Letters from Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria set to go under hammer in Bury St Edmunds auction on September 9

PUBLISHED: 19:00 09 August 2017

Book expert Guy Pratt, consultant for auctioneers Lacy Scott & Knight. Picture: ARCHANT

Book expert Guy Pratt, consultant for auctioneers Lacy Scott & Knight. Picture: ARCHANT


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An engraving of Jane Austen. Picture: ARCHANTAn engraving of Jane Austen. Picture: ARCHANT

A rare collection of letters, autographs, drawings and writing by famous figures of the Victorian and Regency era is going under the hammer at the Lacy Scott & Knight auction rooms on September 9.

They include examples from Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott and George, the Prince Regent.

Auctioneer Ed Crichton will be selling the unusual items as part of the Fine Art and Antiques auction at the Bury St Edmunds sale rooms,

Lacy Scott and Knight book consultant Guy Pratt, who catalogued the collection, said: “I have never seen anything quite like this, and I probably never will again.

An invitation to the Duke of Wellington's funeral. Picture: LACY SCOTT AND KNIGHTAn invitation to the Duke of Wellington's funeral. Picture: LACY SCOTT AND KNIGHT

“It is an amazing collection originally by a titled lady in the 19th Century, and they were a very well connected family.

“Ocassionally individual items like this come up, and you wonder whether they are genuine. But a collection like this has excellent provenance.”

There is the one main autograph album and 52 separate lots, groups or single letters.

It is a collection of letters, Royal Warrants, notes and autographs from prominent figures of British Regency and Victorian society including royalty, peers, prime ministers, soldiers, diplomats, writers and painters.

Queen Victoria. Picture: ARCHANTQueen Victoria. Picture: ARCHANT

There is also an autograph album featuring more than 200 signatures and notes including George IV, Queen Victoria, the Duke of Wellington, Sir Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Gladstone, Disraeli, Joseph Banks and John Everett Millais.

The collection ranges from frivolous insights of Regency high-life to WWI letters between a father and son at the front line, alongside an invitation for the Duke of Wellington’s funeral and political missives signed by Queen Victoria.

Amongst the collection is a letter from George, Prince Regent, to his friend (the ultimate Regency dandy) Beau Brummel cancelling a dinner date.

The Prince expresses his extreme regret as “you know how happy I am at all times to dine with you” and he hopes soon “to make up for this punishing disappointment”.

Elsewhere a letter from Charles Dickens describes the disastrous over-long visit of Hans Christian Andersen in 1857, and laments his dreadful accent and command of language.

Dickens comments that “He was here for some six weeks, and I turned his face to Folkestone a week ago. His existence was of the most bewildered kind. He spoke French like Peter the Wild Boy and English like the Deaf and Dumb School. He could not pronounce the name of his own book, The Improvisatore, in Italian; and his translatress appears to make out that he can’t speak Danish.”

Also included are notes from prominent artists Edwin Landseer and William Holman Hunt with sketches.


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