Sarah Macready [née Kathleen Desmond] (c.1789-1853), English actress, lessee of the Prince's Theatre, Bristol, wife of William Macready [M'cready] (1755-1829), stepmother of William Charles Macready
On letterhead of the Assembly Rooms, Bath. 25 October .
1p., 12mo. Good, on lightly-aged paper with spike hole and slight traces of previous mount on reverse. As lessee of the Prince's Theatre, Bristol, Mrs Macready would have wanted to look over the three plays with a view to mounting productions of them. J. H. Nightingale's farce 'Bloomerism; or The Follies of the Day' was produced at the Adelphi Theatre, London, at the time of the writing of the letter, and was published in the same year. The recipient was probably a relation of the London theatrical publisher Thomas Hailes Lacy (1809-1873).
Charles Reade (1814-1884), English novelist and playwright [Manton Marble (1834-1917), editor and proprietor of the New York World]
Without place or date. [Post 1860.]
2pp., on both sides of the lower half of a 4to leaf. The recto is numbered by Reade '2', indicating that the two pages constitute the second leaf of a letter. The text reads: '[...] therefore you will consent to do me a bare act of justice viz not to let that gentleman be my public critic in "the World." Of course I should be still more pleased if you would do me the honor to see the play yourself and pronounce upon it. However half a loaf is better than no bread.
William Blanchard Jerrold (1826-1884), journalist and playwright, son of the playwright Douglas Jerrold (1803-1857) [John T. Baron of Blackburn, autograph hunter]
On letterhead of the Reform Club, Pall Mall, SW. 14 March 1882.
2pp., 12mo. Very good, on lightly aged paper. In worn stamped and postmarked envelope, addressed by Jerrold to 'J. T Baron Esq | 18 Griffin Street | Wilton | Blackburn'. The letter begins: 'Messrs Bradbury Agnew & Co are the publishers of my "Life of Douglas Jerrold": but, the "Disgrace to the Family" is, I hope, out of print. It was written when I was a boy.' His plays 'Beau Brummel [sic]' and 'Cupid in Waiting' are both available from Lacy's Acting Drama. He concludes by apologising for being unable to give Baron 'Sir Charles Gibbon's address', being unacquainted with him.
William Archer (1856-1924), Scottish literary critic and journalist, friend of George Bernard Shaw and supporter of Ibsen [Henry James Byron (1835-1884), English playwright]
On letterhead of the National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place, SW [London]. 14 March 1908.
2pp., 12mo. Good, on lightly-aged paper. A pencil footnote states that the poem referred to is 'In Praise of Puns' (subtitled on that occasion 'Paronomasiarum Laudatio'), published in the magazine 'Mirth', edited by H. J. Byron, 1878, p.115. Archer has no objection to the poem being reprinted, 'on one or other of two conditions: that you either omit my name (and any description pointing to me), or give the date of their original publication, and the name of the magazine (Mirth was it not?) in which they appeared. In either case, please omit the Latin sub-title.'
Sir Theodore Martin (1816-1909), Scottish poet, biographer and translator, author of the 'Bon Gualtier Ballads', husband of the actress Helena Faucit [John T. Baron of Blackburn, autograph hunter]
31 Onslow Square [London], on his crested letterhead. 15 December 1882.
2pp., 12mo. Very good, on lightly-aged paper. In worn envelope, with stamp and postmark, addressed by Martin to 'John T. Baron Esq | 48 Griffin Street | Witton | Blackburn'. He begins by explaining that he has 'had every minute so fully occupied of late', that he has not been able to comply with Baron's request. 'Lady Martin has done what she is now most reluctant to do - written the name she once bore with a few lines from Cymbeline. I have copied the verse you wish from the little Bon Gaultier Poem'.
Wilson Barrett [William Henry Barrett] (1846-1904), English actor and playwright, manager of the Princess's Theatre, London [Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine (1853-1931), novelist]
On letterhead of Hedingham, 21 Maresfield Gardens, South Hampstead, London. 28 April 1888.
