Graham York Gypsy Exhibition

Graham York, Honiton, Shop Front Graham York, Honiton, Shop Front

Graham York, Honiton, shelf of George Borrow books

In November 2012, Graham York, a member of the George Borrow Society and bookseller in Honiton, put on an exhibition of George Borrow and Gypsy items.  Graham is a specialist in Borrow, Gypsies (and Spain) and there were lots of interesting items on display.  The two images above are from the shop window.  The left-hand one shows pugilists at Honiton fair, and the right-hand one the main street of Honiton with a horses, Gypsy children etc.  A lot of Gypsy prints were part of the exhibition and some are underneath the right-hand picture, with a Gypsy shawl in the left-hand picture.

Inside the shop there was plenty of Borrovian material, for example the bookshelf above.  Borrovians will note an early edition of Wild Wales, rare editions such as Targum and Death of Balder, as well as related books such as East Anglia by Ritchie, and of course a few issues of the George Borrow Society Bulletin.  Graham holds the back-issues on behalf of the Society and if you would like copies please contact him directly.

A model of a Gypsy waggon was an interesting feature Model of Gypsy waggon .  You don’t see many of these on the roads these days, but in Borrow’s day they were a familiar sight.

Moving on, there were cases full of Gypsy items, from pre-Borrow to the modern day.  If you’re interested in Gypsies and/or Borrow, Graham’s shop is a treasure-trove and a place of pilgrimage!  More detailed pictures are available by clicking on each image—no doubt folk will want to try and identify the items.

Gypsy books Gypsy books Gypsy books

Some rarer books were also on display (see below), including The Gipsies’ Advocate, a first edition of Borrow’s Gypsies of Spain, editions of the Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society and works by George Smith (of Coalville).  The Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society is particularly useful to Borrovians as they have often covered Borrow, and Sir Angus Fraser of the George Borrow Society was an important contributor.

Rare Gypsy Books

Whilst books are the main source of Borrovian information, don’t forget pamphlets.  These are often hard to obtain, as they seldom last.  One of the selections is shown below (apologies for my own photograph!)  The picture at the front is a Bampfield Moore Carew pamphlet, one of many relating to a pseudo-gypsy.

Rare Gypsy pamphlets

Together with pamphlets there are plenty of artistic depictions of Gypsies, for example the attractive print below:

Gypsy woman

And lastly, a picture very dear to the heart of the Website editor, as it’s the original drawing by E. J. Sullivan for the illustration which appeared in Borrow’s Lavengro.  We use Sullivan’s pictures in our Website banner (top of page).

E. J. Sullivan drawing for Lavengro

I’d like to thank Graham for putting on the exhibition and letting me take the pictures.  If you have any questions, or would like to look at such items, then Graham would be pleased to help, just see his website, Graham York Rare Books, Honiton.