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  • William Penn archive to highlight auction at Bonhams
  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • archivePenntoWilliam

William Penn archive to highlight auction at Bonhams

An archive of material pertaining to William Penn (1644-1718), founder of the state of Pennsylvania, is to auction at Bonhams London on January 28.

The collection, which will be sold separately, is expected to make a combined figure of up to ?�40,000 ($65,788) at the Gentleman's Library Sale.

William Penn letters Bonhams
The letter grants a plot of land in Philadelphia to a shoemaker named Daniel Jones

Included in the archive is a signed letter allocating a plot of land in Philadelphia to Daniel Jones, a shoemaker from Wales who accompanied Penn on his voyage to America in 1682. It carries an estimate of ?�2,000-3,000 ($3,289-4,934).

Dated 1684, the grant is signed by both men and specifies a plot 62" by 252" on Walnut Street - then a busy thoroughfare and now the city's main shopping district.

Another letter, addressed to Sir John Rhodes - a young aristocrat and member of Penn's Quaker circle - carries an identical estimate of ?�2,000-3,000 ($3,289-4,934).

The letter offers spiritual advice, and dates to 1686 - a time when Penn had returned to England to resolve a border dispute with the neighbouring state of Baltimore.

An 18th century gold mounted Stuart crystal memorial pendant, which bears a lock of Penn's hair, is valued at ?�1,500-2,000 ($2,467-3,289).

The keepsake dates to circa 1720, with the hair inserted behind a "WP" monogram, and is presented along with a gold propelling pencil.

A note that accompanies the lot reads: "Made out of native gold taken from the King of Candy(?), W. Penn".

We have this letter signed by Samuel Pepys and Penn's father for sale, as well as a collection of historical hair.  

The sale also includes a sentry box that stood outside Buckingham Palace until the early 1990s and an armchair belonging to Joseph Merrick, aka the Elephant Man.

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  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • archivePenntoWilliam