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1871 Watercolours Aden Yemen Suez Augusta Drummond Irish Sterling Silver For Sale
1.888.656.2006 or 1.604.922.2444
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Signed & Inscribed
Sir Richard F. Burton
Rare Portfolio of Watercolours
Features Yemen and Suez
Painted Views of Yemen, Suez, Ceylon, Scandinavia, France, Italy
Watercolourist acquainted with Edward Lear
Yemen, Suez, Europe, 1871-1884. Original portfolio of 10 watercolours,
initialled, titled and dated by the artist, features views of Aden and Suez
in the earliest series, followed by scenes in Scandinavia, France, Italy, and Ceylon.
Watercolours vary in size, the smallest measuring 17,5cm x 10cm,
and the largest 34,5cm x 24,5cm.
With exception of one, all are mounted to heavy cardstock album leafs.
Some foxing, mainly to mounts, otherwise in Very Good condition,
stellar works with elegant choice of colour, contained in a leather portfolio with hallmarked Sterling silver corners.
The artist is Augusta Drummond, née Verschoyle (1838-1908) of Irish descent,
who married into an armorial family, her husband being Alfred Manners Drummond (1829-1921),
Captain of the Rifle Brigade, discriminating art collector, acquaintance and client
of renowned artist Edward Lear who travelled to the Holy Land in 1858, possibly
the source of inspiration for the couple's tour to the Near East in 1878.
Upon his death, the captain's collection was passed on to his niece Dorothy Charlotte Drummond,
first wife of Sir David John Montagu Douglas Scott. It is known to have included a work by Lear,
and doubtlessly included the work in this collection also.
A rare highlight are the two views of Aden in Yemen, which had been an important British possession
for forty years then. These are from the earliest series in the portfolio, inscribed and dated 20, 21
October 1878, respectively. A tranquil scene of a sailboat on the Suez is dated 26 October.
Each watercolour is signed by the artist to bottom corner, also titled and dated.
This series of artistic paintings was created while on a voyage to the Near East on the S.S. Sindh
with her husband, immediately following the wedding, an adventure made possible by a French shipping
line 'Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes' during the height of French colonial expansion and
interventionism in the Middle and Far East. Also from this voyage, the artist captures the serenity
of a cove in Ceylon, then also a British colony, looking from Mount Lavinia towards Colombo,
profuse with palm trees and temporarily adorned with small sailing craft.
Also rendered in Mrs. Drummond's artistic hand, are views captured whilst travelling
continental Europe in the 1880s. A cruise in Danish Oresund Strait, affords us a
splendid colour view from Klampenborg, of the Swedish coast across the passage.
In Biarritz, France, February 1881, the artist paints a vivid sunset and the historic
lighthouse overlooking a kayaker in rough crashing waves. In solemn tones,
she paints the ruined Unspunnen Castle in the Swiss Bernese Alps, with the summit of
Jungfrau in the background, which had first been ascended in the winter only
four years prior, by American mountaineers Meta Brevoort and W. A. B. Coolidge.
The highest peak in Switzerland, Monte Rosa is pictured from as far away as Varese
in Italy in May 1884.
Finally, the earliest, largest, and only untitled work, initialled and dated A.D. 1871,
evokes nostalgia and curiosity in a view of an ancient stone archway and tower,
visited by three meandering early nineteenth century Swedish folks.
Nineteenth century Irish watercolourist Augusta Drummond, née Verschoyle (1838-1908)
was born in Kilberry, Kildare, Ireland on 1838 to Robert Verschoyle and Catherine Curtis.
Her grandfather was Rt. Rev. Dr. James Verschoyle 1750-1837, member of the Privy Council,
and possibly a member of the Irish House of Lords.
Augusta married Alfred Manners Drummond (1829-1921), Captain of the British Army Rifle Brigade,
on 5 July 1878, thus entering a family of heraldry.
Captain Drummond was an art collector with a great appreciation for watercolours, and was a client
of Edward Lear, English artist and illustrator who travelled to the Holy Land in 1858, and,
whom in turn admired the captain for his adventurous spirit. Upon his death, the captain's collection
was passed on to his niece Dorothy, first wife of Sir David Scott.