H.M.P. "A sale at Sotheby's in the Wellington Strand rooms c. 1890" watercolour
Lot 261
SOTHEBY BOOK SALE. Drawing of a book sale in progress at Messrs Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge of Wellington Street, signed "H.M.P.", 1888
£2,000 - 3,000
US$ 3,400 - 5,000
Lot Details
Drawing of a book sale in progress at Messrs Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge of Wellington Street, the Strand, conducted by the Chairman, E.G. Hodge, with Bernard Quaritch and other booksellers in attendance, signed "H.M.P.", in grey washes heightened with white bodycolour, framed and glazed (unexamined out of frame), size of image within frame 350 x 520mm., May 1888


  • THE ORIGINAL OF THE FAMOUS IMAGE OF A BOOK SALE IN PROGRESS AT SOTHEBY'S: the wood-engraving taken from it is illustrated in Frank Hermann's authorised history of the firm, Sotheby's: Portrait of an Auction House, plate 14 (also back dust jacket), where it is captioned: 'A famous engraving of a book sale at Sotheby's being taken by Edward Grose Hodge, Wilkinson's successor as head of the firm. It first appears in the Illustrated London News in the 1880s. Most of the buyers present can be identified as the principal antiquarian booksellers of their day'. The engraving in fact appeared in The Graphic for 26 May 1888, and is captioned 'A Book-Sale at Sotheby's Auction-Room'.

    Captions at the edge of the engraving identify those present as: 'Mr. Railton, Mr. E. G. Hodge (Of the Firm of Sotheby, Wilkinson, and Hodge), Mr. G. J. Ellis, Mr. J. Westell, Mr. Leighton, Mr. James Roche, Mr. H. Stevens, Mr. Robson, Mr. Molini, Mr. Frederick Locker-Lampson, Mr. E. Walford, Mr. E. Stibbs, Mr. W. Reeves, Mr. B. Quaritch, Mr. G. Snowdon (Clerk), Mr. E. Daniell'. Bernard Quaritch, founder of the eponymous firm and Sotheby's most important client at the time, can be seen seated at the pound immediately to the auctioneer's left. The poet Frederick Locker-Lampson who assembled the 'Rowfant' Library, especially rich in the Elizabethans, can be seen in top-hated profile at the front right-hand side.

Saleroom notices

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  1. Luke Batterham
    Specialist - Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs
    Montpelier Street
    London, SW7 1HH
    United Kingdom
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