Charles Benson

13 March 2018

Roseberys London will present a collection of books (lots 201-373) from the library of the late Charles Benson (1933-2017) as part of their Fine & Decorative sale on Thursday 22 March.

Benson was a devoted collector and well known to most of the bookshops in Kent. His Mother was Italian and he specialised in English books of travels in Italy; his rather remote family connection to William Gilpin led to his important collection of this pioneer of the picturesque. Benson liked Kentish topography, books with photographs or unusual bindings such as mauchlineware and other curiosa; his bookplate in black or blue is in most of the books in his library.

Of notable interest in the sale is lot 323


Gilpin (William) An extensive collection of his Books, Letters and Drawings.

The former including; The Life of Bernard Gilpin, second edition, 1753; The Lives of John Wiclif, 1765; Observations on the River Wye, 1782; the same, second edition, 1789; the same, third edition, Ross, 1826; Observations…picturesque Beauty,…Cumberland and Westmoreland, 2 vol., 1786; Voyage en differentes Parties de l’Angleterre, 2 vol., 1789; Observations …picturesque Beauty…particularly the High-Lands of Scotland, 2 vol., 1789, the same, third edition, 2 vol., 1808 Forest Scenery, 2 vol., 1791, the same,  second edition, 2 vol., 1794; Six Landscapes, 1794; Three Dialogues, 1796; An Essay on Prints,  fourth edition, 1792; Three essays on picturesque Beauty, second edition, 1794; the same third edition, 1808; Observations on the Western Parts of England, 1798; Observations on the Coasts of Hampshire, large paper, 1804; Memoirs of Josias Rogers, 1808; Observations on…the Counties of Cambridge, 1809; The last work(Gilpin’s Day),  1810; the same, 1824; all generally in good state; The Six Landscapes and Gilpin’s Day 1810 have tinted plates; those  of the 1824 edition are coloured. There are also some 20 others, reprints, duplicates, books about Gilpin or his family, etc. etc


Letters. The most important are 10 letters from Gilpin to Cadell and Davies, 1797-1803, many with draft replies. e.g. Gilpin’s Western Tour [1798] “suppose 750…paper 29 Reams at 30/-  £44. Boarding 750 at 9d £28-2-6…we will repay you the £70 paid to Mr. Alken for etching the plates, and we will give you £180 for the Copyright..” “An engraver of the name of Green who has lately executed some Scotch Views in Aqua tinta for  us in a very neat Manner, hearing us express our Regret that the Plates of the Wye could not be found, offered to furnish us with fac-similes of them at what we concieve a very modest charge , two Guineas each Plate.” “I leave the business of a small edition of the Lakes etc wholly in your hands. I am far less solicitous abt. it, than abt my sermons..” There is much similar detail in the other letters of this correspondence, and  there are a few other letters and fragments, including 2 from Lord Kenyon.



Sawrey Gilpin RA, British 1733-1807- Sketch of horses; brown ink over traces of pencil, signed, 16×22.4cm, (unframed): Sawrey Gilpin RA, British 1733-1807-Sketch of cattle in a field; pencil, signed and dated Sept 1794, 21.2×32.1cm: Attributed to Rev. William Gilpin, British 1724-1804- View of a castle; ink, watercolour & wash, monochrome, 15.3×24.7cm, (unframed): Attributed to Rev. William Gilpin, British 1724-1804- Figures walking along a country path; ink, watercolour & wash, monochrome, 15×25.2cm: Attributed to Rev. William Gilpin, British 1724-1804- View of a castle through trees; ink, watercolour, & wash  monochrome,18.2×26.6cm, (unframed): Attributed to Rev. William Gilpin, British 1724-1804- View of a castle ruins; ink, watercolour & wash, monochrome, 9.9x16cm, (unframed): Rev. William Gilpin. British 1724-1804- Three sketches of the same castle view on a hillside; pencil, ink and wash, collectors stamp W. Parker on corresponding paper, 18x26cm (max), (3) (unframed) Provenance: Christies auction 11 Nov. 1969, Lot 72.  Sold by Major FCF Parker, Newbiggin Hall, Temple Westmorland.  Bought by Charles Gilbert Benson.  Originally in the collection of William Parker, of Skirwith Abbey: Attributed to Rev. William Gilpin, British 1724-1804- Castle on a hillside; ink, watercolour & wash, monochrome,9.4×15.5cm, (10) (unframed)


Estimate £4000-£6000


Viewing for the sale:


Friday 16 March 1-5pm

Sunday 18 March 10am-2pm

Monday 19 March 9.30am-5.30pm

Tuesday 20 March 90.30-12.30pm





*Prices include Buyers Premium of 23%.

For further information please contact Charlotte Meddings

Marketing Executive  +44 (0) 20 8761 2522


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