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Phoebe Dunbar (British, 1816-1899), The Album Wreath and Bijou Literature.

  • $ 45,000.00

Phoebe Dunbar (British, 1816-1899)
The Album Wreath and Bijou Literature.
Edited by John Francis. London: De la Rue, James, and Rudd. 1834.

2 volumes. Folio (11 x 9 inches). Illustrated throughout with fine original watercolor by Phoebe Dunbar, some signed, initialed, and dated 1835-1836, including 22 Hummingbirds, 4 finches, 10 other small species of bird, 22 botanicals, 28 romantic landscapes, hounds, stags, butterflies etc; and 12 pen and ink and watercolors of scenes of India, including several of the Taj Mahal. Original half green morocco, gilt extra.

Provenance: Engraved bookplate of Phoebe Dunbar on the front paste-down of one volume, and engraved bookplate of her brother John (died 1845) on the front paste-down of the other.

A fine example of the Victorian art of scrapbooking, containing besides the exquisite watercolors examples of embroidery, sheet music, poems, and an interesting selection of family bookplates, and a fine cameo of Phoebe Dunbar at 18. The two albums appear to have been compiled by Phoebe with the help of her brother John (who is credited in the albums with "framing" some of her watercolors), to whom she was very close: he bequeathed "Sea Park", his estate between Forres and Findhorn in Scotland to her on his death in 1845.

Pheobe Dunbar was the youngest daughter of Duncan Dunbar (fl. 1790-1825), who founded a brewery at "Dunbar Wharf" in Limehouse on the Thames in London. His eldest son, Duncan, inherited a vast fortune from his father and founded the Dunbar Line's famous shipping firm. In its heyday in the 1850s, Dunbar owned 73 clippers and 40 sailing ships, transporting convicts to Sydney, Western Australia, Tasmania, Norfolk Island, and New Zealand; and troops during the Crimean War. Dunbar owned two ships named for his mother and sister. The "Phoebe" was a barque chartered to take colonists to Nelson in New Zealand, which eventually foundered off the coast of Madras; and the "Phoebe Dunbar" which transported immigrants to Australia for many years before founding off the coast of Brisbane.

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