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Never-before-seen sketchbook of landscape paintings by Queen Victoria go on sale for £8,000

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A never-before-seen sketchbook stuffed with artworks by Queen Victoria at Balmoral, Frogmore Cottage and the French Alps 135 years ago has gone on sale for £8,000.  

The redoubtable monarch was a talented amateur artist and took the small book along with her on her travels in 1885.

She drew and painted the scenic landscapes she visited, from the Scottish Cairngorns at Balmoral, to the French Alps and the Isle of Wight where she had a vacation home.

She also painted a rural landscape at Frogmore Cottage, which was the house of Harry and Meghan before their move to California. 

The queen also did preliminary sketches of her pet dogs while travelling on a train.

A never-before-seen sketchbook stuffed with artworks by Queen Victoria has been discovered 135 years later

The redoubtable monarch was a talented amateur artist and took the small book with her on her travels in 1885

The redoubtable monarch was a talented amateur artist and took the small book along with her on her travels in 1885

Queen Victoria, pictured, died on January 22, 1901

Queen Victoria, pictured, died on January 22, 1901

The queen also did preliminary sketches of her pet dogs while travelling on a train

The queen also did preliminary sketches of her pet dogs while travelling on a train

The leather-bound sketchbook, which has Queen Victoria’s insignia on the front cover, emerged from the family of Leta Smith who served because the Royal archivist at Windsor Castle for 33 years from 1924 to 1957.

It’s believed she was gifted it for her years of service, also presented with the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) and a silver salver by a young Queen Elizabeth II.

All the items have been revealed after a filter of a house of a relative of Leta.

While the MVO award and salver are being sold together for an estimated £800, the unique sketchbook is being offered individually for £8,000.

The items are coming by on the market at Charterhouse Auctioneers of Sherborne, Dorset.

Richard Bromell, of the auction house, said: ‘There is no such thing as a doubt that this was Queen Victoria’s sketchbook that she carried around along with her in 1885 to quickly draw and record whatever she desired to after which produce a bigger work of it later.

‘Today people would have a smartphone to record an exquisite landscape they may later paint.

The leather-bound sketchbook, which has Queen Victoria's insignia on the front cover, emerged from the family of Leta Smith who served as the Royal archivist at Windsor Castle for 33 years from 1924 to 1957

The leather-bound sketchbook, which has Queen Victoria’s insignia on the front cover, emerged from the family of Leta Smith who served because the Royal archivist at Windsor Castle for 33 years from 1924 to 1957

A watercolour which Queen Victoria painted from Balmoral

A watercolour which Queen Victoria painted from Balmoral 

A preliminary drawing of Queen Victoria's terrier dog 'Walter' lying on a blanket on the train from Balmoral in June 1886

A preliminary drawing of Queen Victoria’s terrier dog ‘Walter’ lying on a blanket on the train from Balmoral in June 1886 

Queen Victoria painted lots of watercolours from Balmoral and the never-before-seen sketchbook

Queen Victoria painted a lot of watercolours from Balmoral and the never-before-seen sketchbook

‘For an amateur artist the sketches and watercolours are pretty good. Clearly she had some good people round her to show her.

‘The family who’re selling it uncovered it as they cleared a property belonging to a relative of Leta Smith.’ 

He added: ‘It’s fascinating that this sketchbook has never been seen by the general public before.’

Alongside the pencil drawings and watercolour paintings, Queen Victoria also wrote captions for them.

She wrote on the within front cover that she began the sketchbook on April 11, 1885, while on board the French steamer ship La Petite Parisienne at Lac de Bourget in south east France.

The items are coming by for sale at Charterhouse Auctioneers of Sherborne, Dorset

The items are coming by on the market at Charterhouse Auctioneers of Sherborne, Dorset

The grounds of Frogmore at Home Park in Windsor in July 1885

The grounds of Frogmore at Home Park in Windsor in July 1885 

Alongside the pencil drawings and watercolour paintings Queen Victoria also wrote captions for them

Alongside the pencil drawings and watercolour paintings Queen Victoria also wrote captions for them

One watercolour portrays a French villa with snow-capped mountains within the background.

There are also two vibrant views of the grounds of Frogmore at Home Park in Windsor in July 1885, in addition to a sea view from the ‘tea table’ at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight also in July 1885.

The sketchbook also contained a preliminary drawing of her pet terrier dog ‘Walter’ lying on a blanket on the train from Balmoral in June 1886 in addition to a watercolour version of the identical image.

There’s also the queen’s pencilled sketch of a stag that she states was shot at Balmoral in September 1886 by ‘Arthur’. The items are being sold on March 2.

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