Stevenson Clan Collection, Trailblazers in Beacon Structure, Heads to Sale

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Historical Archive of Author Robert Louis Stevenson and His Lighthouse Engineering Family Heads to Auction

The rich family history of famed 19th-century author, Robert Louis Stevenson, best known for his iconic works ‘Treasure Island’ and ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, is heading to auction. The Stevenson family’s lineage of eminent lighthouse engineers has left behind an extensive collection of personal and historical documents, providing a unique insight into the lives of this distinguished family.

Tracing 200 Years of Stevenson Legacy

The extensive archive represents an unbroken narrative spread over 200 years encompassing four generations of the Stevenson family. The documents recount the family’s story from the birth of Robert Stevenson in 1772 to the passing away of D Alan Stevenson in 1971. The unparalleled collection provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of individuals that left an indelible mark in both literature and lighthouse engineering.

Discovering Hidden Treasures

The auction offers a wealth of fascinating items, each narrating a historical anecdote. Among the lots, prospective buyers will discover a letter authored by Robert Louis Stevenson from his yacht, The Heron, a snapshot of Stevenson during his time in Samoa, and an illustrated manuscript illustrating the signal designs between the Bell Rock Lighthouse and the Arbroath Signal Tower. The latter item underscores the significant engineering contributions of the Stevenson dynasty, with the Bell Rock Lighthouse, constructed on a treacherous reef off the Angus coast between 1807 and 1810, being the crowning achievement of Robert Stevenson.

The Auction: A Treasure Trove for History and Literature Enthusiasts

Intended to be more than just a typical auction, the event curated by Lyon & Turnbull includes not only cherished family artifacts but also rare stamps and atlases from D Alan Stevenson’s collection. This priceless collection is expected to fetch between 45,000 and 68,000. Cathy Marsden, the head of books and manuscripts at Lyon & Turnbull, emphasized the historical significance of the archive. She illustrated the unique engineering challenges the Stevenson family had to tackle whilst designing lighthouses situated in hazardous locations.

In addition to the exciting range of Stevenson memorabilia, the auction will also feature first editions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’. These offerings are surely set to further magnify the appeal of this extraordinary auction.


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