• Valuable Manuscripts and Print auction at Christies

    Sale 7760

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    24 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 23

    YELLOLY, Mary (1816-1838). 'A Picture History of the Grenville Family', [Carrow Abbey, Norwich, 1825 - August 1829], 257 ORIGINAL DRAWINGS IN WATERCOLOUR, most by Mary but also by her mother and siblings, manuscript captions, introductory pages and indexes to each part in a more mature cursive hand, later annotations giving Mary's birth and dates and indicating the artist for each picture, 204 pages, folio (323 x 197mm), 4 parts in one volume, contemporary half red straight-grained roan, gilt-tooled label on front cover lettered 'Miss Mary Yelloly', endleaves watermarked 1828, flat spine gilt with obelisk tool. Provenance: Mary Yelloly (1816-1838) -- Bryan Hall, Banningham, Norfolk (d. 2006; bookplate).

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    YELLOLY, Mary (1816-1838). 'A Picture History of the Grenville Family', [Carrow Abbey, Norwich, 1825 - August 1829], 257 ORIGINAL DRAWINGS IN WATERCOLOUR, most by Mary but also by her mother and siblings, manuscript captions, introductory pages and indexes to each part in a more mature cursive hand, later annotations giving Mary's birth and dates and indicating the artist for each picture, 204 pages, folio (323 x 197mm), 4 parts in one volume, contemporary half red straight-grained roan, gilt-tooled label on front cover lettered 'Miss Mary Yelloly', endleaves watermarked 1828, flat spine gilt with obelisk tool. Provenance: Mary Yelloly (1816-1838) -- Bryan Hall, Banningham, Norfolk (d. 2006; bookplate).

    AN EXTRAORDINARY PICTORIAL RECORD OF REGENCY ENGLAND, a visual counterpoint to the world of Jane Austen's novels. The story of of the Grenville family, consisting of parents, a governess and 4 children (growing to six by the end), is told in a series of watercolour pictures, from their life in the fashionable and modern Rosedale House, Gloucestershire, and Woodlands Hall to their inheritance of the even grander Bellemere Park, Cumberland. Mary depicts the Grenville family in its daily routine: the children play at shuttlecock, practice their dancing, write letters to their cousins, visit in the neighbourhood, run local errands, and see to the sick and the ill; Eleanor buys meat for the poor and cloth for a new dress from her own pocket money, and brings her mother a potted flower she herself has raised. The family has two extended tours, the first from Cornwall to Cumberland, by way of Stonehenge, Arundel Castle and Carrow Abbey (Mary's real-life home), the second taking in northern England and the Scottish Highlands and Islands, including Iona, Skye and Holy Island (Mary points out in the index that most of these topographical scenes are real, identifying the few for which she substitutes views closer to home in Norfolk or West Sussex). Close attention is paid to the details of the interiors, making the 'History of the Grenvilles' a valuable insight into the tastes of the period in matters such as the use of colours, furniture arrangements, picture hangings, window treatments and even an elaborately bound book in the library. The ninth of ten children of a Norwich doctor, Mary Yelloly was 8 years old in 1825 when she began the story of the Grenvilles -- the same age as the eldest Grenville daughter; she died of consumption at the age of 21.


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