noted in blue pencil.
£80.00
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

An amusing piece of Victorian memorabilia. Written in pencil on one side of a slip of paper, roughly 14 x 7 cm, torn from the bottom of a leaf. Both sides of the paper are ruled, with the ruling on the reverse wider spaced. Confirming the fact that the item is a telegram is the fact that the word ‘Clerk.’ is printed at bottom right of the reverse, with the word ‘Railway’ in pencil at top right.

[Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk, Chief of Clan Moncreiffe.] Typed and Signed ?Letter to the Editor of books & bookmen? regarding the deceased P. G. Wodehouse, with personal recollection, extract from a Wodehouse letter, and genealogical information.

Author: 
Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk [Sir Rupert Iain Kay Moncreiffe, 11th Baronet (1919-1985)], Chief of Clan Moncreiffe, herald and genealogist [P. G. Wodehouse; Philip Dosse of ?Books and Bookmen']
Publication details: 
Undated [1975]. On letterhead: ?From Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk / Easter Moncreiffe / Perthshire?.
£220.00

A very nice piece of Wodehousiana, with Moncreiffe using his genealogical expertise to delve into Wodehouse's pedigree (See Moncreiffe's entry in the Oxford DNB.) From the archives of Philip Dosse, proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of a stable of seven arts magazines including Books and Bookmen and Plays and Players. See ?Death of a Bookman? by the novelist Sally Emerson (editor of ?Books and Bookmen? at the time of Dosse?s suicide), in Standpoint magazine, October 2018.

[Enoch Powell, Conservative and Unionist politician, controversial after his 1968 'Rivers of Blood' speech.] 14 Typed Letters Signed, with one in Autograph and five other items, to Philip Dosse, regarding his reviewing for ‘Books and Bookmen’.

Author: 
Enoch Powell [John Enoch Powell] (1912-1998), Conservative and Unionist politician, a controversial figure after his 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech on immigration [Philip Dosse (c.1924-1980)]
Powell
Publication details: 
Of Powell's fifteen letters: 2 from 1973, 10 from 1974, 1 from 1975, and 2 (including one in autograph) from 1976. On letterheads of House of Commons and 33 South Eaton Place, London, S.W.1.
£450.00
Powell

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. From the archives of Philip Dosse, proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of the ‘Seven Arts’ group of magazines, including ‘Books and Bookmen’ and ‘Plays and Players’. See ‘Death of a Bookman’ by the novelist Sally Emerson (editor of ‘Books and Bookmen’ at the time of Dosse’s suicide), in Standpoint magazine, October 2018. The twenty items are in good condition, lightly aged. Of Powell’s fifteen letters (all signed ‘J. Enoch Powell’) five on House of Commons letterheads, four on his Eaton Place letterhead, and the others with the latter address typed.

[Erma Franklin, soul singer, elder sister of Aretha Franklin.] Autograph Inscription, with Signature.

Author: 
Erma Franklin [Erma Vernice Franklin] (1938-2002), American gospel and soul singer, elder sister of Aretha Franklin
Erma Franklin
Publication details: 
Without date or place.
£35.00
Erma Franklin

The inscription reads ‘Best Wishes / [flourish] / Erma Franklin’, and is written on a piece of thick paper cut from an envelope, and shaped into an oval roughly 9.5 x 5 cm. In fair condition, lightly aged, with two vertical folds, one through the centre of the oval. See Image.

[Auberon Waugh, journalist and novelist, son of Evelyn Waugh.] Long and entertaining Typed Letter Signed to Philip Dosse, proprietor of ‘Books and Bookmen’, regarding personal and professional matters.

Author: 
Auberon Waugh (‘Bron’, 1939-2001), journalist, novelist and editor of the ‘Literary Review’, son of Evelyn Waugh [Philip Dosse (c.1924-1980), proprietor of 'Books and Bookmen' (Hansom Books)]
Auberon Waugh
Publication details: 
24 May 1977. On illustrated letterhead of ‘Combe Florey House, Combe Florey, Taunton, Somerset.
£180.00
Auberon Waugh

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. From the archives of Philip Dosse, proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of the ‘Seven Arts’ group of magazines, including ‘Books and Bookmen’ and ‘Plays and Players’. See ‘Death of a Bookman’ by the novelist Sally Emerson (editor of ‘Books and Bookmen’ at the time of Dosse’s suicide), in Standpoint magazine, October 2018. 2pp, 4to. The letterhead, on both leaves, is topped by a pleasing 10 x 6 cm woodcut of Combe Florey House. The paper is creased, otherwise in good condition, and entirely legible.

