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[[preprinted]]
PLEASE REPLY TO S. C. KAINES SMITH., STARETON HOUSE, STARETON, NR. KENILWORTH

THE COOK COLLECTION

TELEPHONE: 
LEAMINGTON SPA 171

KEEPER: S. C. KAINES SMITH, M.B.E., M.A., F.S.A.

STATION:
LEAMINGTON SPA
[[/preprinted]]

[[pencil checkmark]]

May 12th, 1951

Dear Mr. Cunningham,

I am so very sorry to have missed seeing you. I did not get your message till about 7 p.m., as I was attending a meeting at the Society of Antiquaries, and did not get back to the hotel till then. I could not gather[[overtyped]]m[[/overtyped]], from the message that reached me, whether you were intending to call at the [[crossed out]]hote[[/crossed out]] De vere, but so far as I could gather, you had not done so.  I am also very sorry that the telephone line was so bad on the following morning, that it was only with the greatest difficulty that I could get any inkling of what you wished to tell or ask me. However, I did gather that you were going abroad on Wednesday next, and that you would like information about the two Turner pictures in the Collection.

I am sending you under separate cover to the Park Lane Hotel photographs of both these pictures, viz. No. 407 "The Fifth Plague of Egypt (at present on loan to Brighton Art Gallery) oil on canvas, 49 x 72 inches, painted for Beckford in 1800, and exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1800, No. 206.; and No. 408, "The Mill and the Lock", oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in. painted about 1809. With the photographs I shall be sending you full references as to dates of exhibition, former owners, and literary references.

The position is that Sir Francis and the Trustees will probably consent to the sale of one of these two pictures, but I doubt whether they would part with both. As to prices, I do not think that it would be very much use my submitting to them any offer for the "Mill and the Lock" of less than £10,000 (ten thousand grounds) or, for the "Fifth Plague, of [[crossed out]]less[[/crossed out]] less than £8,000.  Both pictures are of course documented to the hilt, and in faultless condition.  In mentioning these figures I am not of course committing Sir Francis and the Trustees to accepting them,
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.