Patrick Pollak

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LUPTON, Harry, Surgeon.
NOVA VIRERE FRONDE - so titled [a quote from Virgil Aeneid VI - 'to flourish with new leaf']. A large folio [approx. 15 ins. x 11 ins.] album of manuscript verse comprising TITLE, PREFACE and 149 numbered and 5 un-numbered [of which 2 are blank] pages, with 24 full-page illustrations [22 watercolours, 2 pencil drawings] :

1. Frontispiece , an ivy garland enclosing a verse, initialled and dated - March 1849, signed BARKER. 2. A bouquet of roses, signed BARKER. 3. Blackbird on an oak bough. 4. Wren on a branch. 5. Thrush on a branch. 6. Lark on a stone with flowers. 7. Rook on the ground. 8. Jackdaw on a stone. 9. Bullfinch on a flowering apple bough. 10. Wood Dove on a bough. 11. Hedge Sparrow on a branch. 12. Yellow-hammer on a branch. 13. Pair of House Sparrows on a wall. 14. Cuckoo on a branch. 15. Turtledove on a branch. 16. Robin on a branch. 17. Pair of swifts in flight. 18. Pair of swallows, one at rest, one in flight. 19. Bouquet of violets and snowdrops, signed BARKER. 20. Oak tree on a roadside verge. 21. Yew tree, pencil only. 22. Acacia, pencil only. 23. Bouquet of anenomes, fritillaries, bluebells, signed BARKER. 24. Bouquet of stitchwort and milkweed, signed BARKER.

Each illustration has a relevant verse below, initialled by Lupton. The botanical sketches by Barker are painted with some skill - the name of the artist is not recorded in BLUNT Art of Botanical Illustration. The Barker family of painters, of Bath, were portraitists and land scape painters and are probably not connected. W. Wright Barker [fl.1835-1850] was a London painter of flowers, portraits and genre scenes - his wife [fl.1834-1843] was a specialist painter of fruits and flowers - perhaps the bouquets in the album are by her ? But if the opening illustration of an ivy garland is contemporary with the inscription of 1849, this would seem to rule her out ! The Prefatory verse is dated 1838, the last dated verse is for July 1852 [page 149], but the last page and verse in the book is dated 1849 [page 151]. The poems are not consistently chronological - the earliest date is for a verse of 1803, placed at page 107. The album is in full morocco, elaborately gilt, all edges gilt, with the ticket of ACKERMANN, The Strand, London. The edges of spine and boards are rubbed, the rear board has a few small snags, but overall this is a grand binding. Loosely inserted is a ms. Index, ending at page 96, and an autograph draft of a poem for 1857. A charming item with great personal association, fascinating in the socio-historical context and lovely to look at !

*OFFERED WITH : LUPTON, Mr. [Harry]. The History of Thame and Its Hamlets; Including the Abbey of Thame, Prebend, Free School, etc. etc. Printed and Published by J. E. and F. Bradford. Thame. [1860]. pp. (iv), III, (i), 147, (v) Subscribers. With Errata slip at the end. Double-page frontispiece, 11 plates, all lithographed. Original cloth with blind decoration now faded, binder's ticket of LEWIS & SONS, Gough Square, London, front free end-paper cut out, old and faded damp-stain at the lower margin of the frontispiece. WITH a 3 page autograph letter signed by Lupton, November 10, 1860, to a MR. PETTIGREW [possibly THOMAS JOSEPH, author of The Medical Portrait Gallery], thanking him for payment, presumably for this book, telling of his illness - 'During last autumn I worked on, under severe Bronchitis, with immense gorging of the Lungs, so that when I came in, from my visits in the Town, I was obliged to drop into a large Arm Chair in the Surgery, to recover myself..... I lay condemned to death, by the decision of Dr. Jackson & Jas. T Hister of Oxford, both old friends, but by God's help & that of my unwearied daughters, night & day, I have so far struggled thro.........'. HARRY LUPTON (Dec.1st. 1785 [the date is taken from a poem in the folio - 'I was a little wintry weed, a puny piny boy....'] to1861) - in the above autograph letter, HL refers to his Arm Chair as having served four generations of medical men in his family. He is commemorated, together with a surgeon colleague, H. W. Reynolds (d.1875), in modern stained glass windows in Thame Church. The National Archives reference a mortgage between him and Moses Blake of Brill, in 1845. The album appears to be a fair copy of Lupton's life work as poet, and it may well be that the watercolours of the birds and the trees are also by him. Perhaps it was a gift to his grand-daughter, E. Chard, to whom one of the first verses is dedicated. A later poem has the note that on that day, Charles Chard, his son-in-law, was buried at St. Thomas's Church, Winchester. The Subscribers' list for The History of Thame records one T. D. Chard, of Yatton [in North Somerset - Chard is still a family name in the area]. Little is recorded of Harry Lupton's life; he does not have entries in either Munk's Roll nor Plarr's Lives, nor DNB, and so this collection of his verse, much of which makes personal observation of family and friends, provides considerable information on an obviously important figure in a small country town in the nineteenth century.

Date Published:

Stock No. 58810

Price: 4,500.00