'Lost' Bronte Photograph In Ewbank Auction A photograph of the father of the Brontė sisters, lost to the literary world since 1898, has been discovered at an antiques fair and will be sold by Surrey fine art auctioneers Ewbank on June 24-25.
Martha Brown and was bought from the Ratcliffes from whom came also the plate. The swordstick is accompanied by a framed certificate from C Stansfield who sold it to Mr Dixon. It was given by Mr Brontė to John Hudson the elder of Haworth who repaired Mr Brontė's boots for many years and was bought by Stansfield from John Hudson the Younger his son.
The copy of the1898 auction catalogue is being offered with the photograph, as is a copy of Emily Jane Brontė and the authorship of Wuthering Heights by Alice Law a book published by the Old Parsonage Press. The lot is estimated at £400-600.
Patrick Brontė (1777-1861) was born in Emdale, Drumballyroney, County Down, the eldest of 10 children. His father was an agricultural labourer and the boy was originally apprenticed to a blacksmith and also later to a draper and a weaver. However, largely self-taught, he became a teacher and subsequently gained a place to study theology at St Johns College, Cambridge, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1806.
It is interesting to note that it was around this time that Patrick changed his surname from the Irish Brunty and various theories have been given for the reason. It has been suggested he simply wanted to hide his humble origins, while others think his classical training persuaded him to adopt the name with a dieresis the two dots over the e to highlight the second syllable as in the Greek. In Greek mythology, brontes means thunder and was the name of one of the three Cyclops .
He was ordained into the Church of England in 1807 and married Maria Branwell at Guiseley Church in 1812. His famous daughters Maria was born in 1814, Elizabeth in 1815 and Charlotte in 1816, Emily in 1818 and Anne in 1820, He also had a son Patrick Branwell, born in 1817. In 1820, Patrick was appointed perpetual curate of Haworth. He died there in 1861 at the age of 84, having outlived his wife and all six children.
Viewing for the Summer sale of fine art and antiques at Ewbank Clarke Gammon Wellers is on Saturday June 20 from 10am to 2pm; Monday June 22 from 10am to 5pm and Tuesday June 23 from 10am to 8pm. There will also be viewing on each sale day from 9.30-10am.
The sale catalogue with all lots illustrated will also be available for viewing on the Internet at www.ewbankauctions.co.uk a week prior to the sale. For further information, please contact the auctioneers on 01483 223101.