Collection: Clarence Bicknell - The Casa Fontanalba Visitors' Book

A set of limited edition prints of charming and highly decorative wild flower watercolours, taken from the Casa Fontanalba Visitors’ Book of 1906.  Each print is signed in aid of The Woodland Trust by its president Clive Anderson, or by the playwright Alan Ayckbourn, or by the novelist Frederick Forsyth, or by the singer and songwriter Chris de Burgh.

Clarence Bicknell (27 August 1842 – 17 July 1918) was a British vicar, archaelogist, botanist, artist, Esperantist, author and philanthropist. In 1906 he decided to build his own summer house in the valley at Casterino on the French-Italian border in the Alps. This he called Casa Fontanalba and the interior he decorated with his own paintings, carvings and other craft work with botanical and archaeological themes in a style inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement. 

Every opening of the Visitors' Book is illustrated by Clarence Bicknell with water colours of flora of the region on the right page. The left hand pages were left empty so that guests who stayed at the Casa Fontanalba could sign their name and the date.

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Notes on the celebrities

Clive Anderson (born 1952) is
an English television and radio presenter, comedy writer, and former barrister.

Winner of a British Comedy Award in
1991, Anderson began experimenting with comedy and writing comedic scripts
during his 15-year legal career, before becoming host of Whose Line Is It
, initially a radio show on BBC Radio 4 in 1988, before moving to
television on Channel 4 from 1988 to 1999. He was also host of his own chat
show Clive Anderson Talks Back, which changed its name to Clive
Anderson All Talk
in 1996, from 1989 to 2001. He has also hosted many radio
programmes, and made guest appearances on Have I Got News for You, Mock
the Week
, QI, Loose Ends
Clive Anderson's Chat Room, Unreliable Evidence and The
Unbelievable Truth.

Clive Anderson has been president of
the Woodland Trust for more than 10 years, having taken a long interest in the
problems facing the natural world and trees in particular. He and his wife Jane Anderson, a physician who has spent her career in managing
HIV/AIDS, live in Highbury, North London 

Frederick Forsyth CBE (born 1938) is
an award-winning English novelist and journalist. He is best known for
thrillers such as The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File, The
Fourth Protocol
, The Dogs of War, The Devil's Alternative, The
Fist of God
, Icon, The Veteran, Avenger, The Afghan,
The Cobra and The Kill List. Forsyth's works frequently appear on
best-sellers lists and more than a dozen of his titles have been adapted to
film. By 2006, he had sold more than 70 million books in more than 30

Forsyth was appointed a Commander of
the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1997 New Year Honours list for
services to literature. Freddie, as he likes to be called, and his wife Sandy
live in leafy Buckinghamshire. He is a lover of art, especially botanical art. 

Chris de Burgh (born 1948) is a British-Irish singer-songwriter and
musician living near Dublin, Eire. He started out as an art rock performer but
subsequently started writing more pop-oriented material and his international
success has spanned five decades. He has had several top 40 hits in the UK and
two in the US, but he is more popular across continental Europe and the Far
East, having sold over 45 million albums worldwide.  His 1986 love song "The Lady in
Red" reached number one in many countries including the UK; his concert
material emphasises his intense fantasy and history rock. 

Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE FRSA (born 1939) is a prolific British
playwright and director. He has written and produced as of 2024, 90 full-length
plays in Scarborough and London and was, between 1972 and 2009, the artistic
director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where all but four of
his plays have received their first performance. More than 40 have subsequently
been produced in the West End, at the Royal National Theatre or by the Royal
Shakespeare Company since his first hit Relatively Speaking opened at the Duke
of York's Theatre in 1967. He was knighted in 1997.