August 17th, 2010

Books I've Owned Since I was A Kid. Part 6.

I'm cheating a little here. This is a book I knew but didn't own as a boy. It was my grandfather's. I had a copy of a later edition- with fewer pictures. When my grandfather died- and I inherited his books- I got rid of my copy and kept his.

The flyleaf has an inscription in pencil that records it as a gift from my grandmother to my grandfather in 1934. Earlier it had belonged to someone called Arthur Moss, who bought it new in1908 (which is odd because the publication date is 1909)

I saw the original of Lord Leighton's Bacchante in a Bond Street gallery in the 1960s. Leighton was really in the doldrums then- and they were asking less than £1000 for it. What I should have done is approached my father and asked/entreated/told him to buy it. It would have been one hell of an investment. Leighton is back in favour now and a big, important oil like this must be worth a six or even seven figure sum.