Lyme Regis fossil hunter Mary Anning’s ‘poo’ letter auctioned


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Sotheby’s

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Mary Anning, who died in 1847, gained worldwide popularity of her many marine reptile fossil discoveries

A “uncommon” letter written and signed by Jurassic Coast fossil hunter Mary Anning is to be offered at public sale.

In 1811, on the age of 12, she unearthed the cranium of an ichthyosaur in Lyme Regis, Dorset, and shortly gained worldwide popularity of her many different marine reptile fossil discoveries.

The letter was despatched to palaeontologist William Buckland in 1829 concerning a field of coprolite, or fossilised faeces.

A crowdfunding attraction has been launched in a bid to convey the letter to Lyme.

The Jurassic Coast Trust and Lyme Regis Museum, which arrange the attraction that has thus far raised greater than £12,500, described the letter as “a novel piece of native heritage and palaeontological historical past”.

They hope the letter, which is estimated to fetch as much as £12,000 at London’s Sotheby’s in an public sale later, could possibly be displayed within the museum, which is constructed on the location the place Anning was born in 1799.

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Sotheby’s

Image caption

The letter written and signed by Mary Anning in 1829

Chris Reedman, from the belief, stated: “At the time the letter was written… that form of materials wasn’t preserved.”

He stated the actual fact Anning was a girl additionally meant a few of her letters weren’t as extremely regarded.

“In the 19th Century, significantly in science, girls’s views sadly weren’t perceived in the identical approach that males’s have been,” he stated.

‘Diminished her significance’

Sotheby’s stated: “With its combination of acute commentary, deep data, a number of references to feminine friendship, and canny salesmanship, this letter provides voice to Mary Anning. It can be an actual rarity.

“Mary Anning was a working-class girl primarily based within the provinces with no attachment to any prestigious establishment and who engaged with pure historical past on a industrial foundation: the scientific institution had plentiful causes to decrease her significance.

“It is barely in current a long time that her scientific position has begun to be acknowledged.”

The Jurassic Coast Trust stated: “This is a really uncommon alternative to convey the letter again to Lyme Regis. It ought to be right here.”



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