The Lenygon Collection Offers a Well Rounded View of the Victorian Era

6th November, Dreweatts Bristol

Click here to view the online catalogue: The Lenygon Collection (Part II) & selected textiles & collectors items.

The Lenygon Collection represents one man’s patriotic obsession with the Victorian era,’ said Malcolm Claridge the expert in charge at Dreweatts, Bristol. ‘It’s rare to find, not only a single collection so completely embracing this period today but also one with so many items related to the British in India, the collection can even boasts regimental mess plates, silver ware and railway cuff links!

As one might expect, historical figures abound in this sale. Three late 19th century cast iron door stops of General Gordon of Khartoum, one in native dress and the other in military dress and both mounted on camels are expected to reach around £150-200; another sculpture of General Gordon by Sydney March (1876-1968) is inscribed on 'South Africa 1900', Sydney March Sc, London 1900, by Elkington & Co. Ltd and is estimated at £400-600.

Photographs are becoming increasingly popular and the Lenygon Collection has several albums with prices ranging from £40-400; particularly interesting are those which offer an insight into the British at ease in the Hill Country, playing sports at the School of Musketry, Pachmarhi, North India, circa 1900, including large images of military groups, sports such as cricket, railways and others with panoramic views of India. The collection also includes an album of rare South African photographs depicting tribesmen.

Amongst the large large selection of medals is the very fine bronze medal for the Defeat of Sultan Tippoo by C. Kuchler with a bust of Cornwallis on one side and Tippoo surrendering his sons to Cornwallis on the other (£150-200). Another fine and interesting medal is a British India, Amritsar Empress Cricket Match medal of 1883; this silver prize medal is emblazoned with the Gothic bust of Queen Victoria on one side and crossed cricket bats above wicket and ball, on the other and is estimated £150-200. A particularly topical medal is the Oxford and Cambridge Varsity Boat Race medal, its owner went on to represent Britain in the 1908 Olympics for which he was awarded a bronze medal.

One of the highlights is a pair of caricature pottery figures by Wittman and Roth of Gladstone and Disraeli estimated £2000-3000. Each is standing and wearing a top hat, Disraeli with hand on hip and Gladstone holding an umbrella and a bag, both are decorated in underglaze colours and stand on square bases, each is moulded with maker's lozenge shaped mark and with the registration mark for 8th December 1876 and inscribed 'Copyright'. In the general election of February 1874 the Conservatives, under Disraeli, won a resounding victory over Gladstone and the Liberals. In 1876 Queen Victoria bestowed the titles of Earl of Beaconsfield and Viscount Hughenden upon Disraeli who remained Prime Minister until defeated by the Liberals in the general election of 1880 when Gladstone again became Prime Minister.

The collection boasts several commemorative pieces marking Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee of 1887. A pair of handsome large silver gilt goblets by Robert Roskell, Alan Roskell and John Mortimer Hunt is estimated to fetch £2000-3000.

This eclectic collection even includes a plethora of 19th century parasols, fans, sewing boxes and glove boxes as well as yards of silk and wool passementerie, trimmings and evening bags. Amongst the wool embroideries is an eye-catching late 16th century English embroidered panel (estimated £300-400), probably cut down from a larger one and embroidered in tent and cross-stitch depicting an animal surrounded by a fence and the ribbon above has the Latin phrase 'Potius Mori' ('Rather Death'), implying that freedom is beyond value.

Click here to view the online catalogue: The Lenygon Collection (Part II) & selected textiles & collectors items.

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Dreweatts - 24 October 2012