BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)
***Please Use Full Byline***
John Constable's book of sketches.
His paintings sell for millions, but art fans could own a special book illustrated by one of Britain's most famous painters for £40,000.
John Constable, whose paintings are among the most popular and valuable in British art, added eight watercolour sketches in a copy of Songs, Divine and Moral.
The unique book is a collection of moralistic poetry written by Isaac Watts which Constable gave to his god-daughter Harriet Jane Leslie in 1833.
It was the second he had decorated like this. The first he gave to his daughter Emily for her eighth birthday and coloured in five woodcuts attributed to J Thompson after Stothard, but in that one he only added one drawing on the half title page.
In Harriet's he again coloured the woodcuts but also added eight watercolour sketches on various pages, including a bird singing in its nest and a bee settling on a rose.
He also wrote a dedication on the title page which read: "Harriet Jane Leslie, from her affectionate godfather John Constable, Sept 13th 1833."
And below penned the first verse of one of the hymns inside.
Harriet was the daughter of one of Constable's closest friends, and eventual biographer, Charles Leslie, and he gave her the book when the family were moving to America.
Emily Constable's book was gifted to the V & A Museum in 1888 by her sister Isabel Constable, along with many of Constable's paintings and sketches, but Harriet Leslie's book remained in her family and has never been publicly exhibited.
The book will be sold at McTear's British and International Pictures Auction in Glasgow on October 2 and has an estimate of £40,000.