I love to collect early Nineteenth Century prints, especially architectural prints, and I had a wonderful friend, Tony Wallace, who loved to feed my habit. I knew Tony through his wife, Susan with whom I traveled to Rome and Venice to visit her brother who worked for the US State Dept. there. That 1998 trip is a story for a different time. This is about Tony.

Tony had been a distinguished Foreign Service officer and later a professor in George Mason U’s School of Public Policy, but I knew him best as a collector, a collector of stamps, of books, and also of antique prints. Much of his collection of prints had come from his father, also a fine collector. The first time I went to their house, I noticed three prints of the Battle of Waterloo. Originals!! I was in AWE.

Several years ago Tony was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and last Sept he lost his well-fought battle with the disease. When he’d been well enough, Tony had spent his time selling off the parts of his collections that held no sentimental value to his family. I missed the chance to buy those Waterloo Prints, but Tony did sell me several other prints and books. Last month when I visited Susan, she offered me some more prints, which, of course, I felt privileged to purchase.

I thought I’d share a few with you.

This one is Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, 1828!

Here’s Drury Lane Theatre.

I was nearly insensible with excitement when I saw these theatre prints. I’d written about both of these theatres.

These next prints are of Edinburgh Scotland, a place I visited in 2005 and would love to go back. Having been there, I could almost imagine walking these streets.

This print is “Waterloo Place, The National and Nelson’s Monuments, Calton Hill, Edinburgh.”
The year is 1829

This one is “George Street, St. Andrew’s Church, Lord Melville’s Monument” Also 1829.

This is “Edinburgh, from Calton Hill”

I have several more, a gift to myself, an early Christmas present to me.
All these prints are hand tinted. Susan also has a folder of about 200 similar prints that are not tinted, more of Tony’s collection. When she gets those appraised I might buy those as well, if I can.

I love these prints because of how close they were to the Regency. Even more, though, I love them because they remind me of Tony, my very favorite collector. I’ll miss him.

What items do you own that “capture” a memory of a special person?

What present have you purchased for yourself?

Come visit my website and see my snowflakes! And enter my new contest. Also visit the Wet Noodle Posse. We’re blogging about the holidays and I’m giving away one copy of Mistletoe Kisses, my 2006 Regency Christmas anthology.