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.


British and Irish book auctions: June 30-July 17, 2020

29 June 2020

Our regular listing of British and Irish book sales.

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Winter auction goes supersize

29 June 2020

South Cerney sale of nearly 900 lots mirrors the huge offerings held in Germany

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Early French books of hours on top as Paris reopens

29 June 2020

The Paris auction centre Drouot opened its doors again last month in France following the lockdown.

Nobel Prize and bindings combine to impress

29 June 2020

Christie’s (25/20/13.5% buyer’s premium) recent sale in Paris of books and manuscripts was led at €125,000 (£113,635) by a Nobel Prize for Literature medal awarded in 1947, just four years before his death, to the essayist, critic, novelist and dramatist André Gide.

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Inscribed first edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone makes £100,000

22 June 2020

One of the few first-edition copies of 'Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone' inscribed and signed by JK Rowling has sold at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh for £100,000 (plus 25% premium).

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5 Questions: Simon Beattie

22 June 2020

Simon Beattie specialises in European cultural history, with interests in cross-cultural material and the history of decorated paper. He is also the founder of Facebook group We Love Endpapers, which has 5000 members.

Travel account of early US sells for many times estimate

22 June 2020

An account of travels in Indian territories in the early 19th century was one of two letters of particular North American interest sold for notably higher than expected sums by Forum (25/20/12% buyer’s premium).

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Bidding contest for Nelson letter from HMS Victory and medal group from Battle of the Nile

22 June 2020

A signed memorandum letter sent by Nelson from HMS Victory to one of his captains sold for a mid-estimate £3200 at a recent TW Gaze (18% buyer’s premium) auction in Diss in Norfolk.

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British voyages and a letter from Churchill star at Sotheby's

22 June 2020

The two most expensive lots in an online London books sale of just 100 lots could hardly have been more different.

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JK Rowling's children's classic dumped in a skip, now £33,000

22 June 2020

Harry Potter first deemed too scruffy by a public library brings a spellbinding result

British and Irish book auctions: June 23-July 4, 2020

22 June 2020

Our regular listing of books and works on paper auctions the UK and Ireland.

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Way to unlock Houdini secrets

15 June 2020

Dating from c.1908, a “notebook of secrets from Harry Houdini’s collection” was one of the more successful lots in a very successful magic auction held by Potter & Potter (20% buyer’s premium) with 98% of lots sold and total of around $500,000.

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Newton gets into bubble trouble

15 June 2020

Document signed by the great scientist reveals an investment skill not to the same standard.

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Photocard portraits showing faces of the struggle against slavery

15 June 2020

Originally scheduled for the end of March, an ‘African Americana’ sale planned by Swann Galleries (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) was postponed until May 7, when it was successfully sold online with almost 90% of the 400 lots finding buyers.

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First edition of Mary Shelley’s 'The Last Man' offered in dealer's latest catalogue

15 June 2020

A rare first edition of the first fully realised post-apocalyptic tale is on offer in Peter Harrington’s inaugural fantasy and science-fiction catalogue, 'In Other Worlds'.

British and Irish book auctions: June 16-26, 2020

15 June 2020

Our regular listing of books and works on paper auctions the UK and Ireland.

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Trembling, rising and hurling in Irish auction

08 June 2020

Literary lots in a recent Irish sale included one of a thousand signed copies of the 1922, limited-edition issue of 'The Trembling of the Veil', one of William Butler Yeats’ autobiographical works.

British and Irish book auctions: June 9-20, 2020

08 June 2020

Our regular listing of books and works on paper auctions the UK and Ireland.

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First editions of poetry books including collections by WB Yeats and Philip Larkin sold at Forum

08 June 2020

Bid way over estimate to sell at £1400 in a recent online sale was a 1912, Cuala Press first of WB Yeats’ 'The Green Helmet and other Poems'.

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Mary Queen of Scots' prayer book comes to auction in London

02 June 2020

A prayer book that once belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87) will be offered at auction during Christie’s Classic Week of sales.

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