Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller
Contract for certain alterations in and additions to Keele Hall, Staffordshire. the Property of Ralph Sneyd Esquire [MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM]
Contract for certain alterations in and additions to Keele Hall, Staffordshire. the Property of Ralph Sneyd Esquire [MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM]
Contract for certain alterations in and additions to Keele Hall, Staffordshire. the Property of Ralph Sneyd Esquire [MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM]
Contract for certain alterations in and additions to Keele Hall, Staffordshire. the Property of Ralph Sneyd Esquire [MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM]
Contract for certain alterations in and additions to Keele Hall, Staffordshire. the Property of Ralph Sneyd Esquire [MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM]
Contract for certain alterations in and additions to Keele Hall, Staffordshire. the Property of Ralph Sneyd Esquire [MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM]
Contract for certain alterations in and additions to Keele Hall, Staffordshire. the Property of Ralph Sneyd Esquire [MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM]
Contract for certain alterations in and additions to Keele Hall, Staffordshire. the Property of Ralph Sneyd Esquire [MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM]

Contract for certain alterations in and additions to Keele Hall, Staffordshire. the Property of Ralph Sneyd Esquire [MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM]

NP: NP, 1857. Manuscript, thus First and unique edition. Hardcover. Elephant folio. [8], 70pp. Original gilt-tooled crushed black morocco, with gold lettering on spine and front cover. Detailed and signed 19th-century architectural contract for the renovations of the historic Keele Hall, a magnificent mansion house at Keele, Staffordshire, England, now standing on the campus of Keele University and serving as the university conference centre. The Keele estate was originally purchased by William Sneyd in 1544 and was owned by the Sneyd family for over 400 years. The Sneyds were successful drapers and merchants in Chester and from the 14th to the 16th century the family grew in prominence. In 1542, after the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, Sir William Sneyd bought the Keele estate and other lands. William's son, Ralph Sneyd, built the first Keele Hall in 1580. After two centuries of comfortable but rather modest living, the Sneyds moved up in the world during the 19th century. Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Sneyd was a Member of Parliament from 1784 to 1790 and commanded the Staffordshire Militia, which served for thirteen years as a bodyguard to King George III at Windsor. Ralph Sneyd inherited the estate after the Lt-Colonel's death in 1829. His first agent managed affairs poorly at Keele so that extreme financial measures were required to preserve the estate. After 1848 Ralph engaged a new agent whose probity and efficiency restored the estate to a much healthier footing. Ralph Sneyd remained a bachelor and his main occupation became the management and improvement of the estate; he constructed or repaired farm buildings, improved the lakes, planted trees and altered the roads. The old hall had fallen into such disrepair that it had been in danger of collapse for decades but, starting in 1855, the up turn in the estate's fortunes enabled Ralph to achieve his dream of rebuilding and renovating Keele Hall. To do so, he hired the Paton brothers, builders and contractors of Ayr, to undergo (under the supervision of Sneyd's architect, Anthony Salvin) these vast and much needed renovations. The project was completed by 1860 and today, the existing Keele Hall is largely the result of Anthony Salvin and the Paton brothers' work. This splendid volume is a striking testimony of a man's dream come true, and also contains the bound-in four-page power of attorney document (14 3/4 x 9 1/2"), stamped "London 4.3.57," signed and sealed by James Paton, and James Paton Jr., in the presence of James Stewart. This document stipulates that "James Paton, and James Paton Jr. nominate, constitute and appoint Robert Paton of Ayr, North Britain, aforesaid Builder and Contractor, our and each of our Attorney in our and each of our names and name and as our and each of our act and deed to sign and execute a contract or agreement between Ralph Sneyd of Keele Hall of the one part, and James Paton, Robert Paton, and James Paton Junior of the other part, and being or purporting to be a contract by the said James Paton, Robert Paton, and James Paton Junior with the said Ralph Sneyd for certain alterations in and additions to Keele Hall in the county of Stafford, the property of the said Ralph Sneyd. And further to do execute and perform all other acts, matters, and things necessary in and about the premises as fully and effectually to all intents and purposes as we, the said James Paton and James Paton Junior and each of us could do if personally present." The 70-page manuscript contract between Ralph Sneyd and the Paton brothers contains a detailed index to the contract; a summary of works indicating the total cost of 34,635 pounds, 6 shillings and 8 1/2 pence; a detailed list of work (Bricklaying and excavation, masonry, carpentry, tiling and slater, plastery, plumbing, glass work, painting, works connected with heating apparatus, etc..); a descriptive schedule, and a schedule of prices for additions to or deductions from the contract. Lower margin of page 16 signed by Ralph Sneyd, architect Anthony Salvin, James Paton, Robert Paton, and James Paton Junior. The summary of works and the last page of contract are signed by Ralph Sneyd, James Paton, Robert Paton, and James Paton Junior. Manuscript on vellum with text within red frame, with sporadic amendments in the outside columns. Each leaf measures 18 x 11 1/2" and is protected with a modern loose tissue guard. Numerous revenue stamps at upper margin of first leaves, and postmarked "London. 16-3-57." Binding partly rubbed on covers and along edges, with some abrasion to leather. Minor offsetting and foxing to endpapers. Binding in overall good-, interior in very good condition. g+ to vg. Item #35857

Price: $20,000.00