• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7728

    Victorian and British Impressionist Pictures including Drawings and Watercolours

    4 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 10

    Edward Lear (1812-1888)

    Arab Encampment in Wadi Feiran, Egypt

    Price Realised  


    Edward Lear (1812-1888)
    Arab Encampment in Wadi Feiran, Egypt
    signed with monogram (lower left)
    pencil, watercolour and bodycolour with scratching out
    6 7/8 x 14¾ in. (17.6 x 37.5 cm.)

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    On 23rd January 1849 Lear wrote to his sister Ann that 'After a long & tedious winding, we entered the great & beautiful Oasis - the centre of Wady Feiran - & the most wonderful & beautiful place I ever saw...But the great beauty of the place is that it is filled up with a forest of palmtrees, & that there is a running stream in the centre. I cannot describe the place, as my paper is short - but certainly the world contains not such another for loveliness' (V. Noakes, Edward Lear: Selected Letters, Oxford, 1988, p.104). Lear and his companions were travelling by camel, a mode of transport that Lear found quite challenging: 'As for the camels themselves - I cannot say much for them: they are quite harmless & quiet, but seem the most odious beasts - except when they are moving...I give my camel a bunch of green morning & evening - but all attempts at making friends are useless' (V. Noakes, op. cit., p. 99).

    Wadi Feiran, the Sinai's largest oasis, is known as the 'Pearl of Sinai' for its beautiful scenery, and has traditionally been known as the place where Moses struck a rock with his staff, miraculously creating a spring that saved his people from thirst.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    with Agnew's, London.
    with Mathaf Gallery, London.
    Sotheby's, London, 13 July 1995, lot 151.
    Christie's, New York, 12 April 2007, lot 51.