Books & Periodicals

Material in this specialist market ranges from the early printed works of the Gutenberg Press and William Caxton right through to Modern First Editions and now up to signed copies of Harry Potter. Condition and rarity are the keys to this sector.


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Plea to help find missing Darwin notebooks

24 November 2020

Cambridge University Library has launched a public appeal for help to locate two missing notebooks from its archive – including one with Charles Darwin’s famous 1837 ‘Tree of Life’ sketch.

Pioneering Arabic printing and a kind of magic in Edinburgh sale

23 November 2020

Edinburgh auction offered 1592 book from first European press dedicated to such a typeface.

America’s undeclared war with France

23 November 2020

Estimated at just $5000 or so but sold at $110,000 (£85,270) in an October 2-3 sale at Brunk Auctions (23% buyer’s premium) in Asheville, North Carolina, was an extensive archive of documents and letters relating to the career of Captain James N Sever.

British and Irish book auctions: November 24-December 5, 2020

23 November 2020

Our regular listing of UK and Irish book auctions.

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How Poe’s $3 became $60,000

23 November 2020

Two very different manuscript lots provided the high spots of a sale in Westport, Connecticut

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Bobby meets his ‘Boswell’

23 November 2020

Top lot in a golfing sale at PBA Galleries (20/15% buyer’s premium) was a 1927 first of Down the Fairway: The Golf Life and Play of Robert T Jones, Jr.

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Buyer brings home the bison

23 November 2020

Three of the lots noted here from a Chicago sale of books, manuscripts, pictures and prints sold at record sums – and the fourth brought a price that has only once been bettered.

Prince Philip letter

Prince Philip letter stars in our pick of five auction highlights sold this week

20 November 2020

ATG’s weekly selection of items that caught bidders’ eyes includes a letter from Prince Philip where the Duke of Edinburgh gives his views about New Zealand.

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Pick of the week: Window into 18th century gentry life

16 November 2020

An item of local interest to bidders at Bamfords in Derby was this 18th century account book for Radbourne Hall, the seat of the Chandos-Pole family.

British and Irish book auctions: November 17-December 3, 2020

16 November 2020

Our regular listing of British and Irish book auctions.

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Paper view: 30 previews of books, prints, posters, ephemera and documents available at dealers and auctions

16 November 2020

The term ‘works on paper’ encompasses a diverse range of media from artist’s prints to posters, ephemera and documents. Pictured here, along with an array of books, is a section of items available to buy from dealers or bid for at auction.

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Leaves and butterflies make a natural fit in US saleroom

16 November 2020

With only eight of the 178 lots offered left on the shelves at the day’s end and a top lot in the six-figure bracket, a Doyle (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) online auction was certainly a success.

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Bristol auction includes a lot of local interest

16 November 2020

Offered as part of a sale held in Bristol were two copies of 'The Merchants Avizo….', a work by a local man, John Browne.

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Works hailing from across the Atlantic shine in Chicago

16 November 2020

Chaucer and Shakespeare, Darwin and Tolkien were among the big-name and more expensive lots sold as part of the Gerald and Barbara Weiner library at Hindman (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) in Chicago.

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Police return £2.5m rare books to dealers but four still missing after west London raid

12 November 2020

Rare books stolen in a ‘Mission: Impossible-style’ raid on a warehouse in west London in 2017 have been returned after a joint operation with Met police officers and Romanian authorities.

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Papers reveal doomed anti-slavery colony

09 November 2020

In 1793, well in advance of the Slave Trade Act (1807) and the Slavery Abolition Act (1833), 275 British men, women and children attempted to settle an uninhabited island off the coast of Sierra Leone.

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Beyond Browning in Somerset

09 November 2020

Principal attraction in a Crewkerne book sale at Lawrences (25% buyers premium) was the Browning family archive that featured as Pick of the Week in ATG No 2459, but three other items from that 370 lot sale are noted here.

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King George III document takes £7500 at Canterbury Auction Galleries

09 November 2020

Estimated at £200-300 in a Kent sale, a military commission that bears the signature of King George III and is additionally signed and endorsed by William Pitt the Elder, Britain’s prime minister at the time of the Seven Years War, sold online instead for £7500.

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Sticky situation is resolved

09 November 2020

An 1859 first of Darwin’s seminal work shrugs off condition issues to be a best-seller

British and Irish book auctions: November 9-28, 2020

09 November 2020

Our regular listing of British and Irish book auctions. While care has been taken in compiling these previews, we strongly advise that you also check with the saleroom concerned in case of cancellations or postponements because of the latest Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions.

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