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.


Montfaucon’s explanations ...

09 September 2004

SOLD for £3000 to David Stone in an Y Gelli sale of July 23 was a first edition set of Bernard de Montfaucon’s L’Antique Expliquee... of 1719-57, comprising ten vols. (in 15) including supplement.

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Victorian Bindings from the Library of Dr Nigel Temple

01 September 2004

A DOMINIC Winter sale of July 21 included a collection of Victorian bookbindings from the library of the late Dr Nigel Temple.

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The Reverend’s Erne and massed Scandinavians are among the best catches

24 August 2004

OFFERED as part of a large sports sale held by Lyon & Turnbull of Edinburgh on July 12 was the angling and sporting library of Major Barton William-Powlett (1871-1953) of Cadhay in Devon.

Lawn tennis

24 August 2004

A COPY of the Lawn Tennis Annual for 1882, compiled by L.S.F. Winslow, made £650 in a June 16-17 sale held in Ludlow by Mullock Madeley.

Money the catalyst of change

24 August 2004

IT is sad to report that the Classics Bookshop in Turl Street, Oxford is soon to close due, I understand, to increases in rent required by Lincoln College. I am told that many shops in the Turl are affected.

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Rennaissance bindings

24 August 2004

A LOT from the Michael Wittock collection of important Renaissance bindings sold by Christie’s on July 7, this is one of the two vols. that make up an exceptional copy of the 1540, first Aldine edition of the works of Machiavelli and was one of a large number of books bound in Venice in 1547 for Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, the humanist Bishop of Arras, by a craftsman who came to be known as the Fugger Binder after one of his later patrons.

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Bound and whipped by royal command

24 August 2004

ONCE owned by a member of Henri III’s ‘Compagnie des Confrères de la Mort’, this psalmbook, right, a 1586 Parisian edition of Le pseaultier de David..., is bound in French sombre morocco.

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Parrot and poet support the Arvon Foundation

19 August 2004

The Parrot Pen-man, an ink and watercolour drawing by Quentin Blake that sold for £1200, was among 40 lots offered at Sotheby’s on July 8 on behalf of the Arvon Foundation, a literary charity that provides residential creative writing courses.

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The remarkable Maria Sibylla Merian

19 August 2004

I HAVE often illustrated plates from the works of Maria Sibylla Merian, but never before a portrait of that remarkable lady herself.

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Graves and the man who kept him from one...

19 August 2004

LIKE other ex-Peralta-Ramos lots that have cropped up in recent weeks, this pair of 1934 firsts of Robert Graves’ I, Claudius and Claudius the God bore a red inked Chinese ownership stamp, but both were inscribed by the author in 1958, at a time when he was giving a lecture in Detroit, and they sold for $5500 (£2990) in a Sotheby’s New York sale of June 17.

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Nicholas Jarry

10 August 2004

SEEN right is the illuminated title which, together with a full-page miniature of The Annunciation and numerous coloured and gold initials, make up the principal decoration of vellum manuscript collection of Prières et Oraisons Dévotés produced by the great calligrapher Nicholas Jarry (c.1615-7).

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Catalogued For Sale

10 August 2004

REINFORCED at the spine with linen some time ago, the sale catalogue seen right was issued in 1836 by a Mr Pigott for a sale of farming stock, garden and other seeds, plus household furniture, held at Normandy Farm, near Ash in Surrey – the home of “the late William Cobbett, Esq. MP”, and of course author of Rural Rides. In a Bloomsbury Auctions sale of June 17, it was sold for £400 (C.R. Johnson).

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Holmes past and future...

10 August 2004

THE sale at $350,000 (£190,215) of Conan Doyle’s autograph manuscript of the Sherlock Holmes story, The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire, has already been noted in the Antiques Trade Gazette (No.1646) but the Christie’s New York sale of June 9 that brought that very high bid also included the pair of first edition copies of The Adventures... and Memorials of Sherlock Holmes (1892 and ’94) seen right.

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Stalkers £6000 Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing ...

10 August 2004

THE earliest book in English on the subject, John Stalker’s Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing... of 1688 has been described by H.D. Molesworth as “a work of art in its own right... as readily accepted for its literary content as for its technical information”.

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Harris and Dugdale counties

10 August 2004

SOLD for £3800 as part of the June 21 Christie’s sale at Chirk Castle was a copy of the first and only published part of John Harris’ The History of Kent, bound in contemporary speckled calf, now rubbed and splits at the joints.

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Tame Cats & Wild Things

21 July 2004

A LARGE scale oil by Kathleen Hale of Orlando Reclining Amongst Flowers failed to sell against a £10,000-15,000 estimate at Sotheby’s on July 8, but the autograph draft manuscript of Orlando (The Marmalade Cat) becomes a Doctor of 1944, right, each page with pencil and coloured crayon drawings (some with added wash or gouache, a few unfinished) did sell at £5000 to a London gallery.

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Behind the wardrobe...

21 July 2004

THE very fine 1950 first edition copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe seen right, with just a few nicks to the jacket skilfully repaired, was sold for £6000 to a collector by Bloomsbury Auctions on June 17, but at Sotheby’s on July 8, a complete set of the seven books that make up C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia was left unsold on an estimate of £5000-7000.

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Poetic blooms by Stevenson

21 July 2004

ILLUSTRATED right is a very good copy of the 1885 first edition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s splendid A Child’s Garden of Verses that made £1200 (Bauman Rare Books) as part of the Alan Fortunoff library at Bloomsbury Auctions on June 4.

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Rabbit fortunes...

21 July 2004

ONE yellow-covered rabbit book in the Dominic Winter sale of June 24, a scarce 1922 first of Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit, or How Toys Become Real, with its William Nicholson illustrations, was left unsold on an estimate of £4000-5000 (the original pictorial boards had been “rebacked in facsimile”) but the 1972 first of Richard Adams’ Watership Down, seen right – a copy used in the V&A’s 1977 ‘After Alice’ exhibition – made £610 in Swindon.

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Winnie the Pooh & Tigger too

21 July 2004

THERE is never any shortage of news from the Hundred Acre Wood and this summer’s helpings included, at the very basic level, the straightforward 1926 first of Winnie the Pooh seen top right, a little rubbed and darkened to the spine, which brought a bid of £1350 (Sotherans) at a Dominic Winter sale of June 24.

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