2pp., 12mo. Bifolium with mourning border. Very good, on lightly-aged paper. Barrett writes: 'Dear Hall Caine/ | The scheme promises well. I have made an arrangement for eight weeks at the Princess's. I thought it better to fight for the play there. Will certainly have a fair chance, although there can be no <?>.' According to Barrett's entry in the Oxford DNB, he returned from the Globe Theatre 'to the Princess's, where he began work with Hall Caine on adapting The Deemster, renamed Ben-my-chree (17 May 1888).
Thomas German Reed (1817-1888), English musician and actor, proprietor of the Gallery of Illustration, 14 Regent Street, London [Edward Dean Davis (1806-1887), lessee of the Theatre Royal, Newcastle]
Letter One: on letterhead of the Gallery of Illustration, 14 Regent Street [London]. 24 December 1863. Letter Two: 'Sat. S. C.'
Letter One: 4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. With decorative letterhead in red. Very good, on lightly-aged paper. Addressed to 'My dear Old DD' and 'E. D. Davis'. He realises that Davis is in 'a precious state of mind', and will only send 'a few lines to exchange domestic greetings of kindliness & good fellowship from the circle of Balham to the Square in N'Castle - the waters of the Thames mingle with those of the Tyne'.
Henry Leslie (1830-1881), English actor and playwright [John Clark, actor; Dame Ellen Terry (1847-1928), actress; Benjamin Webster (1798-1882), actor-manager]
36 Queens Crescent, Haverstock Hill, NW [London]. 25 March 1867.
2pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper, with small hole through both leaves. He will be too busy over the following days to visit Clark in person, 'and so I send you the first act of the MSS I talked to you about - I may say I read the 1st. act one afternoon to Miss Terry who wanted to take it to Webster - but I was disinclined'. If Clark 'had anything to do with it - the Blacksmith would be the [last word underlined] part'. He asks Clark to return it as soon as he can: 'as this is the American copy - and they expect it (but of course won't get it) by next mail'.
Thomas McLean (1788-1875), publisher and printseller, 26 Haymarket (next door to the Haymarket Theatre), established 1811
London: Thomas McLean, 26 Haymarket. 1824
The sheet is 38 x 27.5cm; and the dimensions of the plate are34 x 25cm. At foot of plate: 'London, Published by Thos. Mc.Lean, 26 Haymarket, 1824.' The engravings, each 11 x 8cm., are arranged in two rows of two. In good condition, lightly-aged and with a torn pin hole at head, presumably where the print was torn from its string. Moving clockwise from top left, the prints are as follows.
[Worthing Literary Institute, West Sussex; Kirshaw, printer]
'KIRSHAW, PRINTER, WORTHING.' [1898.]
12pp., 12mo. In original printed wraps bearing the title, dramatis personae, printer's slug, and contemporary pencil note: 'Performed at Literary Institute Wednesday June 8th 1898.' On aged and worn paper, with curling to fore-edge, and a cloth strip sewn on to strengthen spine. A comedy in heroic couplets. Excessively scarce: no copies on COPAC or WorldCat OCLC. Kirshaw was active between the 1870s and 1890s.
Ridgeway's Late Joys (Formerly Evans' Song and Supper Rooms), Players Theatre [Peter Ridgeway (c.1894-1938); Leonard Sachs; Arnold Riches; Peter Ustinov; Bernard Miles; Alec Clunes]
Song sheet: Player's Theatre, 42, King Street, Covent Garden; undated [pre 1940]. Programme: Player's Theatre ('Late of COVENT GARDEN'), 13, Albemarle Street, Piccadilly; 1 November 1943.
Both items printed on pink paper, with similar cover designs by Arnold Riches. Both in fair condition, aged and worn. The song sheet is a bifolium, 4pp, 4to, It dates from before 1939, when, following Ridgeway's death, the Player's Theatre moved to the Arts Theatre from King Street. The front page advertises performances 'Every Night (Except Sundays)', with 'THE ARTISTES' listed over twelve lines, and including 'Alec (Laneworthy-Figg) Clunes', Peter Ustinov, Bernard Miles and 'Leonard Sachs (Chairman)'.
