Chiswick Auctions’ Books and Manuscripts sale on March 22 features an example of the 1733, first printed facsimile of the Magna Carta of 1215. On vellum and with the text flanked by 25 hand-coloured armorial shields of the barons, it was engraved by John Pine after one of two original copies owned by Sir Robert Cotton (now in the British Museum), one of which had been damaged by fire two years earlier. Estimate £10,000-12,000.
Gorringe’s March 21 sale in Lewes, East Sussex, features this Anglo-Japanese ebonised mahogany cabinet designed by Edward William Godwin (1833-86). The 6ft 1in x 4ft 11in (1.85 x 1.5m) piece was probably made c.1872-75 by the leading London art furniture manufacturer Collinson and Lock.
With stepped shelving and an ebonised finish imitating black lacquer, the cabinet conveys the influence Japan had on the architect and designer, while the curved lattice-work back rail is reminiscent of fretwork on Chinese classical furniture. The brass sabots are a signature of Godwin’s Anglo-Japanese designs.
Edmund Blair Leighton’s (1853- 1922) Pre-Raphaelite painting Elaine has been consigned to House & Son of Bournemouth.
The large gilt-framed oil was purchased for £200 by the vendor from Christie’s in 1970 and is being offered on March 21, estimated at £15,000-25,000.
Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1899, the canvas depicts the Arthurian legend of Elaine of Astolat, who died of her unrequited love for Sir Lancelot. Before her death, she asks that her body be placed in a small boat, clutching a lily in one hand, and her final letter in the other. She then floats down the Thames to Camelot, where she is discovered by King Arthur’s court.
The story was the inspiration for Tennyson’s Lady of Shalott and the subject of many Pre-Raphaelite works.