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Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Explorers' artefacts go under the hammer
A map of Africa
The map of Africa is expected to fetch up to 15,000
An auction of artefacts belonging to African explorer Henry Morton Stanley has attracted the attention of a north Wales council.

The man, best known for his catchphrase "Dr Livingstone I presume?" was born in Denbigh in 1841.

Items for sale
Photographs
Books and maps
Tribal objects
Watches
Wedding presents
Gifts from governments

In a tribute to his extraordinary life, Denbighshire Council is trying to raise 100,000 to buy some of his belongings to set up a museum.

One thousand objects will go under the hammer at Christie's auction house later this month.

Among the items to be sold are a water stained map of the Congo - believed to be worth up to 15,000 and a pillow case inscribed by his wife, Dorothy.

The council plan to ask the National Lottery for a grant so they can buy as many artefacts as possible and house them in a museum.

Explorer, Henry Morton Stanley
Henry Morton Stanley was born in Denbigh

Councillor Gwyneth Kensler is leading the campaign to organise an exhibition to HM Stanley.

"We're trying to get money together to buy as many articles as possible, especially those of interest to Denbighshire," she said.

"We would also need funds for an area or museum which would be suitable to store these items.

"We're still working on the amount of money we would need, the lottery could give us 100,000 but we would have to raise money elsewhere too."

Exciting auction

The collection is being auctioned off by descendants of the explorer after they decided to sell his family home.

The sale, to be held on 24 September is expected to attract numerous buyers.

Tom Lamb, Director of the London Book Department said the sale on 24 September promises to be an "exciting".

"There has never been such a large number of objects, books and artefacts relating to one explorer offered at auction," he said.

A brass-cased floating compass
HM Stanley used the floating compass

"We have been able to reveal where Stanley used or found his relics, breathing new life into his adventures in Africa, finding Dr Livingstone, his trips to the Congo and his role as an MP."

The explorer's poverty-stricken past and association with Denbighshire is well documented.

He was named John Rowlands and was born in a cottage outside Denbigh Castle.

Brought up in St Asaph's workhouse from the age of six, he left the area in 1859 to become a cabin-boy on a ship bound for New Orleans.

It was there that he was befriended by American Henry Hope Stanley, from whom he adopted his name.

In 1867 he became a journalist and was asked by his editor to locate the missing explorer Doctor David Livingstone.

He found him in 1871 and greeted, him with his famous line - "Dr Livingstone I presume?"

The auction features travelling equipment from this period of his life, including his Winchester rifle.

This also is expected to fetch between 7,000 - 10,000.


More news from north east Wales
See also:

13 Aug 02 | England
09 May 02 | Entertainment
26 Nov 01 | Entertainment
06 Sep 99 | Science/Nature
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