Eva Maria Garrick [née Veigel; stage name 'Violette'] (1724-1822), Austrian dancer and wife of the English actor and dramatist David Garrick; Sylvester Douglas, Baron Glenbervie (1743-1823); Sandwich]
Place and date not stated. [1819.]
The autograph address by Eva Marie Garrick is on a 7.5 x 14.5 piece of paper, laid down on an 8 x 20 cm piece of paper cut from an album. In fair condition, aged. Lightly-scored through by the postal authorities, it reads: 'The Rigt. Honorable | Dowr. Lady Amherst | Leven Grove near | Stokerley | Yorkshire'. Beneath this, in another hand: 'Widow of the celebrated David Garrick Esq', and along one edge, in a third hand (Lady Amherst's?), 'This direction was written by Mrs Garrick in the year 1819 when in her 92d year'.
Ben Travers (1886-1980), English playwright, best-known for his farces at the Aldwych Theatre in London in the 1920s and 1930s
On letterhead of the Queen's Hotel, Southsea. 29 June 1927.
1p., 12mo. On aged and ruckled paper, with pinholes to one corner. He is 'in the thick of this "Week in the Country" business'. 'When I come to town I'll come & see you about your proposition of the series for the Grand Magazine, but I'm a rotten short story writer, you know.'
[Sir Henry Irving [John Henry Brodribb] (1838-1905), British actor-manager; Messrs. Christie, Manson & Woods, London auction house; Christies auctioneers]
Revised Edition. Messrs. Christie, Manson & Woods, at their Great Rooms, 8 King Street, St. James's Square. Monday, December 18, 1905 and following day.' [London: Printed by William Clowes and Sons, Limited.]
8vo., 69pp. Unbound as issued. In fair condition, on lightly-aged and worn paper, with worn and chipped printed front wrap still present, with ownership inscription at head (''). 482 lots, with several of the books ticked in pencil. Included, as lots 95 to 112A, are 'specially printed copies of the various Lyceum Plays, as arranged for the Stage by SIR HENRY IRVING; they contain numerous manuscript alterations in the text in the handwriting of the great Actor, and are in consequence of very great interest'.
Thomas Harris (d.1820), manager of the Theatre Royal Covent Garden [James C. Cross [J. C. Cross], Georgian playwright]
[Theatre Royal] Covent Garden [London]. 20 April 1798.
1p., 4to. Good, on lightly-aged paper, with minor traces of mount on reverse. The letter reads: 'Sir/ | With permission of the Right Honble, the Lord Chamberlain "They've bit the Old One, or The Scheeming [sic] Butler," a musical piece in one act, will be performed at the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden. | I am, Sir, | Yr hble Servt | [signed] T. Harris'.
Robert Keeley (1793-1869), English comic actor [Robert William Elliston (1774-1831), theatre manager; the Olympic Theatre, London]
[London.] 'Tuesday Morng' [1818 or 1819].
2pp., 16mo. Bifolium, with the reverse of the second leaf addressed to 'Mr Lee | Olympic Theatre'. Fair, on aged paper, with minor damage to second leaf on removal from album. The letter begins: 'R. Keeley's Compts to Mr Lee, will thank him to send his Salary per Bearer - R. K. is entirely without money and will thank Mr Lee to present the accompanying note to Mr Elliston's notice'. He asks Lee to oblige him 'with the date of the 2d. Week of the Leicester Season when I first resume my Sal -'.
Sir Compton Mackenzie [Sir Edward Montague Compton Mackenzie] (1883-1972) [W. J. MacQueen-Pope [Walter James MacQueen-Pope] (1888-1960)]
Mackenzie's letter on letterhead of Denchworth Manor, by Wantage, Berkshire. 1 January 1951. Copy of MacQueen-Pope's reply dated 5 January 1951, with place not stated.
