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.


Henty – the great adventure begins with A Secret for Success

02 April 2001

UK: G.A. HENTY fans, trade and private, gathered at Bonhams (Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent) on March 13 for the disposal of a superb collection of his many books.

Kipling makes an exceedingly good showing

02 April 2001

UK: THE FINAL LOT in this Sussex sale of books from a Scottish estate, ‘Hallrule’, was a 35-volume ‘Sussex’ edition of the works of Rudyard Kipling. One of the 525 sets issued in 1937-39, it was signed and, according to the catalogue, “full bound”. It reached £10,500.

Leonhard Fuch’s De Historia Stirpium...

02 April 2001

UK: LEONHARD Fuch’s De Historia Stirpium..., first issued in Basel in 1542, contains over 500 full-page botanical woodcuts, one shown bottom right, but while it is not unusual to find a portrait of the author in any book, this work also contains portraits of the artists, Heinrich Füllmaurer and Albert Meyer, and the man who made the woodblocks from their originals, Veit Rudolphe Speckle.

Euclid’s Elementa

26 March 2001

In a beautifully preserved contemporary, and possibly Austrian binding of blind-stamped calf with brass fittings, this copy of Erhard Ratdolt’s 1482, first printing of Euclid’s Elementa, shows some slight waterstaining to the lower margins, but it remains one of the largest and freshest copies in existence – taller than even the Doheny, Honeyman-Garden and Haskell F. Norman copies.

Thucydides and a King James Bible

26 March 2001

A superb example of “the quintessential Italian Renaissance book”, a 1545 first of the first Italian translation of Thucydides in a fine Apollo & Pegasus binding made for the famous library of G.B. Grimaldi – a collection of some 200 key works formed under the supervision of the Roman humanist Tolomei. It sold for $140,000 (£96,550).

Probier Buchlein... and Bergwerk...

26 March 2001

The former Honeyman copy of the Probier Buchlein... and Bergwerk..., two rare booklets on assaying dated 1524 and ’33 (the latter with two leaves in photocopy) produced one of the shock results of Haskell F. Norman sale in 1998 when it made $80,000 – 20 times the estimate.

Hortus sanitatis and the Atlas minéralogique de la France...

26 March 2001

A spread from a 1491 first edition of the most comprehensive and richly illustrated medical or natural history publication of the 15th century, the Hortus sanitatis.

Systême des animaux... and Campi Phlegraei...

26 March 2001

Interleaved throughout with blank leaves, 19 of which bear the author’s annotations, this is Jean Baptiste Lamarck’s own copy of his landmark work on the evolution of species, an 1801 first of Systême des animaux sans vertèbres, ou tableau général des classes, des ordres et des genre de ces animaux in a contemporary binding.

Why a IR£650 le Brocquy work was a snip at IR£66,000

26 March 2001

EIRE: BACK in May last year works by Dublin-born Louis le Brocquy (b.1916) entered the same price bracket as that of his compatriots like Yeats and Lavery when Sotheby’s took a record £1,050,000 (plus buyer’s premium) in London for his work entitled Travelling woman with newspaper.

English-Speaking Peoples on the African Game Trails

26 March 2001

US: JUST as it was with the Morris bird books featured in last week’s Antiquarian Books pages (see issue no. 1481), we are looking here at a very familiar set of books in an unfamiliar context.

Locke’s Essay Concerning Humane Understanding

26 March 2001

A 1690 first of Locke’s Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, bound in contemporary English mottled calf gilt and formerly in Sir Isaac Newton’s library, that reached $190,000 (£131,035) was acquired by Freilich at the Haskell F. Norman sales of 1998, when the price was $200,000.

Carolus Linnaeus’ Systema naturae...

26 March 2001

Pictured here is the title page of one of the more important publications in the history of science – Carolus Linnaeus’ Systema naturae... of 1735, which laid the groundwork for the systematic classification of plants and animals.

Hevelius’ Selenographia...

26 March 2001

Sold at $75,000 (£51,725), at the Freilich sale which took place at Sotheby’s New York on January 10 and 11, was a superb copy of the first complete lunar atlas, Hevelius’ Selenographia... of 1647.

Histoire naturelle ... Règne Minéral

26 March 2001

One of eight colour printed and hand-finished plates from the only known copy of a work that Fabien Gautier D’Agoty issued in 1777, apparently as a prospectus for his Histoire naturelle ... Règne Minéral.

Seventeenth century diversions on a dextrous and mysterious art

26 March 2001

US: THE FIRST sale of 2001 at the San Francisco rooms of Pacific Book Auction Galleries – who recently announced that they had acquired significant additional private funding with the aim of extending their marketing and professional services – took place on January 18 and offered one man’s angling library.

Aldine editio princeps of the works of Aristotle

19 March 2001

US: BOUND in late 17th century French red morocco gilt, this is the five-volume Aldine editio princeps of the works of Aristotle, the 1497-98 first edition in Greek and, in the amount of research and editing that went into its creation, let alone the fine typography, the greatest printing project of the 15th century.

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre

19 March 2001

UK: IN THE original greyish purple ribbed and blind-stamped cloth bindings, this 1847 first edition of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre brought a bid of £30,000 from an American dealer, who may or may not have been that same, un-named West Coast dealer who bought some of the Jane Austens described above, and who also paid £7000 for a three vol. 1853 first of Charlotte’s Villette in the original greyish-olive morocco cloth.

The Ronald Segal Collection

19 March 2001

UK: THE HUGE collection of crime, detection and fantasy literature formed by the South African political writer and collector Ronald Segal was featured in last week’s Antiques Trade Gazette (Issue No. 1480), the catalogue also contained a much smaller but broader based ‘English & American Literature’ portion of the Segal collection.

Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and Emma

19 March 2001

UK: IN THE original grey-brown paper boards with printed paper labels on the spines, these first edition copies of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, four vols. 1818, and Emma, three vols. 1816, sold at £19,000 and £22,000 respectively to an un-named US dealer.

Another zero is added to 007’s number

19 March 2001

UK: I THINK I am right in saying that no James Bond book, at least no uninscribed copy, has ever before reached five figures at auction, but the Dominic Winter sale of March 7 added that required extra nought when an absolutely splendid copy of Ian Fleming’s first Bond spy story, Casino Royale of 1953, was bid up to £11,400. There was stiff competition from several London dealers, but in the end it went to Bromlea & Jonkers.

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