Ewbank's To Sell Unique Rudyard Kipling Archive A unique family collection of Rudyard Kipling letters, photographs and personal items, some of them belonging to the author's troubled 'forgotten sister' is to be sold by Ewbank's on June 26
News-Antique.com - Jun 18,2014 - A unique family collection of Rudyard Kipling letters, photographs and personal items, some of them belonging to the author's troubled 'forgotten sister' is to be sold by Surrey's premier auctioneer of fine art and antiques, Ewbank's. The archive is expected to excite Kipling scholars around the world and will be offered on the second of the auctioneer's two-day summer sale, which is on June 25-26.
The collection of around 90 lots much of it previously unseen, was inherited by Helen MacDonald, great niece of Kipling's mother Alice MacDonald, about whom a future Viceroy of India would say "Dullness and Mrs. Kipling cannot exist in the same room".
Alice married Kipling's father John Lockwood Kipling and moved to India in 1865. Her three sisters married respectively the artists Edward Burne-Jones and Edward Poynter and Alfred Baldwin, father of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. From Helen MacDonald, (Rudyard Kipling's first cousin once removed) the archive passed by gift to the present vendor.
Most poignant is an autograph letter to Kipling's brother-in-law John Fleming about Kipling's sister, Alice ('Trix'), herself a published novelist, being certified insane.
Kipling and Trix were both born in India but his days of "strong light and darkness" in Bombay ended when, following the custom in British India, at the age of five, he and his three-year-old sister were sent to England. They lived unhappily with a foster couple in Southsea, who boarded children of British nationals serving in India.
Written on paper "Hotel du Parc & sa dependance Hotel Ibrahim Pacha" in the French Pyrenees, on Mar 13 1911, Kipling notes that the objection to Trix being certified is sentimental "but none the less jars on me".
"One must remember that the attack has now lasted barely three months and it has been taken in hand practically from the first, so one can begin to hope that another few weeks may see the turn in the malady. At any rate the fact that she regards the nurse as she does is proof, at least, that she is in sympathetic hands. What her demeanour may be to her family and surroundings is a matter that may depend on a hundred causes to which, in a short visit, one has no clue. It is to be remembered that in the overwhelming number of mental cases they turn for a while against those who are nearest to them. Our weather is rather cold with a falsely blue sky."
The letter is estimated at £300-500, as is Trix's folding paper fan, which she used like an autograph album. It dates from 1891-1895 and is signed in ink by Rudyard Kipling, Stanley Baldwin, Edward Burne-Jones and his wife Georgiana and Edward Poynter.
A hint of the darker side of Trix's mind is offered by her black-painted gilt decorated box, decorated by her father, John Lockwood Kipling, containing her fortune telling paraphernalia comprising her crystal ball and a copy of 'Cheiro's Palmistry For All', containing 'New information on the study of the hand never before