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Captain Percival Armitage - Letter for Sale
AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 897
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The forth-coming sale of a letter written by Captain Percival Armitage describing the scene post action is the subject of a Daily Express story today:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/454357/Up-for-sale-teen-captain-s-account-of-Zulu-slaughter

AMB
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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The papers are certainly covering this auction strongly, or perhaps it is being marketed very astutely. It isn't that often - well, never really - that such a massive collection comes up, especially one containing such a number of quality items.

A sobering thought, though. All those years collecting and lovingly putting it together, only to be broken up one day. But then I suppose we all know that when we collect. At least every single item will go to someone who really wants it, which is a nice thought, and one of the compensations to be felt when finally letting something cherished go. Obviously, sales & auctions taking place when the collector is deceased might be slightly different but the fact remains that all these items will be valued, both because of their interest and also because they'll retain a market value.

Wonder if the museum's acquisition budget will run to bidding for the Armitage letter? If so, wouldn't expect Bill to confirm the fact before the auction!

Peter
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Bill Cainan 3


Joined: 19 Feb 2011
Posts: 105
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Peter

What acquisition budget ?? !!!!!

Seriously, we did have quite a few individual offering to put up money in order that the Museum might bid for this letter. However, I understand that (as at yesterday) a bid in excess of 5,000 had been received, which would be way beyond anything we could put together.

We are hoping that in the long run, we might at least get a photocopy for our archives.

As you say, the publicity on this sale has been extensive and it will be interesting to see what the various items realise.

Bill
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Five grand? That price surprises me Bill. I'd much rather see it deposited in an archive but, hopefully, you'll get that photocopy.

P.
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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 865
Location: UK
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Hammer price was 7,000. The prices achieved for some items are quite incredible.

Peter
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Bill Cainan 3


Joined: 19 Feb 2011
Posts: 105
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Hi All

I am humbled to report that the Armitage Letter that went under the hammer for a sum in excess of 8,000 is to be loaned to the Museum for us to display. The purchasers wish to remain anonymous.

We will, hopefully have the letter on display next month, and in due course we hope to have a transcript of the letter for sale in the form of a small booklet.

The generosity of many in the AZW "community" never ceases to amaze me.

My sincere thanks for this magnificent gesture.

Bill Cainan
Curator
The Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh, Brecon
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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Location: UK
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That is a very generous gesture indeed which I appreciate very much. Many thanks to the successful purchasers.

Peter
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Paul Bryant-Quinn


Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 543
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Bill Cainan 2 wrote:
We will, hopefully have the letter on display next month, and in due course we hope to have a transcript of the letter for sale in the form of a small booklet.

That's great news, Bill, and may I add my voice to those thanking the anonymous benefactor for allowing us to see this important document.

By when do you hope the transcription will be published?

Regards,

Paul
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Bill Cainan 3


Joined: 19 Feb 2011
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Hi Paul

Whether we publish a transcription or not will, of course, be down to the owner. We had thought of producing a little booklet based on the letter (and including a transcript) which we would sell in the Museum - some more pennies for the Museum !

Of course the first thing we have to do is produce a transcript - and it is a long letter !! Any volunteers ?

Bill
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Paul Bryant-Quinn


Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 543
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Hi Bill

That's the kind of thing I do for a living; if the owner is willing, I'd be happy to transcribe it for you.

The pamphlet would, I think, also benefit from an introductory essay by someone who has the background to contextualise the Armitage letter.
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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Location: UK
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Very good news about a pamphlet. If possible, it might be worth investigating copyrighting to prevent some "kind soul" buying it, typing it up and sticking on the internet for free!

Peter
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mike snook 2


Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 920
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Peter

Can't be done; copyright can only rest with an originator, not with an owner, custodian or anybody else. When museums protect things, and in my view this is a scam, they do so by strictly controlling reproduction of originals. So the new photograph they produce and release is copyright protected, not the original work or creation they are careful to prevent you and I photographing. I don't believe it's possible to protect words which are unquestionably in the public domain (i.e. 70 years plus of the death of their originator), nor do I think it should be possible to do so. Neither do you when you think about it I'm sure! Such things constitute the historic record after all. We'd be in a sorry mess if history was copyright protected according to the whim of the individuals or institutions who happened to be the custodian or owner of documents at any give point in time. In short, if it's out there, it's out there. That's my understanding anyway.

As ever

Mike

PS. Off to you know where in the next few days. Should be warmer and drier if nothing else.

PPS Bill, early days I know, but happy to provide an essay intro to Paul's transcription if owner is content.
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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Mike

Thanks for the clarification. I was hoping to protect Bill's "pennies" but alas that does not seem possible. Hopefully the display will generate visitor traffic anyway.

Have a good trip.

Peter
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AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 897
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Perhaps Mike would be willing to write an introductory piece upon his return from his next trip?

Of course, he may not have time...

AMB
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mike snook 2


Joined: 04 Jan 2006
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AMB

That sounds ominous.....do you know something I don't know?!!

M
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Captain Percival Armitage - Letter for Sale
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