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  • Place of origin:

    Cairo (drawn)

  • Date:

    1842 - 1843 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dadd, Richard, born 1817 - died 1886 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    pencil, paper, drawing

  • Credit Line:

    Acquired July 26 1892, from W. P. T. Phillips, a relation of Sir Thomas Phillips

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case PD, shelf 131, box A

Physical description

pencil sketch on paper

Place of Origin

Cairo (drawn)


1842 - 1843 (made)


Dadd, Richard, born 1817 - died 1886 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

pencil, paper, drawing


Width: 194 mm Window mounted, Height: 128 mm Window mounted

Object history note

This sketchbook was acquired by Sir Thomas Phillips from Richard Dadd's family, following his breakdown in August 1843. Phillips had engaged Dadd to join him on a tour of the Middle East, in order to visually record the journey. However, the artist’s dramatic decline in mental health precluded the completion of this arrangement. With some delicacy, Sir Thomas corresponded with the painter David Roberts (a close friend of Dadd’s father) who seems to have taken charge of matters concerning the artist’s Middle Eastern works. He expressed his wish to acquire the sketchbooks from the trip, along with the few completed artworks that Dadd had produced during the brief interval between his return to England and the murder of his father:

‘I will tell you how matters stand. Whilst abroad he made very few drawings but interested himself with collecting materials in his sketch books for works to be thereafter executed. Knowing his principles to be strictly honorable I never recurred to the arrangement between us but meant on our return to suggest to him that he should keep the sketches & furnish me with drawings. The circumstances under which he returned prevented my alluding to the subject but the same views appear to have occurred to him & he engaged himself in making drawings for me which I left with him. These I apprehend are not numerous & I should certainly now like to possess his sketch books as well as the drawings he has made & I have so apprised his brother who says that at present his rooms are locked up… Whatever arrangement may appear to you fair I would at once accede to. I estimate my payments for him at £250 or something more.'

Sir Thomas Phillips to David Roberts, 10 September 1843

The sketchbook was acquired for £30 by the Victoria and Albert Museum on 26 July 1892, from W. P. T. Phillips – presumably a relation of Sir Thomas, who died of paralysis on 26 May 1867. The leaves of the sketchbook had been detached from the original binding and mounted in a volume, fitted with a lock and supplied with a black leather cover.

Descriptive line

Richard Dadd, page 142 from Middle Eastern sketchbook; two figure studies and a sketch of the rear façade of the Khanqah of Sultan Faraj ibn Barquq (1400-11), Cairo, Egpyt

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Patricia Allderidge, The Late Richard Dadd, 1817-1886, London: The Tate Gallery, 1974, pp. 67-68
ISBN: 0 900874 78 3

Published for the exhibition of 19 June – 18 August 1974

Extract from a letter, Sir Thomas Phillips to David Roberts, dated Llanellen near Abergaveny, 10 September 1843, that was sold in London c.1960
Transcript taken from: Patricia Allderidge, The Late Richard Dadd, 1817-1886, London: The Tate Gallery, 1974, p.40, p.156
ISBN: 0 900874 78 3
Published for the exhibition of 19 June – 18 August 1974

Taken from Department of Prints and Drawing Accession Register 1892, July 26, page 70


Pencil; Paper






Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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