Check Signed by DickensCharles Dickens. Engraved Coutts & Comp[an]y Check Signed. London: [January 14, 1870].
Single check (3.75 x 7.5 inches; 95 x 190 mm.). Engraved heading and boilerplate text with several letterpress elements. Four lines written in blue ink in Dickens' hand, and Dickens' signature, also in blue.
Nineteenth-century laid paper, left edge indented, and an ovular blind stamp in relief at middle right edge. Mounted on heavy card stock (10.75 x 8 inches; 273 x 203 mm.). Three hatch marks in black ink over engraved place and bank name. Adhesive remnants indicate that the check was framed or matted at one time. Despite the undesirable setting, the check is in very good condition, and will display nicely when reframed.
The 1870 check in the amount of twenty pounds is made out to Mrs. Hedderley. Ellen Hedderley became the All the Year Round office housekeeper in late 1866 after Dickens' longtime servant John -- the previous AYR housekeeper -- was dismissed for stealing from the cash box.
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