An internet search brought up the following for a former eBay auction – trouble is I have NO CLUE as to the date of the auction — recent? really old? The date of the letter is less in question, 1861 – though no day or month.
The original description read:
“Addressed to Lady Seymour. Stamp has been cut out leaving part Southampton cancel with Botley & part Berkhamsted CDS’s on back. 4 page partly cross hatched letter.”
Would LOVE images of the letter (so I can transcribe the contents) – in exchange for information on the recipient and/or writer. The “Lady Seymour” in question undoubtedly is Maria Culme Seymour (née Smith), Emma Austen’s youngest sister.
Click on the photo to read the history behind this pair of Candelabra, dating from the era of George IV – They once belonged to Denis and Eliza Le Marchant! Oh, the parties this pair must have witnessed…
Sold at auction in December 2007, the price as the hammer dropped was £94,100. Do not hesitate to take a closer look with the “zoom” feature.
The LIBRARY TIME MACHINE travels through EVELINA, in a wonderful blog post that celebrates the artistry of Hugh Thomson. I was especially struck by the idea that drawings in 19th century books seem akin to today’s graphic novels!
If you’ve little time for Fanny Burney’s “classic” novel, Dave Walker will lead you through a sampling of the Thomson drawings and Burney’s “History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World”.
One of the most difficult things to accomplish is the identification of portraits. Too many portraits who remain unnamed. Merely, “Portrait of a Gentleman” or “Portrait of a Lady”.
Also “unnamed” – sometimes – are the small-scale artists. For instance, I have a will which gave the TANTALIZING news that family portraits existed (at least up to 1814). But who was the painter?
“all the Family Pictures painted by Mr. Fold[s…]”
For the life of me I could NOT read the last few letters of the name…
But, while researching for my upcoming article on James Boswell and the city of Chester, I came across this book – and offer it as an excellent place to look up some SMALL Artists, a DICTIONARY of exhibitors from The Society of Artists of Great Britain and The Free Society of Artists, compiled by Algernon Graves (published in 1907):
I’ll give a special prize to the first reader to email me (smithandgosling [dot] gmail [dot] com) with the ONE exhibitor of paramount interest, a Smith & Gosling relative, who appears in Graves’ line-up.
NB: the artist’s name in the will extract may be John FOLDSONE (father of Anne Mee). Foldsone was described in 1808 as “A painter of portraits in oils, small heads, of no great merit, but with sufficient likeness to procure much employment at a small price. His practice was to attend his sitters at their dwellings.” (He was not alone in this practice, actually.)
I have become CONSUMED with getting more and more Smith & Gosling material, and that has included the dreaded WILLS of even earlier ancestors. The one thing that has proven to be a help? The old wills means I have some earlier orthography, which often helps with the segue into “modern” spelling. The same holds for the earliest handwriting! I even READ some wills I downloaded from The National Archives five or six (or more…) years ago.
So while I thought to share a particularly fabulous hand, I chose this one because its (currently) the earliest example I have – although it is almost (ALMOST!) modern in its legibility.
The give-away: the first word; otherwise, doesn’t it rather look like a child writing?
Just in case you’re unsure what it says: Elsewhere in the Kingdom of England…
Yes, this particular document has a most unusual (to me) ‘s’, which makes the first word look rather like Elfewhere… My document dates from 1726. And is related to family of my diarist Mary Gosling.
I’ll talk more about this document, which I’m just transcribing. In the meantime, I introduce you to palaeography on The National Archives website – which provides a delightful interactive tutorial.