At Lawrences’ auctioneers in Crewkerne, great attention focused upon an archive of pictures, books and manuscripts from the family of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. Prices were strong throughout. Robert Browning’s `The Greek Christian Poets and the English Poets` took £2375, more than ten times expectations; a pair of portrait miniatures ascribed to Charles Robertson, c.1790, made £1750 and an album of 120 family portrait photographs, apparently captioned by Robert Browning himself, made £6750.
An informal pencil sketch of Elizabeth Barrett Browning from 1845, ascribed to Alfred Price Moulton-Barrett (1820-1904), belied its simple lines by making the astounding price of £5750. The selection, and indeed the sale, was led by a collection of manuscript poems by Elizabeth and included drafts of `The Enchantress`, `The Young Thucydides` and other works.
Against hopes of £7000, this lot made £32500 and the collection added over £60000 to the £182,000 sale total.
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