Auctions | June 7, 2012

Alfred Wainwright's Original Manuscript Notebooks at Auction

Alfred Wainwright is one of hillwalking’s heroes, and, to those who love the outdoors, a national treasure. Excitingly for them, one of Wainwright’s original manuscript notebooks, containing his comments and maps used in the production of his earliest work, is about to go under the hammer.

It will be sold by Carlisle based H&H Auction Rooms on June 25, in their catalogued auction of Antiques, Fine Art, Collectors’ Items and Furniture.

Alfred Wainwright MBE (1907-1991), pipe smoker, fell-walker, author and illustrator is best known for his magnum opus; a seven volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells published between 1955 and 1966.  Comprising entirely of reproductions of his manuscript it has become the standardized reference work to 214 of the fells that make up the English Lake District.  Many walkers have followed literally in his footsteps, with his books in hand to guide them.

The blue bound ledger contains pages of the iconic pencil script and detailed plan drawings so distinctively and meticulously reproduced in print. It is offered for sale, with over 20 Ordnance Survey maps used and annotated by the author - plus over 25 more from his assistant Cyril Moore. Carrying a pre-sale estimate of between £2000-3000, this unique and unprecedented offering is being sold as one lot.

Commenting prior on the much anticipated sale of Wainwright’s notebook Georgina Nixon, Auctioneer and Valuer of H&H Auction Rooms said:

‘Wainwright’s notebook will be of great interest to both enthusiasts and scholars alike, it provides real insight into the process of working and indeed to the unique style of the author.  Although a number of more up-to-date guidebooks are on the market, Wainwright’s works remain ever popular for their depth and detail, something still cherished by followers to this day. The unique value of the collection comes in its having been kept together.”

This same auction will feature amongst its highlights a number of works by other prominent Cumbrian artists including Thomas Bushby (1861-1918).  One work by Bushby features a showery vignette of a grandmother and her young grandson clad in the distinctive red beret much favoured by the artist.  The two are captured as they return from market, down a winding country lane.  This carries a pre-sale estimate of £2000-3000.  

“While it has been suggested that the location in this painting is Brisco, near Carlisle, we would like to hear from anyone who can fully identify the location.” says Georgina.

Followers of modern local artists may find the work of Marion Bradley (b. 1946) of interest. A number of her fine pencil drawings are on offer including intimate scenes of rural cottages and a large scale study of a tree with an estimate of £50-80 per work.  

The H&H Auction Rooms Catalogue sale auction takes place on Monday 25 June from 10am. Viewing is available on the Friday before the sale 9am-5pm, Saturday 9am-12pm and from 9am the morning of the sale.????For more information please visit or telephone 01228 406 320