Walter Vernon Daniell

Walter Vernon Daniell (1858-1928) was born in London in 1858, seemingly the youngest of the dozen or so children of the bookseller, printseller and publisher Edward Daniell (1807-1892) and his wife Elizabeth Bowring (1815-1894), who had married at St. Marylebone in 1835. Edward Daniell initially had premises in Wigmore Street but from the mid 1830s worked from 53 Mortimer Street, Cavendish Square.  He was particularly known for dealing in engraved portraits, producing catalogues such as The British Gallery of Historical Portraits 1854; Daniell’s Portrait Catalogue 1871 and Portraits of the Parliamentary Officers of the Great Civil War : being the Facsimiles of a Rare Series Published in 1647; With New Brief Biographical Notices 1873.

Various of the children worked in the business at different times, notably Frederick Bowring Daniell (1853-1932), who later started an independent business, producing A Catalogue Raisonné of the Engraved Works of Richard Cosway R.A. 1890; Queens of the Drama : A Series of Portraits engraved in the Stipple Manner by Edwd. Stodart. Artists’ Signed Proofs 1891; Catalogue of Fine Line Engravings (English and Foreign), Portraits by Nanteuil and Others, Fancy Subjects of the XVIIIth Century French School on sale by Fredk. B. Daniell & Son 1911; Catalogue of a Choice and Representative Collection of Forty-One Male Portraits by Early Engravers 1920, etc. 

Brought up at various addresses in Kentish Town and Holloway, Walter Vernon Daniell moved naturally into the family business, working as an assistant to his father and eventually becoming a partner. An electoral register from 1889 curiously records him renting a furnished bedroom in the family home at 28 Freegrove Road, Lower Holloway, for £15 a year. 

Edward Daniell died early in 1892. Frederick Bowring Daniell, printseller, and Walter Vernon Daniell, bookseller, were the executors of an estate valued at £1,516.1s.1d – and Walter Vernon Daniell became head of the family business, still at 53 Mortimer Street. His own impressive series of catalogues commenced in the same year and included Catalogue of a Good Collection of Autograph Letters, MSS. and Documents : Including Fine Examples of Queen Elizabeth and her Celebrated Statesmen 1893; Greater London. Catalogue of an Extensive Collection of Books, Pamphlets, & Maps Illustrating the History & Topography of the Metropolis and its Environs, within a Radius of about Twelve Miles. On Sale at his Usual Moderate Prices by Walter V. Daniell 1899; A Catalogue of Engraved Portraits of Celebrated Personages, Chiefly Connected with the History and Literature of Great Britain. Accompanied by Short Biographical Notes 1900; Collectanea Napoleonica : Being a Catalogue of the Collection of Autographs, Historical Documents, Broadsides, Caricatures, Drawings, Maps, Music, Portraits, Naval and Military Costume-Plates, Battle Scenes, Views, etc., etc. relating to Napoleon I and his times, 1769-1821, formed by A. M. Broadley, of the Knapp, Bradpole, Dorsetshire 1905 and Manual of British Topography : A Catalogue of County and Local Histories, Pamphlets, Views, Drawings, Maps, etc. 1909. He was also the author of The Little Recruiting Officer. A Story for the Band of Hope 1894. 

On 20th June 1895, Daniell married Minnie Elizabeth Fullford (1868-1951), daughter of William Fullford, a stationer and printer with premises on the Pentonville Road. The couple made their home at two successive addresses in Talbot Road, Highgate, and were soon surrounded by four young children, Vernon William Leslie Daniell (1898-1920), Maud Elizabeth Daniell (b.1899), Minnie Grace Daniell (1901-1976) and Kathleen Olive Daniell (1903-1988). 

In or about 1910, the business moved from Mortimer Street to rather grander premises at 33 King Street, St. James, while at around the same time a new family home was acquired at The Homestead, Uphill Road, Mill Hill. In 1911 Daniell served as the fifth president of the ABA. Much of his stock was sold at auction by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge in 1920, who published a Catalogue of Valuable Autograph Letters and Historical Documents, Comprising the Varied and Extensive Stock of Mr. W. V. Daniell – a decision perhaps prompted by the death of his only son in the same year. Vernon William Leslie Daniell had died from chronic bronchitis developed while on active service in France in the Great War. Walter Vernon Daniell himself retired to Shoeburyness in Essex and died in the latter part of 1928.

Laurence Worms 2012