Scrappy album but quality watercolour views inside

A watercolour of San Francisco by Colonel PR Holmes from one of the loosely bound 19th century albums sold by Mallams for £6800.

Consigned from a deceased estate in Oxfordshire, a loosely bound album containing nearly 100 watercolours of marine and topographical views drew multiple bids at an Oxford saleroom.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Gabriel Berner

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Included in a picture auction at Mallams (22.5% buyer’s premium) on February 27, the 19th century album, offered alongside two smaller Victorian scrap albums from the same source, more than doubled the top guide to sell to the trade for £6800.

The drawings were made between c.1855-70s by amateur artist Colonel PR Holmes, presumably while travelling with the British Army. A selection of locations depicted include Madeira, Curaçao, Port Royal Jamaica, Panama, Vancouver Island, Cuba, Rio de Janeiro, Falkland Islands, California and Gibraltar.

Rupert Fogden, picture specialist at Mallams, said: “This was a really interesting album from a topographic perspective, covering such a diverse range of areas – anything from Scandinavia to the Falkland Islands.

“The album itself was falling apart but the watercolours were in pretty good condition.”