Jason Clarke Antiques

Rare Mid Victorian Collection of Rocks & Minerals by James R Gregory London

£2,500

For sale, a Victorian collection of one hundred rocks and minerals by James R Gregory of 15 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London.

As described on the paper label affixed to the lid of the hinged pine case, this rare and early Gregory set is comprised of samples from across the British Isles including the Channel Islands with handwritten labels in paper trays. It is accompanied with a facsimilie letter of provenance from Brian Lloyd of the later firm of Gregory Bottley & Lloyd dating from June 2010.

Gregory’s company first traded from Frith Street (1857), King William Street (1859-1861) and then 25 Golden Square (1862-1866) before it relocated to Russell Street in 1866. The company stayed there until 1874 as is reflected in the letter by Lloyd and it allows for accurate dating within an eight year period.

The list of rocks and minerals are listed as follows:

Tray 1

1: Peat – Banffshire

2: Brick Clay - Hampstead

3: Coralline Crag – Orford Suffolk

4: Hampstead Clay – Hampstead, Isle of Wight

5: Lignite – Bovey Tracey

6: Bembridge Limestone – Sconce Point, Isle of Wight

7: Headon Marl – Headon Hill, Isle of Wight

8: Baston Clay – Baston, Hants

9: Bagshot Variagated Sands – Alum Bay, Isle of Wight

10: Pipe Clay - Alum Bay, Isle of Wight

11: London Clay - Highgate

12: Puddingstone – Hertfordshire

13: Upper Chalk – Charlton, Kent

14: Upper Chalk Flint – Charlton, Kent

15: Chalk Marl – Ventnor Isle of Wight

16: N/A (May be include under 91 in error)

17: Gault – Folkestone

18: Coralline Colite – Weymouth

19: Low Greensand  - Farringdon Berks.

20: Fullers Earth – Nutfield Surrey

21: Hastings Sand – Hastings

22: Marble – Corfe, Dorset

23: Limestone – Swanage, Dorset

24: Portland Oolite – Portland, Dorset

25: Kimeridge Clay – Weymouth

26: N/A

27: Orford Clay – Weymouth

28: Kelloway Rock – Scarborough

29: Cornbrash – Scarborough

30: Forest Marble – Melksham, Wilts

31: Great Oolite, Bath

32: Stonesfield Slate, Stonesfield

33: Inferior Oolite  - Ham Hill, Somerset

34: Inferior Oolite – Crickley Hill, Cheltenham

35: Alum Shale – Whitby

36: Marlstone – Cleveland, Yorkshire

37: Marlstone – South Petherton

38: Limestone: Barrow on Soar

39: Limestone – Keynsham, Bristol

40: Bone Bed – Dust Cliff, Bristol

41: White Limstone – Corsham, Bristol

42: Keuper Limestone – Lossiemouth, Elgin

43: Keuper Sandstone – Ledbury, Hereford

44: Bunter Sandstone – Chester

45: Magnesian Limestone – East Thickley, Durham

46: Marl Slate – Midderidge, Durham

47: Conglomerate – Portishead, Somerset

48: Coal Shale, Fenton, Stafford

49: Coal Shale, Durham

50: Blackband Ironstone – Lanarkshire

 

Tray 2 

51: Millstone Grit – Wetley, Stafford

52: Millstone Grit Flagstones – Yorkshire

53: Limestone – Breton, Salop

54: Limestone – St Vincents Rock, Clifton

55: Encrinital Limestone – Derbyshire

56: Cherb – Derbyshire

57: Limestone – Torquay, Devon

58: Killas – Lostwithiel

59: Yellow Sandstone – Kiltorcan, Kilkenny

60: Old Bed Sandstone – Cromarty

61: Lilestone – Stromness, Orkney

62: Cornstone – Cradley, Hereford

63: Bone Bed – Ludlow

64: Upper Ludlow Shale – Ludlow

65: Aymestry Limestone – Aymestry

66: Wenlock Limestone – Dudley

67: Upper Llandovery – Ankerdine Hill, Worcester

68: Caradoc Sandstone – Bala

69: Llandeilo Flags – Skiddaw

70: Lingula Flags – Tremadoe

71: Grib? – Bray Head, Wicklow

72: Grib? – Charnwood Forest, Leicester

73: N/A

74: Granite – Peterhead

75: Granite – Aberdeen

76: Granite – Penrhyn, Cornwall

77: porphyritic Granite – St Levan, Cornwall

78: Chloritic Granite – Carn Brea, Cornwall

79: Lyenite – Guernsey

80: Lyenite – Mountford, Leicester

81: Porphyry – Luxillion, Cornwall

82: Porphry Chimney Rock – Penzance

83: Porphyry – Cumberland

84: Elvan – Landsend,  Cornwall

85: Elvan – Swanpool, Near Falmouth

86: Quartzite – Penzance, Cornwall

87: White Quartz – Penzance, Cornwall

88: Serpentine – Lizard, Cornwall

89: Serpentine – Lizard, Cornwall

90: Basalt – Bolam, Durham + Diorite – Guernsey ticket

91: Basalt – Guernsey (See 16 also)

92: Mica Slate – Inverness

93: Mica Slate – Perthshire, Scotland

94: Grein? – Sutherlanshire

95: Hornblende Slate – Cadgwith, Cornwall

96: Clay Slate – Cornwall

97: Dolerite – Nr Glasgow

98: Leucite – Vesuvius

99: Amygdaloid – Skye

100: Volcanic Tuff – Nr Edinburgh

 

The mineral and fossil specimen retailer James R Gregory founded his business in 1858 and garnered a huge reputation throughout his career. Unusually, he was not active as a field collector but simply bought through auction and private purchase but he was renowned enough to have exhibited at most of the London Exhibtions after 1851 including London, Paris and Sydney. He was also a member of both The Geological Society and The Mineralogical Society. Gregory’s two sons both worked in the business and the name was changed to James R Gregory and Co in 1896 just three years before Gregory’s death in 1899.

The company continued until 1931 whereafter it was taken over by Percy Bottley and renamed to Gregory, Bottley & Co. Upon Bottley’s death in 1981 it was taken over again and renamed Gregory, Bottley & Llloyd and was finally taken over in 2016 by Timeline Auctions who continue to exist today.

A very rare and historically interesting British regional geology set produced shortly after Darwin’s “Origin of species” publication in 1859 and produced by one of the most notable companies in the industry.

The image provided is one of James R Gregory looking very much the “aesthetic” gentleman of his time.

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