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.


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.

A familiar face in unfamiliar garb

19 March 2001

UK: A 1632 MANUSCRIPT plan by Johan Williams of the Maniera de Monk Lytons, alias Kentwell... in the Suffolk parish of Melford, executed in ink and watercolours and including details of Kentwell Hall and Melford church, sold for £2000, in this East Anglian sale, and other local lots included a three-year run of the Norwich Mercury (1801-04) at £500 and A.H. Patterson’s Broadland Scribblings of 1892, at £480.

Sacked for insolence by Pepys, but 50 years in post

19 March 2001

UK: THE FORMER Arpad Plesch copy of Sir Joseph Hooker’s 1855, first edition of Illustrations of Himalayan Plants which was sold for £19,500 in this Nottingham sale was featured in last week’s Antiques Trade Gazette (Issue No. 1480), but there were a few other interesting results in the natural history section.

More from the Ronald Segal Collection

19 March 2001

UK: ILLUSTRATED here are three more selections from the recent sale of the Ronald Segal Collection at Sotheby's English Literature & History sale held on December 14.

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.

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.

Galileo Galilei’s Istoria e Dimostrazioni...

12 March 2001

UK: THE title page of a 1613, first complete edition of Galileo Galilei’s Istoria e Dimostrazioni..., containing his observations on the sunspots and his discoveries relating to the rotation of the sun – the first to contain Scheiner’s letters to Welser – which, bound in contemporary vellum, made £4500 (Quaritch) as an ex-Fort Augustus lot.

Fort Augustus & Foyle again

12 March 2001

UK: TWO LIBRARIES that I fondly imagined we had seen the last of were represented in this recent South Kensington sale.

1894 Kelmscott edition of Swinburne’s Atalanta in Calydon

12 March 2001

UK: IN A richly gilt and inlaid green morocco binding by Bayntun Rivière, a copy of the 1894 Kelmscott edition of Swinburne’s Atalanta in Calydon – an ex-Beeleigh Abbey lot with William Foyle’s red morocco bookplate – was sold at £1700 (Shapero).

The Informer and The Invisible Man

12 March 2001

UK: TWO more selections from the Ronald Segal library which was auctioned off in Sotheby’s English Literature & History sale held on December 19.

Dante’s Divina Commedia

12 March 2001

UK: THIS 1564 Venetian edition of Dante’s Divina Commedia was the first to incorporate the commentaries of both Landino and Vellutello, which, printed in roman type, surround the italic setting of Dante’s text.

From Romney Pringle to Morse – detectives are right on the case

12 March 2001

UK: THREE more selections from the Ronald Segal library which was auctioned off in Sotheby’s English Literature & History sale held on December 19.

Zambra the Detective, Unnatural Causes and The Red House Mystery

12 March 2001

UK: THREE more selections from the Ronald Segal library which was auctioned off in Sotheby’s English Literature & History sale held on December 19.

Red Harvest, The Man Who Knew Too Much and Death on the Nile

12 March 2001

UK: THREE more selections from the Ronald Segal library which was auctioned off in Sotheby’s English Literature & History sale held on December 19.

The Dorothy L. Sayers Archive

12 March 2001

UK: DOROTHY L. SAYERS, with the able assistance of Lord Peter Wimsey, established herself as one of the foremost figures in what is now termed the ‘Golden Age’ of detective stories, but she was also a remarkably versatile and wide-ranging playwright, a Christian thinker, an essayist and translator, and an accomplished scholar in the field of European medieval literature.

Alexandre Iacovleff’s Dessins et Peintures d’Afrique

26 February 2001

UK: ONE of 50 coloured illustrations from Alexandre Iacovleff’s Dessins et Peintures d’Afrique of 1927, which sold for £800. One of 100 copies, it comprised a text volume in leather-backed satin covers painted with an African design and a pigskin portfolio containing the loose plates.

Henri II makes his bookmark

26 February 2001

FRANCE: A SET of 56 folio engraved plates by the Renaissance draughtsman and engraver Jacques Androuet du Cerceau (Paris c.1560), showing various Renaissance furniture designs ranging from buffets and tables to wardrobes and beds, below right, tripled hopes on Fr70,000 (£6800) in Chartres on January 21.

Broadcast bid for Seven Pillars…

26 February 2001

UK: THE copy of T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom offered by Lyon & Turnbull of Edinburgh on February 17 was one of the 170 or so signed, “complete” copies of the privately printed, subscribers’ edition of 1926 and in the original brown morocco binding, illustrated here.

Job lots with a difference

26 February 2001

UK: GETTING on for 100 lots in the Phillips sale of February 16 comprised books from one private English collection that were characterised by smart and expensive bindings. Job lots were common but I have illustrated one lot that contained just two books, on a related theme and in matching bindings, and have picked out a few others that presented only one or two of the more valuable books each, but which were unfortunately not to be found among the composite illustrations used in the catalogue.

Dracula’s issue and more Hobbits found in New Bond Street

26 February 2001

UK: THE FIRST Phillips sale of the year gets a largely pictorial treatment here, but not everything that I selected for report was illustrated in the catalogue and a number of other highlights are described elsewhere (see "Job lots with a difference", above).

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