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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Harry Pottering

21 July 2004

HARRY Potter prices are not quite as strong as they once were, but the fine “unread” copy of the 1997 first of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone seen right was sold on June 17 for £11,000 at Bloomsbury Auctions, who had it hopefully estimated it at £15,000-20,000.

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Beatrix Pottering

21 July 2004

PICK of the recent Beatrix Potters were seen in the Dominic Winter sale of June 24, where the 1903 first of The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin, seen right, complete with printed glassine jacket (showing some spine and edge loss) and inscribed as a Christmas gift at the time by the author to a Mrs Lord, was sold at £7600 to Hawthorn Books, who gave a further £7600 for a jacketed, 1904 first of The Tale of Benjamin Bunny that Beatrix Potter inscribed to Mrs Lord.

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The Cat, the Grinch & Horton

21 July 2004

A Christie’s New York sale of June 9 included a collection of Dr Seuss books, illustrated letters and other ephemera formed by Jed Mattes, who in 1977, following the death of Theodor Geisel’s long-term agent Phyllis Jackson, took over as his representative.

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Tolkien and his US copyright

21 July 2004

THERE was a 1954-55 first edition set of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books in a Sotheby’s sale of July 8 that sold at £6500 to a collector – all three volumes impressions in slightly frayed jackets, one of them with a tape repair, showing a little browning and spotting.

Ephelia revealed

20 July 2004

IN reporting the sale of the John R.B. Brett-Smith library at Sotheby’s on May 27 (Antiques Trade Gazette No 1646, July 3), I mentioned and illustrated the sale at £2800 of a work of 1679 called Female Poems on Several Occasions written by Ephelia.

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The first book bindings fit for a Roman consul

13 July 2004

ROUNDING off a sale of Western Manuscripts and Miniatures at Sotheby’s on June 22 was what, at first glance, must have seemed an unusual inclusion in a manuscript sale – a 13 1/2in (35cm) high carved ivory plaque featuring a figure of a Roman Consul.

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Hevelius and Selenographia - all his own work

13 July 2004

SCIENCE books in a June 24 sale held by Bloomsbury Auctions included a 1647, Danzig first of Hevelius’ Selenographia, the first lunar atlas, illustrated with a portrait and 111 plates (one with volvelle), mostly engraved by the author from drawings that he made in the observatory that he had equipped with instruments he had built himself.

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First of Keynes' General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money sold by Bloomsbury Auctions

13 July 2004

ON June 4, as part of the Fortunoff library, Bloomsbury Auctions sold a 1936 first of John Maynard Keynes’ enormously infleunetial General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money for £1700 (Bauman).

The Fiery Darts of Satan

07 July 2004

BOUND in contemporary vellum, a 1681 first of Tel Ignea Satanae... [The Fiery Darts of Satan] by Johann Christoph Wagenseil was sold for £1000 (Powell) in an Y Gelli sale of June 11.

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Biggles takes off but gets a bumpy ride

07 July 2004

BIGGLES had a big day planned at Dominic Winter’s Swindon salerooms on June 24, with just over 100 lots on offer, mostly from one collection.

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Preview

29 June 2004

ON July 15, Bonhams will present a double-catalogue sale of 500 lots of natural history books and watercolours from a single collection and one of the highlights will be a very special copy of Audebert & Viellot’s Oiseaux dorés ou a reflets metalliques... of 1800-02.

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Snow on Anaesthetics

29 June 2004

JOHN Snow’s best-known work, On the Mode of Communication of Cholera, deals with his investigations into the London cholera epidemic of 1831-32.

Lillie Langtry’s lost lovers

29 June 2004

A FOUR-page, colour illustrated feature in the April 25 issue of The Sunday Times Magazine will have done nothing to harm the saleroom prospects of a collection of 13 love letters written in the period January 1881-June 1882 by the actress Lillie Langtry, “the adored pin-up whose affairs rocked Victorian Britain”, and on May 13 Cumbrian auctioneers Mitchells of Cockermouth sold the lot for £5000.

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Holmes and the Sussex Vampire

29 June 2004

AS a follow-up to last week’s report on the Conan Doyle collection sold at King Street in May, I bring belated news of The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire.

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A true treat for Custer buffs...

22 June 2004

AN autograph sale held by Swanns on April 29 included 11 lots from the George Armstrong Custer collection formed by the late Dr. Elizabeth Atwood, a vet and well-known Custer buff. Seen right is a copy print of a larger image by Timothy O’Sullivan, inscribed “Truly yours G.A. Custer”, which sold for $14,000 (£7955).

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Whose Hieroglyphica Mexicana?

22 June 2004

VALUED at £1000-1500 in a June 29 sale at Bonhams is a bound manuscript entitled ‘Hieroglyphica Mexicana, or, an Introduction into the Origin, Nature and Meaning of the Ancient Paintings by the Semi-Civilized Nations of America, with Sketches of their Languages, History, Arts & Sciences’.

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Frankenstein and the fireproof book

22 June 2004

A TYPED first draft of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer in which he uses real names of characters and places, not the pseudonyms of the finished book, carried a $100,000-150,000 estimate in a May 27 modern literature sale held in San Francisco by PBA Galleries but it joined a long list of unsold lots.

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The John Greaves connection encourages a £520,000 bid for Copernicus

22 June 2004

THE 463 lots that made up the first portion of science books from the Earl of Macclesfield’s library at Shirburn Castle, sold by Sotheby’s on June 10, covered just the letters A-C, but the contents of this extraordinary library, virtually untouched since the 18th century, are such that even this starter helping raised a premium-inclusive total of £3.57m.

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Garzoni on mental illness

22 June 2004

TOP read in a May 20 sale held by Freemans of Philadelphia was one of 90 sets of the 37-vol. ‘Memorial’ edition of the writings of Mark Twain published by Harpers in 1929, which, in original three-quarter crushed green levant morocco gilt and marbled boards, sold at $12,000 (£6820).

Fords, Furness and Ffrendes

16 June 2004

TWO BOX files of Ford manufacturers’ catalogues, advertising material and other ephemera of 1920s and ’30s motoring interest brought a bid of £1550 in a May 19 sale held by Thomson Roddick & Medcalf and the only other lot to reach four figures was a collection of some 370 postcards relating almost entirely to Ulverston and Furness.

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