Delightful Hidden Portrait of Family Pet in Edward Lear Nonsense Letter for Sale at Bonhams


LONDON.- A wonderfully inventive phonetic letter from Edward Lear to his close friend Mrs Digby Wyatt containing a delightful hidden portrait of the family dog is for sale as part of the Roy Davids Collection of Papers and Portraits at Bonhams in London on 29 March. It is estimated at between £2,000-3,000. The dog appears disguised as an ink blot in Lear’s sign off to the letter. “My love to Digby” he writes, “and respects to” followed by a blob. It was Roy Davids himself who discovered that the ‘blob’ is actually a delicately constructed miniature portrait of a dog. Lear only wrote nonsense letters to trusted friends and in this 1866 letter – dated ‘22toothoktobr’ – to Constance Digby he gives free rein to his imagination. He explains an abortive visit the previous day – ‘to try if Yewanddigby were aTome’, so he is now writing to see if they will be ‘shayvoo’ next Sunday (‘