The Cotman Collection | 100b

Cotmania. Vol. VIII. 1932-3

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/2/1/8
Page: 58 recto

  • Description

    Visit to Christie's to see an album including an early Cotman drawing of a half-timbered house (Lower Tombland, Norwich), which Kitson buys afterwards (12 June 1933); visit to Sotheby's with R. H. Kitson to see watercolours owned by the late Mr Justice [Sir Henry Alfred] McCardie [d. 26 April 1933], including works by Cotman, the Devil's Bridge and a seapiece (26 June 1933)


  • Transcription

    June 12, 1933. Called at Christie's & saw the album, lot 1 in their sale for June 16th. The majority of the drawings are rubbish. The Cotman is an early (c. 1802) indian ink drawing of a half-timbered house, with a church with a spire in the distance, r. [crossed out: ?Wenlock Priory] [added in pencil: Lower Tombland, Norwich]. It is big & rather good, unsigned. 'J. S. Cotman' in pencil on the back, a note by the collector on margin, 'bought in Hastings, [1902 - corrected in pencil to 1918]' (I think.) Meatyard informed me on June 17 that the lot had been 'bought in' @ 10gs, & he did not think it advisable to approach the owner. {added in pencil:} (I bought this afterwards. No. 770
    June 26, 1933. Went with R. H. K. to Sotheby's, & inspected the late Mr. Justice McCardie's watercolours. The early Cotman of the Devil's Bridge, signed & dated 1801, is 'fruity' but pleasant, & reminiscent of the Greta drawing of Lewis Fry 4 years later. The seapiece is unattractive but competent: the big yellow sail & all the twists in the ropes of the rigging are meticulously shown, & yet the sea is powerful & the sky overwhelming. Most of the other items were small & unimportant.