A Victorian album, discovered during a routine house valuation is to be offered in Reeman Dansie’s Fine Art auction on the 8th and 9th of November.
The Victorian album houses 81 sepia photographs with subjects including Charles Darwin, his children and grandchildren, as well as the extended Darwin family with members of the Wedgwood and Huxley dynasties. Charles Darwin’s wider circle is represented by a previously unrecorded photograph of his manservant Joseph Parslow, the wives of famous scientists including Mrs Haeckel and Mrs Hooker, actress Jenny Lind, the author William Makepeace Thackeray and royalty including Queen Victoria. A poignant photograph of a young child, annotated as ‘Namesake of CD in Hamburg’ and named verso as Darwin Beger, is evidenced by a letter to Charles Darwin dated 12th February 1879, which begins ‘Dear Sir, My wife and I, beg to present you our very best wishes for your birthday, and hope that it may return always in health and happiness. Enclosed the photograph of our little Darwin….’ The Beger family named their child after Darwin and their 70th birthday gift to Charles Darwin, is revealed in this album for the first time.
The album is from the estate of George Erasmus Darwin (1927-2017) and whilst the previous whereabouts were unknown, it may have been in the family since it’s compilation. This rediscovered album promises a tantalising glimpse of the private life of the very public figure Charles Darwin, and is guided at £5,000-10,000. The auctioneers anticipate significant international interest when this lot is offered on November the 9th.
Our inaugural January 2024 specialist sale specifically for antique and vintage signage, including BBC Essex interview with our auctioneer Lewis Rabett.
In 2012, David Smith purchased School House in a remote Suffolk village and proceeded to convert the run-down Victorian red brick building into an airy modern living space.