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    Sale 5315

    Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts including Modern First Editions

    13 November 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 329

    RUSKIN, John (1819-1900). Five autograph letters signed ('J. Ruskin' and 'J.R.') to Bryce Wright, Brantwood and Herne Hill, 22 May 1881, 6 May 1884, and incompletely dated (one '3rd Nov - or 4th?'), together 10½ pages, 8vo; and autograph letter signed to an unidentified recipient, Brantwood, 14 April 1883, 1 page, 8vo (stain to one blank verso).

    Price Realised  

    RUSKIN, John (1819-1900). Five autograph letters signed ('J. Ruskin' and 'J.R.') to Bryce Wright, Brantwood and Herne Hill, 22 May 1881, 6 May 1884, and incompletely dated (one '3rd Nov - or 4th?'), together 10½ pages, 8vo; and autograph letter signed to an unidentified recipient, Brantwood, 14 April 1883, 1 page, 8vo (stain to one blank verso).

    On buying minerals for the Museum of St George. Ruskin writes to Bryce McMurdo Wright Jr (1850-95), the celebrated London dealer in minerals, fossils and gems based in Bloomsbury; he has been 'frightened' at his prices for golds and silvers ('if I sold my old armchair -- which has got the rickets -- would you expect the purchaser to pay me forty years interest on the original price?). The correspondence includes discussions on the properties of opals, on lending agates to a temporary exhibition, and the return of some cameos ('the best of the two -- "supposed" (by whom?) to represent Isis -- represents neither Egyptian nor Oxonian Isis -- but only an ill made French woman of the town bathing at Boulogne') with a warning against lending him things which are '"supposed" to be this or that -- If you ever get any more nice little cranes, or cockatoos -- looking like what they're supposed to be meant for -- they shall at least be returned with compliments ... you needn't print this letter as an advertisement, unless you like!'.

    Ruskin set up the Guild of St George in 1871 and founded the Ruskin Gallery (originally called the Museum of St George) in Sheffield in 1875, intended as an educational resource for the benefit of the people of the city. His collection is now held in Sheffield's Millennium Gallery. (6)


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