[A. J. Ayer [Sir Alfred Jules ‘Freddie’ Ayer], logical positivist philosopher, Wykeham Professorship in Logic at Oxford.] Three Typed Letters Signed to Philip Dosse of Hansom Books, regarding review work for ‘Books and Bookmen’.

Author: 
A. J. Ayer [Sir Alfred Jules ‘Freddie’ Ayer] (1910-1989), logical positivist philosopher, Wykeham Professorship in Logic at Oxford [Philip Dosse (c.1924-1980), proprietor of ‘Books and Bookmen']
Ayer
Publication details: 
4 February, 18 April and 18 October 1974. All three on letterhead of 10 Regents Park Terrace, London NW1.
£250.00
Ayer

See Richard Wollheim’s appreciative entry on Ayer in the Oxford DNB. From the archives of Philip Dosse, proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of the ‘Seven Arts’ group of magazines, including ‘Books and Bookmen’ and ‘Plays and Players’. See ‘Death of a Bookman’ by the novelist Sally Emerson (editor of ‘Books and Bookmen’ at the time of Dosse’s suicide), in Standpoint magazine, October 2018. The three items are each 1p, small 4to. All three in good condition, each folded twice. All three signed ‘A. J. Ayer’, with typed name beneath, ‘Sir Alfred Ayer’.

[The oldest regiment in the British Army: the Honourable Artillery Company.] Printed booklet: ‘List of the Chiefs, Officers, Court of Assistants, &c. &c. &c. of the Hon. Artillery-Company, For the Year 1845.’ With engraved cover and frontispiece.

Author: 
The Honourable Artillery Company, London, the oldest regiment in the British Army, founded in 1537The Honourable Artillery Company, London, the oldest regiment in the British Army, founded in 1537
Artillery
Publication details: 
London: Printed by Norris and Son, Blomfield-street, Finsbury-circus. 1845. [Honourable Artillery Company, London.]
£250.00
Artillery

Scarce: no other copy traced. The only similar material are the volumes for 1851, 1852 and 1853 in the Bishopsgate Institute. Stitched booklet. 16pp, 8vo. With card cover and frontispiece, both ornately engraved. Text and illustrations complete and undamaged, on aged paper worn at edges and with front cover detached. The cover carries the royal arms beneath the engraved words: ‘FIELD MARSHAL / His Royal Highness / The Prince Albert / K.G. K.T. G.C.B. K.P. G.C.M.G. &c. &c. &c. / Captain General and Colonel.’ At foot of page: ‘Honourable Artillery Company.

[Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk, Chief of Clan Moncreiffe, herald and genealogist.] Collection of 49 items of correspondence, to Philip Dosse of Hansom Books, mostly concerning his review work for Books and Bookmen; with one autograph article.

Author: 
Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk [Sir Rupert Iain Kay Moncreiffe, 11th Baronet (1919-1985)], Chief of Clan Moncreiffe, herald and genealogist [Philip Dosse (1925-80), proprietor of ‘Books and Bookmen’]
Publication details: 
Apart from three items from 1980; all dated items from between 1971 and 1976. Almost all on different letterheads of Sir Iain Moncrieffe of that Ilk, Easter Moncreiffe, Perthshire [Scotland]. Also London, Edinburgh, Japan, Munich.
£1,000.00

Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk was a true Scottish eccentric. The Oxford DNB refers to his reputation as ‘as an (eminently quotable) super-snob’, a characterization which is strongly supported by this energetic, entertaining and playful correspondence, which, as the extracts quoted below show, covers a great deal more than the practicalities of his review work. (See the ODNB’s evaluation of his intellectual merits: ‘In conversation, as well as in his published work, he relied on a marvellously retentive memory that was unimpaired even by a considerable intake of alcohol.

[Robert Morley, English actor, star of stage and screen.] Autograph Note Signed, with 'most abject apologies'.

