Latest News Articles by Ian McKay

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Sale serves up a moveable feast

09 December 2019

Copy of only the fourth book to be printed using the new types comes to auction

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Hammett hammers at joint record price

09 December 2019

A fine-looking copy of the 1931, US first of The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett sold right on the low estimate at $60,000 (£46,875) at Christie’s New York (25/20/13.5% buyer’s premium) to match a previous auction high.

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Taken Brack to basics

09 December 2019

The binding of a copy of 'Vocabularis rerum' of Wenceslaus Brack sold in a recent West Sussex sale was a 19th century one and now broken, but this was in its time a very popular and much reprinted work.

British and Irish book auctions: December 8, 2019-January 8, 2020

09 December 2019

Our regular listing of British and Irish book auctions.

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Beautiful botanical volumes

09 December 2019

Though the splendid but incomplete copy of Jakob Christoph Trew’s 'Hortus nitidissims… floribus' previewed in ATG No 2018 got close to the high estimate in selling at £85,000 as part of the opening, natural history section of a recent London sale, a number of other top lots failed to find buyers.

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18th century shipbuilding manual emerges at Charles Miller

02 December 2019

Containing numerous diagrams, a manuscript manual on 18th century shipbuilding techniques and practices sold for £3600 in a recent sale.

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Whiskey ‘can cure your ailments’

02 December 2019

“Try a glass of Old Bushmills whiskey, your majesty, it is the whiskey all connoisseurs drink”. Not only that, but it seems this royally promoted tipple was “… recommended by Doctors in cases of Gout and Rheumatism as the most helpful drink”.

British and Irish book auctions: December 2-12, 2019

02 December 2019

Our regular listing of British and Irish book auctions.

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First banned book in America lambasted the joyless settlers of Massachusetts

02 December 2019

A 1637 first edition of 'New English Canaan…' was one of the homegrown highlights of a sale held by Christie’s New York (25/20/13.5% buyer’s premium).

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Spanish text manuscript is emblematic of a high price

02 December 2019

Possibly dating from the late 16th or early 17th century, a Spanish text manuscript version of Andrea Alciato’s 1531 'Emblemata', the first and most frequently reprinted emblem book, sold for $9000 (£7030) at Swann (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) in New York.

British and Irish book auctions: November 26-December 7, 2019

25 November 2019

Our regular listing of British and Irish book auctions.

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Photographic carte de visite portraits of Carson, Custer and ‘Our Willie’ sold in Dallas

25 November 2019

Featured here are three photographic carte de visite portraits of American interest from an historical manuscripts and documents sale held in Dallas by Heritage (25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium).

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Indian bird life lost but now found

25 November 2019

Original watercolours intended for pioneering, unpublished work are now highly valued

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Arctic sailing journey complete with sea monsters

25 November 2019

Bid to £32,000 in a Gloucestershire auction was a 1599, first Latin edition of the Dutch traveller and explorer, Jan Huygen van Linschoten’s Navigatio ac itinerarium…

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New York and Houston outlined

25 November 2019

A selection of maps of US cities from recent auctions stateside.

British and Irish book auctions: November 19-30, 2019

18 November 2019

Our regular listing of British and Irish book auctions.

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The railway that carried escaped slaves to freedom

18 November 2019

Sporting a distinctive hairstyle and beard that the cataloguer suggested “…would never again be replicated until early 21st-century Brooklyn”, the photograph below was part of a slavery and abolition-themed lot sold for $80,000 (£64,725) in an Americana sale held in New York by Swann (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on September 25.

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Key inscription boosts 1891 copy of Oscar Wilde's 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

18 November 2019

While the binding, with Charles Ricketts’ familiar gilt design on the front cover, is not in the best of conditions, an inscription on the half-title of this example of one of the 250 large paper copies of Oscar Wilde’s 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' published by Ward Lock in 1891 ensured that it set an auction record.

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Lambarde on Anglo-Saxon laws

18 November 2019

A rare work by William Lambarde, the antiquarian, writer on legal subjects and author of the first county history, A Perambulation of Kent of 1576, was another highlight from the library of the late Eric Stanley, professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford (see reports in previous ATGs).

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Licence to kill a Bond book

18 November 2019

Instruction from author Fleming was thankfully not followed and first issue survives.