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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Scarce ‘Gentleman’s Recreation’ guide from 1704 is one of several curiosities sold at Hansons

20 May 2019

Discoloured, stained and in a crudely restored old binding, a scarce hunting work of 1704 was sold for a much higher than expected £1400 at a recent Hansons (20% buyer’s premium) sale.

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Simple Houdini poster does the trick at auction

20 May 2019

One of the more successful acts in a recent American magic and conjuring sale involved the appearance among the literary contributions of a doubly inscribed copy of Harry Kellar’s 'A Magician’s Tour' of 1886.

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Printed edition of Islamic medical text is healthy seller

20 May 2019

Billed as the first printed edition of the most authoritative medical text in the Islamic world, a 1593 copy of a work known in the English-speaking world as Avicenna’s ‘Canon of Medicine’ was part of a recent London sale.

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Bids under the microscope at Flints auction in Reading

20 May 2019

A sale of photographica and scientific instruments held at Reading’s Madejski Stadium included a rare work in the history of the microscope.

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5 Questions: Nick McConnell of McConnell Fine Books

20 May 2019

Nick McConnell of McConnell Fine Books is among the exhibitors at Firsts: London’s Rare Book Fair (see Books Supplement in this edition). He worked from shops in London before moving to the Kent coast, close to Canterbury.

British and Irish book auctions: May 21-June 2, 2019

20 May 2019

ATG’s calendar of book auctions taking place in the UK and Ireland from May 21-June 2, 2019.

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Writers’ association launches fund-raising campaign to keep judge's copy of 'Lady Chatterley’s Lover' in the UK

16 May 2019

Writers’ association English PEN has launched a campaign to raise the £56,250 needed to buy the judge's copy of 'Lady Chatterley’s Lover' that has been barred from export.

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Judge's copy of 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' barred from leaving country in hope of finding UK buyer

15 May 2019

The government has temporarily stopped the export of the judge's copy of 'Lady Chatterley’s Lover' from the infamous obscenity trial.

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Prince Charles painting, Churchill funeral memento and HP Sauce –Harold and Mary Wilson auction takes £226,000

14 May 2019

Harold Wilson (1916-95) was Britain’s prime minister twice and won four out of five general elections, more than any other post-war British leader of any party.

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A First Folio at Firsts as book fairs pack early June

13 May 2019

Running from June 7-9 at Battersea Evolution, the upcoming ' 'Firsts: London’s Rare Book Fair' will feature 150-exhibitors.

British and Irish book auctions: May 14-25, 2019

13 May 2019

ATG’s calendar of book auctions taking place in the UK and Ireland from May 14-25, 2019.

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Pioneering 16th century French work dances its way to a five-figure auction result

13 May 2019

Pitched at £15,000-25,000, a rare 16th century French work made its lower estimate at Mellors & Kirk (20% buyer’s premium).

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Le Corbusier designs a tour de force

13 May 2019

The pictorial spread and designer binding shown here feature in a work by the celebrated French-Swiss architect and designer, Le Corbusier.

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New World music making at Swann's Americana sale

13 May 2019

Billed as the first music to be both composed and printed in the New World, Juan Navarro’s setting of '…Quatuor passions Christi' was one of several items of Mexican origin to do well in a recent Americana sale.

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Frankenstein meets the sleepwalker

13 May 2019

An 1831, third (first illustrated) edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a version that not only contained a new introduction but added a new chapter to that famous work, sold for £2800 in a Norfolk sale.

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Shakespeare’s First Folio goes on display at London book fair

09 May 2019

A rare near-complete copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio is included in a loan display at Firsts: London’s Rare Book Fair.

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Pick of the week: Du Maurier dazzles as buyers worldwide snap up all 354 lots of writer's archive

06 May 2019

A manuscript for Rebecca and a favourite typewriter were among the top lots in a collection of objects and ephemera once owned by author and playwright Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) sold at Rowley’s in Ely (22.5% buyer’s premium).

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Reminder of a female pilot’s wartime bravery at auction in Kent

06 May 2019

A flying log book belonging to one of the female pilots of the Air Training Auxiliary (ATA) who became famous for ferrying planes in the Second World War has been sold at Kent saleroom C&T.

Bernard Quaritch

Rare book dealer Bernard Quaritch heads north to Holborn

06 May 2019

Book dealership Bernard Quaritch is relocating to the Holborn area of London, from Mayfair.

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Royal Navy journals become surprise success at South Cerney auction

06 May 2019

Sent to auction by a descendant, two partly broken and disbound journals relating to the early years in the naval career of William Chimmo (1828-91) proved an unexpected success in a recent South Cerney sale.

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