Mackenzie's letter is 1p., landscape 12mo. 16 lines. Good, on lightly-aged paper, with a crease to one corner. He thanks MP for his 'encouraging letter' and discusses his own 'silly slip about the Faery Queen's entrance' in a radio broadcast: 'I was so much concerned with giving listeners the difference between the O.P. and the Prompt side that it became a question of physician heal thyself.' He continues: 'I wasn't sure of the year Mille Le Garde [sic] sang that song. Probably '97. Rose Dering was the Aladdin. She was second boy. Ted Young was the Widow Twankey.
Eric Portman [Eric Harrison Portman] (1901-1969), English stage and screen actor, best-known for his 1940s films with Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger [Margaret Brentnall]
'The Old Vic. | London S.E.1'. Undated .
2pp., 4to. Fair, on lightly-aged and worn paper. He is glad that she liked the production of 'Romeo and Juliet', and hopes she will 'come to see some of the other plays we are doing . . I am in them all I think . . I play Bassanio in "The Merchant of Venice" - I am sorry to say that I have no photographs at the moment but I have ordered some and if you care to have one later on I shall be delighted to send it.'
James Robinson Planché (1796-1880), playwright and Somerset Herald
On letterhead of Heronden Hall, Tenterden. 23 May 1870.
On piece of paper 10cm square. In fair condition, on aged paper, laid down on piece of grey card, to the reverse of which is attached a card with a contemporary manuscript biographical note on Planché. Apparently unpublished, the poem reads: 'I give the note - I say no more | Though poor the offering be. | My Autograph is all the store | That I have left for thee | [signed] J: R: Planché | 23d May 1870.'
Helen Faucit Martin [born Helena Faucit Saville] (1817-1898), Lady Martin, English actress, wife of Sir Theodore Martin (1816-1909)
31 Onslow Square. 27 May [no year].
2pp., 16mo. Bifolium. On monogrammed letterhead. In fair condition, with traces of glue from mount still adhering. She proposes a date for a meeting, adding: 'Will Miss Paget come in the evening & bring a young friend with her if she pleases?'
Stephen Phillips (1864-1915), English poet, playwright and actor [James Greenwood (c.1835-1927)]
Woodthorpe Road, Ashford, Middlesex. Undated.
2pp., 12mo. Fair, on aged grey paper, with slight chipping at one corner. The letter accompanies a copy of an unnamed play, which Phillips hopes will interest Greenwood. 'I will stand or fall by it. I have learnt so much from your criticism (more indeed than from any one) that I should hope that you might continue possibly that line of such sane and helpful criticism which I have learned to look for from "the onlooker".' He concludes by declaring that there is no one to whom he is sending the book 'with greater pleasure'.
Tommy Trinder [Thomas Edward Trinder] (1909-1989), English stage, screen and radio comedian with the catchphrase 'You lucky people!' [C.A.S.T., Campaign of Actors for Sunday Theatres, 1943]
The three items are stapled to one another, in good condition on lightly-aged paper. The first item is the typescript, which is 1p., 4to. It is addressed to 'Dear Brother Artist,' and begins: 'You will possibly be rather surprised to receive a letter from me, but after having spent most of my life in the Provinces, I now find myself landed in London. I am surprised at the amount of discussion and activity that takes place here regarding the "politics" of the theatre - and realise how you in the Provinces are apt to get left out.
[Noel Coward; Alec Clunes, Honorary Treasurer, Campaign of Actors for Sunday Theatres (C.A.S.T.); Vivien Leigh]
Without place or date. [London. Circa 1942-1943.]
The Campaign of Actors for Sunday Theatres appears to have been active from January 1943 until at least 1944, with the actor Alec Clunes as Honorary Treasurer. The fourteen items in this collection are in good condition, on aged paper, in a beige card folder carrying the title 'LIST OF 213 CELEBRITIES'. [NB. While the first item described below is likely to be, as its title states, the work of Noel Coward, one other item at least in this collection (present in two versions as nos.
Charles Kean [Charles John Kean] (1811-1868), Irish actor, brother of Edmund Kean (1787-1833)
Aster House [New York]. 9 June 1846.
