Ellis Watercolour Collection

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These exceptionally fine watercolours were once in the collection of Sir Charles Robert Bignold. The watercolours are the work of a father and daughter by the name of Ellis (E. Ellis and A.A. Ellis) and span dramatic and picturesque locations across England, Wales and the Continent.

Whilst the identity of the Ellis artists is a mystery, an inscription accompanying the collection explains its origins: ‘from a series of sketches executed during a pedestrian tour by a father and his daughter, 1850-75’. The paintings are of consistently high quality and are a remarkable first-hand record of a father and daughter’s ambitious tour through some of Europe’s most picturesque scenery in the mid-19th century.

The paintings have a prestigious provenance, being formerly in the collection of Captain Sir Charles Robert Bignold (1892-1970), who belonged to the prosperous Bignold family of Norwich. Bignold was a distinguished collector of fine books – his ‘picture book’ estate sale was held at Sotheby’s in 1971 – and the outstanding watercolours in this collection are a testament to his fine connoisseurship.