• Biscot near Luton, Bedfordshire -
    Price on request

    Inscribed on original border: Village of Biscot near Luton in Bedfordshire

    Watercolour over traces of pencil

    243 x 373 mm., 9 ˝ x 14 ˝ in.

     

    Provenance

    Sir Gregory Osborne Page-Turner, Bt. of Battlesden, Bedfordshire

    By descent to Emily Page-Turner, purchased from her Executors in 1885

    By descent until sold at Sotheby’s, 12th June 1980, lot 25

    Private Collection, UK

     

    The old village of Biscot was absorbed into the town of Luton in the early 20th century and little survives today. Recorded in the Domesday Book, the manor of Biscot was sold to John Crawley in 1724 and remained in the Crawley family until the 20th century.

     

    Fisher’s work was little known until a sale of 78 of his watercolours at Sotheby’s in 1980 brought him into the limelight. He was bought in Rochester, Kent where his father was a printer and bookseller. In 1786 he entered the India Office as a clerk and moved to Gloucester Terrace, Hoxton where he lived for most of his life. At India House, he met Henry Humphrey Goodhall, a geologist and antiquary from Bromham, Bedfordshire who alongside with the Rev. Thomas Orlebar Marsh encouraged Fisher to record the topography of Bedfordshire which had never been done before. He published two illustrated histories of the county and found a number of local patrons, including Sir Gregory Page-Turner, who owned the present watercolour, as well as the Duke of Bedford at Woburn.

  • Ampthill, Bedfordshire -
    Price on request

    Inscribed on border: Ampthill, Bedfordshire

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour

    282 x 410 mm., 11 by 16 in.

     

    Provenance

    Sir Gregory Osborne Page-Turner, Bt. of Battlesden, Bedfordshire

    By descent to Emily Page-Turner, purchased from her Executors in 1885

    By descent until sold at Sotheby’s, 12th June 1980, lot 48

    Private Collection, UK

     

    Ampthill is a town located between Luton and Bedford, to the north of London. This is a view looking down Church Street, towards the town centre. In the distance is the wooden clock tower, or Moot Hall, presented to the town by the 2nd Earl of Upper Ossory, who lived at Ampthill Park,  in 1787, during a campaign to improve the town centre. He also created the current market place and erected a new water pump. In 1852, it was rebuilt by the Duke of Bedford and incorporated into a Jacobean style building. The gates to the right, at no. 28 Church Street, are still there and were removed from Houghton House for which they had been designed by William Chambers. Houghton House, at nearby Houghton Conquest, belonged to the Dukes of Bedford but was abandoned in 1794 but the ruins still exist today.

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