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I purchased this charming mid-19th-century engraved view of Glastonbury Market Place recently on Ebay, the internet auction site, for 99p. It was originally published in a small booklet of views of Glastonbury, Wells and Shepton Mallet, bound in stiff red card covers.
Complete copies in good condition are very rare if they can now be found at all, and are priced accordingly, but individual views from disbound copies turn up from time to time and can still be secured quite cheaply. Like most material of this kind, however, they are becoming ever more scarce.
Some very interesting items relating to Glastonbury turn up on the online auction — including the original monochrome wash drawing and plan of Abbot Beere’s almshouses off Magdalene Street from the southwest, drawn in 1825 by John Buckler, one of the best architectural illustrators of the period. The southern range was demolished in the 1960s.
The seller in New York had entered this item spelling Glastonbury with two ‘r’s as on the original inscription. Thus it did not appear in the normal listings for the town, where no doubt it would have engendered some interest. Therefore I was able to buy it uncontested for $9.99 (under £6), which, since it was framed and glazed, was less than the postage to the UK!
Readers of newsletter 106 will recall an article on the Bucklers, both John, father and son, and their work at Glastonbury — the main collections of their drawings are now in the Somerset Archaeological & Natural History Society collection at Taunton and in the British Library.