A good, firm signature, written on one side of a rectangle torn from the base of a letter, roughly 15 x 20cm. Aged and little creased. Written while Kean was on an American theatrical tour, the fragment reads 'I remain, | Yours truly | [signed] Charles Kean | Aster House | 9th. June | 1846.' In pencil on the reverse: 'Presented by A. Bassler'.
Frank Rothsay, Actor-Manager of the Borough Theatre, Stratford, and his daughter Agnes Rothsay
Compiled while the Rothsays lived in West Ham, between 1906 and 1909.
Landscape 8vo album with 82pp. on 73 leaves of different coloured paper in original cloth. Aged and loose, in worn binding. The autographs are mainly theatrical, and although lacking any first-rate actors, provide a tantalising glimpse into a lost world. Laid down are signed postcards from.Stella Gastelle, Ethel Ward and Ben Albert ('To Miss Rothsay | Best Wishes from her Dad's Pal Ben').
Frank Rothsay, Victorian actor-manager of the Tyne Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne, and the Borough Theatre, Stratford
Tyne Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne. 5 October 1889.
1p., foolscap 8vo. Stained, worn and creased, but a unique memento of a Newcastle institution and Grade I listed building, founded in 1867 as the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, and now bearing the euphonious name of the Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre.
Frank Wyatt (1852-1926), actor-manager, proprietor of the Duke of York's Theatre, London, with his wife Violet Melnotte-Wyatt [née Emma Solomon] (1855-1935) [D'Oyly Carte Opera Company]
Royal Comedy Theatre, Panton Street, Haymarket. 14 June 1886. [Clement-Smith & Coy., 317, Strand, London, W.C.']
2pp., foolscap 8vo. On the rectos of the two leaves of a bifolium. Folded into the customary packet, with printed title on reverse of second leaf. Aged and worn. The first leaf is a printed form, completed in manuscript (by Miss Melnotte?), and signed by 'Frank Wyatt.' It is headed 'Royal Comedy Theatre, | Panton Street, Haymarket. | Solo Lessee and Directress Miss Melnotte.' The document states, in manuscript, that Wyatt's services are secured for the 'run of the Tour, commencing on or about Monday, August Second next', at 'Fifteen Pounds (£15. 0.
George R. Sims [George Robert Sims] (1847-1922), English dramatist and author [Thomas Hutchinson]
On letterhead of 12 Clarence Terrace, Regent's Park, NW [London]. 7 September 1900.
The letterhead includes a facsimile of Sims's signature. Six lines, on one side of the card. Addressed at foot to 'Thos Hutchinson Esq.' Fair, on aged paper, with strip of gummed paper from mount at head of blank reverse. He sends 'a thousand thanks' for Hutchinson's 'kind letter on Sep 2', which he would have answered earlier, had he not been 'away at Liverpool'. He concludes: 'Your good wishes lay upon my table to welcome me home.'
Oliver Messel [Oliver Hilary Sambourne Messel] (1904-1978), English artist and stage designer [Hans Juda [Hans Peter Juda] (1904-1975), art collector and publisher; Vagn Riis-Hansen]
No place or date. [2 December 1952.]
1p., folio. Fair, on lightly-aged paper; with staple- and punch-holes in left-hand margin. Docketed in pencil, at head 'file Oliver MESSEL', and at foot '2/XII/52'. He thanks him for 'your charming messages [...] about the designs for the Glyndebourne brochure', which were 'given me by Vagn' (Messel's partner Vagn Riis-Hansen). 'For the one design ie.
Letter on letterhead of 17 Sunderland Terrace, London W2. Neither item dated.
Letter: 1p., 12mo. On letterhead of 12 Sunderland Terrace, London, printed in orange with orange border. Good, on lightly-aged paper. He states that his daughter Nelly (1904-1975) has given him her bookplate block 'to get printed for you'. He quotes prices for 100 and 300 prints, 'only to old friends so please dont tell anyone else!! If you will just let me have a P.C I will get them done in two days.' Nelly has also told him that Mrs Dryhurst's husband Alfred Robert Dryhurst (1859-1949) 'wanted to know my price for a bookplate (but perhaps she got that wrong) anyhow I generally charge £10.