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.

Book auctions at Grays

09 February 2004

FROM April London will have a new specialist book auctioneer. Biblion is already a major name in the antiquarian book world through the group shop at Grays Antique Market W1, where the stock of over 100 dealers is on offer and their website,, which carries the inventory of 500 booksellers.

RCVS adopt-a-book appeal

02 February 2004

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Trust Library has launched an adopt-a-book appeal fronted by Antiques Roadshow bibliophile Clive Farahar.

Light the blue touch paper and retire for 350 years…

15 January 2004

Sold at $26,000 (£15,570) as part of the $3.82m (£2.28m) sale of the H.P. Kraus inventory held by Sotheby’s New York on December 4 and 5 was a lavishly illustrated manuscript of 1661 dealing with fireworks, ballistic design and construction.

Brand makes his mark with book sale

14 January 2004

Following his decision to move to France, the silver reference library of long-time London dealer Brand Inglis will be sold by auction in Salisbury at the end of this month. As part of their silver sale on January 28, Woolley & Wallis will offer an enviable working library that has served Mr Inglis for over 40 years.

The Story of the Golf Ball

09 December 2003

The Story of the Golf Ball by Kevin McGimpsey, published by Kevin McGimpsey in association with Philip Wilson Publishers. ISBN 0856675661 £49hb

Book of the Year......

09 December 2003

Burleigh: The Story of a Pottery by Julie McKeown, published by Richard Dennis Publications. ISBN 0903685809 £45hb

Nelson’s Spy? The Life of Alexander Scott

09 December 2003

Nelson’s Spy? The Life of Alexander Scott, published by Meriden Publications, 6 Victoria Road, Bridgnorth, Shropshire WV16 4LA. Tel: 01746 765298 ISBN 09543495 £9.95 plus £1.10 p&p and obtainable frome the above address.

Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies & Society 1700-1880

09 December 2003

Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies & Society 1700-1880 by Antigone Clarke & Joseph 0’Kelly, published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd, distributed by Bushwood Books, 6 Marksbury Avenue, Kew Gardens, Surrey TW9 4JF. ISBN 0764316885 £69.95hb

Echoing Voices: More Memories of a Country House Snooper

09 December 2003

Echoing Voices: More Memories of a Country House Snooper by John Harris, published by John Murray. ISBN 0179564921 £8.99sb

Amazon to compete for share of antiquarian book trade

05 December 2003

Amazon are to compete for a share of the thriving online trade in antiquarian and secondhand books, having acquired rights to use the British Library’s bibliographic catalogue as a searchable database.

Sassoon archive will be sold in Cornwall

29 October 2003

OVER 50 autograph letters and postcards addressed by Siegfried Sassoon to Professor Vivian de Sola Pinto are to be sold by Mill House Auctions of Helston on November 4, together with signed and inscribed copies of Sassoon’s books from de Sola Pinto’s library.

Bound to sell, a catalogue winner

09 October 2003

ONE of the best-known figures at quality fairs, Marlborough, Wiltshire period furniture specialist William Cook has just published his third catalogue, and I must say it is as good an example of its type as I have seen all year. Not only is it superbly produced with excellent illustrations, but Billy Cook’s long captions are an informative and enjoyable read.

£9200 for The Chimes that Dickens gave to a man who struck back

23 September 2003

THERE were very few books in the September 9 antiques sale held by Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchett, but one of them was a copy of Charles Dickens’ The Chimes that was signed and inscribed to a man with whom Dickens was later to become involved in a tiresome and disagreeable round of threats of litigation – an episode that was categorised in the title of a 1996 American book on the subject as The Charles Dickens-Thomas Powell Vendetta.

Gilt-edged ormolu security...

10 September 2003

Matthew Boulton: Ormolu by Nicholas Goodison, published by Christie’s and available from the Antique Collectors’Club. Tel: 01394 389950 ISBN 0903432706 £85hb

The Hobbit reaches £40,000 at Sotheby's.

20 August 2003

Last summer Sotheby’s took a bid of £36,000 on a copy of the 1937 first edition of The Hobbit inscribed in October of that year to Tolkien’s Aunt Jane; this summer they raised £40,000 for a copy that he had inscribed at the time of publication.

Philip Smith’s Lord of the Rings book wall, a new type of art object, sells for £130,000

12 August 2003

A small selection of striking and dramatic bookbindings by Philip Smith offered at Sotheby’s as part of their July 10 English Literature & History sale was not a complete success. In fact, five of the six lots failed to sell, but the most important of them, catalogued as “the greatest and most celebrated postwar English bookbinding” brought a bid of £130,000 from a collector.

Subastas Segre sale

24 July 2003

Subastas Segre (16% buyer’s premium) held their monthly sale from May 20 to 22. In the picture catalogue, top price was the double-estimate €30,000 (£22,060) for a complete set of Goya’s Caprichos, catalogued as First Edition but not in ideal condition. A 3ft 3in (1m) square abstract oil on canvas of 1982 by Fernando Zobel (1942-1984), whose work is highly regarded in Spain, made €23,700 (£17,425).

Nelson on Napoleon

09 July 2003

With preparations getting underway for the Nelson tricentenary celebrations in 2005, autograph collector and postal historian Gavin Littaur felt the time was right to sell an autograph letter, signed ‘Nelson & Bronte’, sent to William Churchey thanking him for his good wishes for the continuance of the peace.

White mischief

09 July 2003

d?f[lungu in Africa: Art from the Colonial Period, 1840-1940, by Michael Stevenson and Michael Graham-Stewart. ISBN 0620304626. Available from Thomas Heneage Art Bookshop, 42 Duke Street, London SW1Y 6DJ Tel: 020 7930 9223 Price £30hb and £22sb

Guided missals

09 July 2003

Illuminated Manuscripts and their Makers, by Rowan Watson, published by V&A Publications. ISBN 1851773851 £30hb