Like a lot of book dealers I cannot buy stock at the moment due to the lockdown*. I never seem to have much left over at the end of the month as I sell it all at book fairs and it tends to go quite quickly. So I have been clearing out, tidying up and digging through boxes of bumf – and turned up a few interesting things in the process.
I occasionally buy pictures along with the books and I was very pleased to rediscover a set of three naive oils of Beachy Head. I put them to one side years ago, hoping that I would find out more about them. They are not signed or dated and I’d forgotten how nice they are. They are painted on ‘Geo. Rowney & Co. Academy Board, Quality B.’ and if you click the small photograph you’ll see one actual size. All three document the Beachy Head Lighthouse under construction in 1902. (It is not the Belle Tout Lighthouse, that is the one on the top of the cliffs.) It is a beautiful and interesting area and I had no idea it was such a hot-spot for exotic bird life. Apparently rare migrating birds use the cliffs as landmarks. Did you know that you can see storks, bustards and bee eaters in Sussex? There’s a great website about them here.
I am going to bring the paintings along to The PBFA Brighton Book Fair so that local historians can have a good look at them. The book fair is a new event in the PBFA calendar and will be at Brighton Racecourse on Saturday October 31st; a long way off at the time of writing. So far about 30 local and national professional book dealers are coming and it promises to be a wonderful event; full of books, maps, prints, photographs, autographs and much more. We must all hope that it goes ahead as planned.
* And I REALLY need fresh stock asap when the whistle blows – please get in touch to make an appointment!
1902. Three oil paintings of Beach Head, Eastbourne, Sussex.