Did John Ruskin pick up £500-worth of seaweed on a beach walk?

[UK] Coniston writer, artist and critic John Ruskin was a noted collector of rocks, minerals and items from the natural world, which he found during his travels in the Lake District and further afield.

A sale in Birmingham on May 9 has a collection of pressed seaweed specimens attributable to Ruskin, who lived from 1819 to 1900.

The folio is expected to sell for £300 to £500.

The loose folio of samples were gathered on the Barmouth beach in West Wales during July 1865.

There is also sold with a map from 1802 in a card pouch showing the summit of Mount Rigi, Switzerland, with a bookplate saying it formed part of the library of John Ruskin at his home at Brantwood overlooking Coniston Water.

A spokesman for the auctioneers said: “The contents of this lot appear consistent with probable ownership by Ruskin.

“He is recorded as having ascended Mount Rigi in 1841, capturing several sketches.

“In addition, he was a life-long preserver of natural specimens including ferns – on which he wrote and published – and championed the Victorian revival of a Georgian hobby, namely the preservation and display of such samples in frames, and the decoration and utilising of the same in ‘spatter-work’ collages.

“Finally, John Ruskin was a known regular visitor to Barmouth, establishing the Guild of St. George there in 1871, taking on 13 cottages and renting them out at fixed low levels on a philanthropic basis to assist members of the community in avoiding poverty.”

A sale from May 11 to 13 by Eastbourne Auctions, in East Sussex, expects £50 to £80 for a leather-bound book by John Linton which describes in words and engravings the route of the new railway line along the Cumbrian coast.

It is called The Whitehaven and Furness Railway and was published in 1852.

The May 2 sale by Special Auction Services at Newbury, Berkshire, has a Coniston watercolour called A break in the clouds.

It is the work of Ashton Cannell, who lived from 1927 to 1994, and is expected to sell for £60 to £100.

A colourful officers’ mess waistcoat of the Westmoreland and Cumberland Yeomanry should make £50 to £70 in the May 2 sale by Marlows Military at Stafford.

Today’s sale by International Autograph Auctions includes a page from an autograph album signed by Ulverston-born film star Stan Laurel and his screen partner Oliver Hardy.

It is expected to sell for £200 to £300.

The same sale hopes for £80 to £100 for an unsigned Christmas card from speed record breaker Donald Campbell and a covering note from his secretary dated January 1959.

Campbell was born in 1921 and died in a crash on Coniston Water in 1967.

He was the only person to set both world land and water speed records in the same year, 1964.

The card features a photograph of the Bluebird travelling at a speed of 248.66 mph across Coniston Water on November 10 in 1958.


View original article at: Did John Ruskin pick up £500-worth of seaweed on a beach walk?


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