Author: 
Robert Morley [Robert Adolph Wilton Morley] (1908-1992), quintessentially-English actor, star of stage and screen
Morley
Publication details: 
Undated; on letterhead of 25 Burton Court S.W.3 [London].
£35.00
Morley

1p, 12mo. On grey paper. In fair condition, lightly aged and with slight creasing. Large firm signature. Presumably responding to a request for an autograph. Reads: ‘With my most abject apologies - but I have been away for three months / Robert Morley. See Image.

[Juvenile ephemera: Punch and Judy, Conjuring, Ventriloquism, Shadow Pictures.] Attractive illustrated handbill advertisement for ‘One Hour of Laughter’, ‘Entertainments for Children arranged by James Portland, The Childrens’ Entertainment Expert’.

Author: 
Juvenile ephemera: Punch and Judy, Conjuring, Ventriloquism, Shadow Pictures; James Portland (fl. 1919), The Childrens' [sic] Entertainment Expert, London
children
Publication details: 
No date, but from around the time of the First World War. James Portland, The Childrens' [sic] Entertainment Expert, 39, Sinclair Road, Kensington, W 14. [London]
£220.00
children

An attractive piece of juvenile ephemera, printed in black on one side of a piece of 23.5 x 36.5 cm wove paper. In good condition, folded twice. The document is excessively scarce, no other copy having been traced, and little has been learnt about the advertiser. In 1919 Punch carried an advertisement for ‘Punch and Judy, Conjuring, Ventriloquism, &c.’ from ‘James Portland, the Conjuror and Children’s Entertainer’. Four years later the ‘Model Engineer’ carried several advertisements from Portland as a supplier of ebonite.

[Second World War Artists' loan scheme, London, between Central Institute of Art and Design and the army.] Mimeographed circular typed letter from T. A. Fennemore to Miss J. Inglis, with receipt, regarding loan of paintings.

Author: 
Central Institute of Art and Design, National Gallery, London (Thomas Acland Fennemore (1902-1959), Director]; Second World War artists' loan scheme [Miss J. Inglis]
Publication details: 
Letter from 'The Central Institute of Art and Design, National Gallery, London. W.C.2. / January 1942.' Receipt of 4 February 1942.
£90.00

An unusual survival, providing details of a little-known Second World War scheme for artists to lend their work to the army for placement in officers’ messes. Three items, in fair condition, lightly-aged. ONE: Mimeographed Typed Circular from ‘T. A. Fennemore. / Director.’, headed ‘The Central Institute of Art and Design, National Gallery, London, W.C.2. / January 1942.’ 1p, 4to. (originally foolscap; a form has been cut away at bottom).

[‘Gray’s Desk on which he wrote the Elegy’: Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London auctioneers.] Letters and accounts from Sotheby’s to Mrs Sarah Turpin, relating to the 1915 sale of ‘Letters and Relics’ by Thomas Gray, including priced catalogue entries

Author: 
Thomas Gray (1716-1771), poet, author of 'Elegy written in a Country Churchyard' [Mary Antrobus; Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London auctioneers; Sarah Turpin, wife of organist Edmund Hart Turpin]
Publication details: 
Eleven items dating from 1914 and 1915. Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, Auctioneers, 13 Wellington Street, Strand, London, W.C.
£450.00

A nice collection of ephemera, relating not only to one of England’s best-loved poets, but also to Sotheby’s auction practice during the Great War. The provenance of the Gray letters put up for auction by Mrs Turpin is given in a New York Times article of 27 June 1915 (‘To sell relics of Thomas Gray; many letters by the poet will also be put up at auction at Sotheby's’), which stated in a report on the forthcoming sale that the letters ‘were transmitted to the present owner, Mrs.

[George Grossmith, member of Gilbert & Sullivan’s D’Oyly Carte company, and co-author with his brother Weedon Grossmith of ‘The Diary of a Nobody’.] Signed Autograph Inscription with bar of music to words ‘Gee Gee’, to illustrated postcard.

