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this title of derision far and near. A punching stamp was made with the word Bomba inscribed, and a man was employed, whose labour it was all day to impress the name gratuitously across the king's head on the dollars which the people brought to him, so that in a short time the satirical appellation of His Majesty circulated everywhere on his own coin. This annoyed him so much that all such pieces were suppressed, and a Bomba dollar was soon difficult to find.
Bomba always went about with an extravagantly dressed suite. One day when a flagship was lying in the Bay of Naples, she was honoured by a visit from the King and the Royal family, with suite, who came out in gilded barges and full parade of Royalty. The ship was dressed from deck to truck in holiday attire; the marines presented arms, the guns thundered forth a Royal salute, and the commander welcomed his guests to the quarter-deck with the politeness befitting an officer of rank. One of the suite, a spindle-shanked and gaudily attired Neapolitan, strayed away from the party, and cruising about midships, espied a wind-sail fully expanded by the air. Such an object he had never seen before, and so, taking it for a pillar, and folding his arms, he leaned against it, when it yielded to his weight, and he disappeared below, heels over head, with a velocity quite as astounding as was his escape from injury. The mishap chanced to have only one witness; this was a veteran tar, who, approaching
INDISCRIMINATING COLLECTORS 331
the quarter-deck and touching his hat, said respectfully, "I beg pardon, commodore, but one of them 'ere kings has fallen down the hatchway."
Though scarcely anyone now remembers King Bomba, or would wish to collect anything connected with him, objects which have belonged to other monarchs and rulers, mostly on account of sentimental reasons, generally fetch large prices.
The rise which has taken place in the price of everything connected with the career of Napoleon is most remarkable.
In October 1858, Messrs. Debenham and Storr offered for sale at their rooms a curious old military treasure-chest, once the property of the Great Emperor, which had been left at Acre after the siege. There was very little competition, and the "lot" was knocked down for £7 only.
At the present day the signature of the first Napoleon to even an official document is of value, as much as five or six pounds being sometimes given for the curious cramped hieroglyphics which he must have scrawled on thousands of documents. In these days the collector of small means is a good deal handicapped owing to the eagerness of wealthy and often, I am afraid, indiscriminating people to purchase curios at no matter what price. It is they who have sent up old furniture, pictures, and the like to their present very high price.
In a less ambitious sphere, however, a number of fields are open to the small collector. Coloured illus
trations, for instance, from old books when framed are often very agreeable to the eye, besides which many of those representing cities and places possess great topographical interest. Good county collections can easily be formed in this manner; needless to say, however, only prints from already damaged books should be used, for it is barbarous to cut up a fine old volume for the sake of extracting its illustrations.
Some local prints are exceedingly characteristic and interesting; especially so is one of Tunbridge Wells in 1748-an illustration to one of Richardson's works, I think. The copy I possess I picked up attached to a few torn pages in an old bookshop.
Some time ago I missed an opportunity of acquiring the original drawing by Loggan-this was eventually purchased, I think, by that indefatigable collector, the late Mr. Montague Guest, and I suppose was sold at the sale which took place after his death, though I do not recollect seeing any mention of it.
Logan, or Loggan, whose portrait is introduced, was a fan-painter who for some years kept a shop at the south end of the Walks. He was an odd, diminutive figure, who had been pet dwarf, I believe, to the Prince and Princess of Wales. From his window at the Wells he could view the company, with the result that he got into the habit of delineating on his fans, so as to be immediately recognized, such remarkable characters as appeared amongst the groups. An honest and ingenious man, his character, good sense, jokes, and repartees were