Sketchbook worth a small fortune...

At a Travel and Exploration auction on September 16, 2009 in New Bond Street, a sketchbook by Count Amadeo Preziosi (1816-1882) will be going under the hammer.

It is titled Souvenir de mon dernier voyage, and was taken on a tour of Europe in 1875 by the artist. The sketchbook contains a full 81 works and is estimated to sell for £320,000-500,000.

The pictures show landscapes, seascapes, great architecture in Paris, London and Constantinople, as well as pictures of people, especially beautiful women.

"This is an object that is more than the sum of its parts because of it is one man's overview of Europe in works of delicate beauty." commented Giles Peppiatt, head of Travel and Topographical Pictures at Bonhams auction house.

The Count was born in Malta, but his father was set against his being an artist, so he travelled to Constantinople, which was known to be an artistic hub.

He loved the city and settled there permanently, marrying a Greek woman and having four children. He never returned to his birthplace.

Given the quality and range of the sketchbook, it seems unlikely to drop in value.

The sale also includes topographical pictures by travelling artists in Africa, the Americas, the Far East, Australasia, and the Pacific and together with East India Company Trade paintings.


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