- Edward Lear
- Nubians at the first Cataract on the Nile at Philae, Egypt
Pen and grey ink and watercolour over pencil;
inscribed in ink and pencil, lower left: Cataract 1st / 11. A.M. / Jany 30. 1867, further inscribed, lower centre: Nubians mostly white, some pale blue and lower right: A Suleiman (267), also inscribed with colour notes
sale, London, Sotheby's, 9 March 1989, lot 157,
bt. John, Lord D'Ayton (1922-2003);
thence by descent to the present owners
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Lear first visited the Nile in 1854, but the present study dates from his second trip to the great river in the winter of 1866-1867. He was in the company of his Canadian cousin, Archie Jones, whom he met at Luxor and travelled with to Esneh, Edfu and then Philae, which they reached at the end of January 1867. Unfortunately, Archie was a difficult travelling companion and Lear found himself irritated by his lack of enthusiasm for the temples and habit of whistling in the evenings. Furthermore, Archie 'finished Philae in three hours, which Lear found sorrowfully unbelievable'1
1. V. Noakes, Edward Lear Selected Letters, Oxford 1988, p. 216