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Crystal Palace sale Catalogue


Price: £19.95


The story behind the catalogue and map.

The year 1911 was both a very good and a very bad year for the Crystal Palace. The Coronation of King George V and the Festival of Empire were the highlights, but were followed by the bankruptcy of the Crystal Palace Company. Knight Frank and Rutley, auctioneers were commissioned by the High Court to sell the building, contents and grounds. The auctioneers produced what, even in 1911, was considered a sales catalogue without equal. 

Long before the actual auction announcement, Mr (later Sir) Howard Frank, with his flair for public relations, was mobilising public opinion. There were at least two editions (a First and a Final) of the sales brochure produced which was lavish even for a Coronation Year production, and a work of art in every sense. It was produced by the Manager of the auctioneers London office Cecil W. Ingram, a past-master at sales brochures such as this. Its generous layout and typography were years in advance of its day. Printed on hand-woven paper by Hudson & Kearns, London, SE, it contained fifty-two pages of photographs and engravings and sixty-four pages of text, running to more than 20,000 words. It weighed approximately 3lb, without the loose map, envelope and substantial cardboard case, and its size was a large – 16½in by 11in. The company sold copies for £1.1s and some subscribers bought as many as 20 copies. The Times reported on 3 December 1936 that ‘an offer of £5.5s had recently been refused for a single copy’.

For the first time ever reproduction copies of this the Final Edition (which includes the conditions of sale) are now available exclusively from us.

A wealth of the most intimate detail about the Crystal Palace building and grounds to be found anywhere.

Also included are details of houses built by the Crystal Palace Company c1869 on Crystal Palace Park Road, Anerley Hill, Crystal Palace Station Road and part of Thicket Road.

The Memorandum on an un-numbered page of the Catalogue states: “The many effects to be included in the purchase are not enumerated in detail in the following particulars, but an inventory will be produced at the time of Sale”.

69 pages ringbound paperback 67 illustrations

This book is only available from us and will not be available in shops.

The re-publication of this catalogue was made possible by generous donations from Knight Frank & (until 1/1/96 Rutley) www.knightfrank.co.uk/

Accompanying the Catalogue was a Map

Further details of the houses described in the catalogue is given in: www.crystalpalacefoundation.org.uk/shop/cpf-publications/villas-values-the-crystal-palace-company-c1852-1911-2