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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Comics with an X factor sold in Cumbria

24 February 2020

Comics played a significant part in a recent held by Mitchells (20% buyer’s premium) of Cockermouth, undoubtedly helped by the presence of some 30,000 Marvel comics from one private collection.

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Country house improvements count in a Carlisle saleroom

24 February 2020

Modestly estimated at just £100-150 in a recent Carlisle sale, an 18th century manuscript notebook offering ‘An Account of the Improvements in the Gardens & Park at Cannonhall’ proved a major attraction.

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Wood engravings showing executions in grisly detail emerge at Forum Auctions

24 February 2020

Two broadsides describing and illustrating with wood engravings the executions of convicted murderers were sold online at £1600 apiece by Forum.

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Manuscript from c.1270 tackles Medieval marriage guidance

24 February 2020

Featuring one historiated initial depicting a priest blessing the marriage of a couple who stand before him, a medieval guide to marital problems and resolutions made £32,000 online at Forum Auctions (25/20/12% buyer’s premium).

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Pick of the week: Institutions flock to Cheltenham sale for Maria Edgeworth archive

17 February 2020

Two institutions dominated bidding for the notebooks and correspondence of a significant Regency period female author at the Cotswold Auction Company in Cheltenham last week.

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Byron bit back at a vampire fib

17 February 2020

Publisher tried to link book to the poet to boost sales but a revised version was issued instead

British and Irish book auctions: February 18-March 4, 2020

17 February 2020

Our regular listing of British and Irish book auctions.

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Cut-outs sharp at two auctions

17 February 2020

Sold for £4600 in a February 6 sale held in the Chichester salerooms of Stride & Son (18% buyer’s premium) was an album of cut-paper work produced by Elizabeth Cobbold c.1810-20.

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Selection of playing cards to suit all buyers

17 February 2020

Star turn among some 120 lots of playing cards offered as part of a Stroud Auctions (18% buyer’s premium) sale was the last to be offered. A complete set of Charles Hodges’ Astronomical Playing Cards, it sold online for £3000.

US president Andrew Johnson

‘High crimes and misdemeanors’ – Rare copy of first US impeachment resolution offered at Bonhams

14 February 2020

An original copy of the first impeachment resolution against US president Andrew Johnson has emerged at auction.

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Astronomical texts and fantastic worlds of fairies

10 February 2020

Two very different lots helped Forum Auctions (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) to boost its first major sale of the year.

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Assay office books hit the high-quality mark

10 February 2020

A remarkable collection of books from The Birmingham Assay Office Library will be offered at Forum Auctions in London on March 26.

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Ardizzone is a top draw at auction

10 February 2020

The complete original artworks for two of Edward Ardizzone’s much-loved children’s books were sold for £30,000 apiece at Bonhams (27.5/25/20/13.9% buyer’s premium).

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Maps pro and amateur draw attention at Dominic Winter

10 February 2020

As ever, the most recent sale held by Dominic Winter (20% buyer’s premium) contained a great many maps and atlases and shown below is one of the highlights.

British and Irish book auctions: February 11-27, 2020

10 February 2020

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

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Visitor gives Bristol the brush-off

10 February 2020

Accounts of youthful travels in Britain and on a Grand Tour contain often blunt assessments

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5 Questions: book dealer Dr Jörn Günther

03 February 2020

Rare book dealer Dr Jörn Günther of Switzerland specialises in manuscripts, miniatures, and rare early printed books from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Pushkin satire bites at auction

03 February 2020

Extraordinarily high prices paid for the works of the Russian writer Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev were noted in ATG No 2425, and there were many more lots of interest in the sale held by Christie’s (25/20/13.5% buyer’s premium) in which they were offered.

Donne ownership explains high price

03 February 2020

In ATG No 2427 we noted the sale at Sotheby’s on December 10, at a very much higher than expected £50,000, of a rare copy of the 1553 translation into ‘Scots English’ of Virgil’s Aeneid by Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld.

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Early printed copies of Shakespeare’s plays impress as part of a celebrated collection

03 February 2020

‘Masterpieces’ from the celebrated collections of Dr Martin Schøyen offered at a recent Christie’s (25/20/13.5% buyer’s premium) sale in London included some real rarities.

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