Author: 
George Grossmith (1847-1912), leading member of Gilbert and Sullivan’s D’Oyly Carte company, and co-author with his brother Weedon Grossmith (1854-1919) of ‘The Diary of a Nobody’
Grossmith
Publication details: 
No place or date [1890s?] Postcard 'Printed in England'.
£80.00
Grossmith

See his entry, and that of his brother, in the Oxford DNB. On one side of a 14 x 9 cm printed postcard. No stamp or address, the side that should carry them being blank. The other side carries an illustration of a British soldier in khaki firging a cannon behind a wall, as another soldier stands to attention beside a nearby flagpole, from which a large Union Jack flies, pited in red and blue. At the head of the saide is a snatch of musical notation, to the words ‘Under the British Flag well fight our way to glory’.

[Terence Hodgkinson, art historian and Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.] Two Autograph Letters Signed to renaissance art expert Giles Robertson, regarding a relief attributed to Grinling Gibbons.

Author: 
Terence Hodgkinson [Terence William Ivan Hodgkinson] (1913-1999), art historian and Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London [Giles Henry Robertson (1913-1987), Italian Renaissance expert]
Publication details: 
20 and 31 December 1947. Both on letterheads of the Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington, London.
£50.00

See his entry in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. A year before these letters Hodgkinson had become an assistant keeper in the Department of Architecture and Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert, where his first task had been to organize the display of the Hildburgh collection of English medieval alabasters. Also in 1946 Robertson had begun his long career at Edinburgh University, having worked through the war at Bletchley Park, before joining the unit assigned to track down works of art looted by the Nazis.

[Dame Judi Dench, star of stage and screen.] Typed Letter Signed to Neil Hurst, responding to his expression of appreciation for her work.

Author: 
Dame Judi Dench [Judith Olivia Dench] (b.1934), star of stage and screen, widely regarded as one of Britain’s greatest actresses
Publication details: 
11 January 2000. No address, on paper headed ‘JUDI DENCH’.
£56.00

See her entry in Encyclopedia Britannica. 1p, 8vo. In fair condition, lightly aged, with some grubbiness around the top-left corner. The text of the letter and the stylish and assured signature are unaffected. Reads: ‘Dear Neil Hurst, / Thank you very much for your letter. I’m delighted to know that you have enjoyed my work, and it was kind of you to write. / I have pleasure in sending you a signed photograph, with my best wishes. / Yours sincerely, / Judi Dench’. Dench terminates the signature with a diagonal dash through a widely-spaced colon.

[Angela Lansbury, Hollywood actress, star of TV series ?Murder, She Wrote?.] Typed Card Signed to Kenneth [Sephton], stating that 'the show' ['Gypsy', at the Piccadilly Theatre'] has ?turned into more of a success than I could have ever hoped for?.

Author: 
Angela Lansbury [Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury] (1925-2022), stage and screen actress, born in Britain of partly Irish extraction, who settled in America and starred in the TV series ?Murder, She Wrote'
Lansbury
Publication details: 
9 July 1973. [London.]
£45.00
Lansbury

On one side of 15 x 10 cm grey-blue card, with facsimile of her signature at the head. Addressed to ?Dear Kenneth?, and with bold stylish signature at bottom right. The subject of the letter is the Piccadilly Theatre production of ?Gypsy?, which had opened a few days before on 29 May 1973. She thanks him for his ?kind letter?, adding ?Thank god you were right about the show and it has turned into more of a success than I could have ever hoped for.? She is sorry he couldn?t attend the first night, as ?it was a good show and I know you would have enjoyed it?.

[Frank Norman.] Three Typed Letters Signed and one Autograph Card Signed to Philip Dosse of Hanson Books, complaining about his treatment over the reviews he has contributed to ‘Books and Bookmen’.

Author: 
Frank Norman [John Norman] (1930-1980), working-class writer on London low-life, best-known for the memoir Bang to Rights (1958) and musical Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be (1960) [Philip Dosse]
Publication details: 
All from 1975. The three letters from 5 Seaford Court, 222 Great Portland Street, W1 [London].
£220.00

Norman is puzzlingly absent from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. The recipient Philip Dosse was proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of a stable of seven arts magazines including Books and Bookmen and Plays and Players. See ‘Death of a Bookman’ by the novelist Sally Emerson (editor of ‘Books and Bookmen’ at the time of Dosse’s suicide), in Standpoint magazine, October 2018. The four items are in fair condition, lightly aged and worn. They are all signed ‘Frank Norman’, and the letters are each 1p, 4to. ONE: TLS, 17 February 1975.

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