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.


Don’t mess with Sophocles

29 January 2001

US: THE PIRACY collection mentioned above was not the only sale held by Christie’s East on December 12. Three important Hemingway lots which formed part of a general sale are described below, and in Antiques Trade Gazette No. 1472 I featured works by Ayn Rand, among them two works on Hollywood, published whilst she was still a young woman in Russia, which sold well.

Blyton’s Famous Five give the Shire folk a run for their money

29 January 2001

UK: THE FIRST Tolkiens of 2001 combined to add £11,000 to the takings at this Bath sale.

Creases and stains are no bar to Bounty book hunters

29 January 2001

UK: ONE CHART was very creased and there was a stain on the frontispiece that penetrated to the title page and early leaves, but the copy of Bligh’s Narrative of the Mutiny on [the...] Bounty offered in Carlisle was a tightly bound copy of the 1790 first edition in a contemporary binding of quarter calf and marbled boards, and it sold at £3150.

A must for collectors

29 January 2001

The Catalogue of Silver in the Grosvenor Museum, Chester by Peter Boughton, published by Phillimore & Co, Chichester. Available from the museum on 01244 402008 fax: 01244 347587 or bookshops. ISBN 186077153X £19.95 pb.

Heures de la Vierge manuscript

29 January 2001

FRANCE: THIS Heures de la Vierge manuscript, from Auvergne or the Lyon area (c.1485) fetched Fr215,000 (£20,5000) at Bondu on December 22. This Book of Hours (Use of Rome), 61/2 x 61/2in (17cm x 17cm), had a tired 16th century brown morocco binding but contained 14 full-page paintings influenced by Jean Colombe and artists from Bourges, and many of its 131 leaves (from a probable 135) had decorative borders with flowers, strawberries, fabulous creaturs and acanthus leaves.

Incomparable Catcher... ?

29 January 2001

US: DESCRIBED as “probably as good or better than any copy at auction in the last five years”, a 1951 first of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the cloth binding extremely clean and the dust jacket in “nearly superb” condition, made $7500 (£5170) in the December 18 sale held by the Baltimore Book Company.

Albertus Seba’s Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri...

22 January 2001

US: A SCIENTIFIC library formed by New York businessman Joseph A. Frielich was sold by Sotheby’s New York for $10.7m (£7.2m) on January 10-11, 2001, and among many lots that made much higher than predicted sums was a magnificent copy of Albertus Seba’s Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri...

Rare example of printed letter

14 November 2000

Sold at Sotheby’s, London sale (October 12-13) for £6500 was a rare example of a printed version of one of the letters exchanged by Napoleon and the Sherif of Mekkah, Ghalib ibn Musa’id, at the time of the French invasion of Egypt in 1798-99.

The Voyage of H.M.S Beagle edited by Charles Darwin

13 November 2000

UK: The Voyage of H.M.S Beagle is a summary of fauna discovered by Charles Darwin on his travels through the Southern Hemisphere from 1831-6, and became crucial to the formulation of his brutal creed: “survival of the fittest”.

Chairman points the way ahead for Bloomsbury

02 October 2000

UK: TOMMASO Zanzotto, chairman of Stocklight, which owns the Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books recently acquired Bloomsbury Book Auctions, has vowed to keep the two companies totally separate.

The Mirabilia Romae... makes a rare appearance

11 September 2000

The William Foyle Library Pt. II sale at Christie’s, London last week revealed a copy of one of the rarest of all blockbooks.

Declaration of Independence sets $8.14m Web record

10 July 2000

SOTHEBY’S are celebrating setting the top price achieved for an object at auction on the Internet with the $7.4m paid on June 29 for a first printing copy of the American Declaration of Independence.

The phenomenal success of Harry Potter

29 May 2000

UK: THE PHENOMENAL success enjoyed in the English speaking world by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter... books has been expensively reflected in the antiquarian, or rather secondhand book world, where (even in the high priced modern firsts market) the prices being asked for Harry the First are almost unbelievable.

Worldbookdealers.com

15 November 1999

LAUNCHED this week on the internet Worldbookdealers.com is a new concept in buying rare books and has the backing of many of the world’s top antiquarian booksellers.

A unique piece of history

21 June 1999

UK: ONE of the bargains of the year must be the British Library’s purchase of the Letters of the Earl of Essex to Elizabeth I, which sold at Phillips on June 11 for a low-estimate £150,000 plus premium.

Some confusion over The People’s Rights but no second chance at a bargain

26 April 1999

UK: Illustrated here is The People’s Rights, a copy of Winston Churchill’s 1910 book which has made two appearances at the Aylsham salerooms of G.A. Key in recent months – with very different results.

Short’s Stygian Poison

19 April 1999

Bearnes, Exeter, March 23 Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent UK: HIGHLIGHTS of this sale included Thomas Short’s Comparative History of the Increase and Decrease of Mankind in England... and also a Meteorological Discourse, 1767, which, in the process of assembling historical and medical information, advocates early marriage and denounces alcohol as ‘a Stygian poison’. It sold at £100.

Ted is torn twixt pulpit and easel

19 April 1999

Ewbank, Send, March 25 Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent UK: An amusing, illustrated letter sent by the 16-year-old Edward Coley Burne Jones to his aunt Amelia on May 7, 1849, topped this sale with a London bid of £880.

A provenance of no distinction

12 April 1999

US Round-Up (February-March Pt.II) THE FIRST 350 lots of the February 15-16 sale held by Pacific Auction Galleries comprised books from the library of the Zamorano Club, a society of book lovers, founded in 1928, which takes its name from the first known printer in California, Augustin Vicente Zamorano, who set up a press in Monterey in 1834.

Provenance of high order...

12 April 1999

US: THE BOOKS and manuscripts sold as part of a March 16 ‘Judaica’ sale held by Sotheby’s included material from the library of the late Alfred Rubens (1903-98), a distinguished historian and collector whose Jewish Iconography of 1954 became the ‘bible’ for scholars of Jewish prints.

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