Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Laus Veneris

The Society of Antiquaries is holding a fund-raising auction to raise money for Kelmscott Manor on 25 September.    It contains 100 lots ranging from tea-trays to trout fishing by way of objects and visits, and advance absentee bids are invited (though not, I think, phone bids on the night).   A couple of noteworthy items include a copy of May Morris’s embroidery handbook Decorative Needlework, with the author-designed cover. LOT 62

And most exciting of all, a sample of calligraphy, attributed to Burne-Jones but very much in William Morris’s own manner, as an illuminated title Laus Veneris as if for a manuscript of Swinburne’s poem, and almost exactly as depicted on the music stand in Burne-Jones’s great painting. LOT 85

This appears to have come from Kelmscott originally, having been owned by the mother of artist Edward Scott-Snell  who was a tenant of the Manor during WW2 and acquired things at the sale in 1939.  It passed to her grandson Joscelyn Godwin, professor at Colgate University, Hamilton, US.   Being an exquisite and hitherto unpublished item so closely linked to the painting, it deserves wider circulation and research. 

All information about the auction and other lots here:

UPDATE :  1 OCT 2014  the event raised nearly £40 000 for the Manor  - a good start to what's going to be an extremely expensive programme.

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