10th Apr, 2024 10:30 GMT/BST

Books, Maps & Manuscripts

  Lot 32


Charles Coote, The Duke of Devonshire and Charles Dickens.
An interesting archive of letters and ephemera belonging to the composer Charles Coote, personal pianist of the 6th Duke of Devonshire, comprising:

Three Autograph Letters Signed from Catherine Dickens (4 page, Feb 1853; 1 page, Jan 1854; 2 page, Dec 1856);
One page ALS from Charles Dickens (31st Jan, 1860);
Four page ALS from Georgina Hogarth at Tavistock House (Dickens’ sister-in-law and housekeeper);
Five envelopes signed by Charles Dickens (1850s);
Over eighty ALS, mainly addressed to Charles Coote, including six letters from his brother in India, four letters in three envelopes with the seal of the Surveyor General of Prisons, one arranging a visit to Pentonville Prison and a series of thirteen ALS relating to a ‘Guild of Literature’ tour including letters from the Duke of Devonshire and E. Bulwer Lytton;
Five copy letters to the Duke of Devonshire;
Seventeen manuscript notes;
Two theatre posters, one for Bulwer Lytton’s comedy ‘Not So Bad As We Seem’ with Charles Dickens playing ‘Lord Wilmot’ (1851);
Several items of ephemera including the visiting card of William Harwood, Executioner; a band payment table (1838); a Burial notice and a worn musical score for Coote’s quadrille ‘The Lights O’ London’.

[Charles Coote ‘was associated with Chatsworth and the Duke of Devonshire for around thirty years. As well as leading the Duke’s private orchestra, he was ‘loaned out’ by the Duke on a number of occasions to the author Charles Dickens to play for various productions across England’. (Elizabeth French - See ‘Music from the Archives’ June 2023, a blog on the Chatsworth Website)].

[Provenance - family descent from Charles Coote]

Sold for £4,500
Estimated at £600 - £1,000


Auction: Books, Maps & Manuscripts, 10th Apr, 2024

The sale includes a sketchbook of drawings of Southern China attributed to George Chinnery. English artist George Chinnery (1774-1852) left an extraordinary record of everyday life in Southern China in the early to mid-19th century, which has become an important source of historical information on the region.

Further highlights include an interesting archive of letters and ephemera relating to the composer and bandmaster Charles Coote (1809-1880), personal pianist to William Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire, and bandmaster and composer for stage productions put on by Charles Dickens. There is also several collections of 19th century photographs including an outstanding album with many views of Eton College and the River Thames at Windsor, Trinity College Cambridge, Switzerland, Gibraltar and Malta as well as an important photographic record of the Challenger Expedition, generally considered to be the foundation of oceanography. 

Single owner collections include a large quantity of books on Polar Exploration and early Whaling. We are also pleased to offer a selection of books from the library of Fred Gettings, prolific author and expert on astrology, symbolism and arcane lore. The library includes many early editions of Nostradamus with several manuscript works on the famous French astrologer.


Tuesday 9th April 10am-5pm and morning of sale from 8am

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