Wednesday, November 27, 2013

122. Forty-five autograph cards and letters for sale

Yet another auction with Ricketts and Shannon material is about to take place at Bloomsbury in London. Tomorrow, 28 November, 45 autograph cards and letters by Shannon and Ricketts come up for sale. Most of these letters are related to their contacts with F. Ernest Jackson during the second half of their career.

Letters from Charles Shannon to F. Ernest Jackson [Bloomsbury Auctions, London]
F. Ernest Jackson (1872-1945) was the subject of a book by J.G.Paul Delaney in 2000, and of blog 100: 'Francis Ernest Jackson and the Ricketts legacy'. Jackson was schooled at the famous teaching studio Atelier Julien in Paris in 1895. By 1900 he settled in London to design posters. He did watercolours too, but he excelled in lithographs. As a teacher of lithography his influence became widespread. He did not strive to be popular, or even known to the public, and never became a household name.

As usual, Ricketts's letters contain humorous asides, and they reflect Ricketts's attempts to get his way with things as well as his anger as he failed to do so. When a student of Jackson did not receive 'the prize which he deserved', Ricketts blamed several committee members for that, such as 'Olivier & Coward & perhaps Lawrence', and he added to the last name: 'I hate him'. He vented his rage on the Royal Academy in its entirety:  

The whole affair has added to my sense of vicious & exaggerated indignation against all RAs Philpot included.

Later letters refer to Shannon's accident (he suffered from brain damage after a fall), and one can clearly see that Ricketts was without hope and dreaded the future.

The sale also includes a letter from George Bernard Shaw to Ricketts and one by Ricketts to Sigismund Goetze.

[Note, 18 December 2013: all lots were sold: Shannon's letters to Jackson were sold for £950; Shaw's letter went for £450; Ricketts's letters to Jackson were sold for £2400, and Ricketts's letter to Goetze was sold for £150.]