The Times/1911/Obituary/Algernon Sidney Bicknell
Mr. A. S. Bicknell
By the death last Friday of Mr. Algernon Sidney Bicknell, of Barcombe House, near Lewes, probably the last intimate friend of J. M. W. Turner, the artist, has passed away.
Mr. Bicknell was the son of Elhanan Bicknell, whose "renowned collection" of pictures was dispersed at Christie's in 1862, whose Turner pictures are frequently referred to by Ruskin, whose residence at Herne Hill was a well-known resort of men famous in artistic and other circles, including Burton the traveller. Mr. A. S. Bicknell, who was born in 1832, was a soldier, author, scientist, and traveller. In 1861 he published a book entitled "In Trace of the Garibaldians." He preserved up to the last a vivid recollection of his friend Turner, and in a letter to the Athenæum in January, 1909, settled an important point of connexion with a portrait of that artist—reproduced on the titlepage of Sir Walter Armstrong's "Turner," where it is stated be by J. Linnell and in the possession of Mr. James Orrock. Mr. Bicknell there stated that this portrait was surreptitiously sketched at a party at his father's house about 1847 by Landseer, with D'Orsay acting as a screen; the sketch was given my Landseer to D'Orsay, who, after redrawing it, sold it to Hogarth, the dealer of the Haymarket, for 20 guineas. It was lithographed and published in 1851. Mr. Bicknell, who had been in failing health for many years, was engaged at the time of his death in writing upon archæological subjects.
His brother, Herman Bicknell, was also a traveller, and was one of the first Englishmen successively to penetrate Mecca. He described his journey in The Times of August 25, 1862. In May, 1869, he entered in disguise the shrine of Fatima in the sacred mosque of Kum, which, it is believe, had been only once before (in 1821) by a Christian.