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Samuel Johnson letter located and bought by UK institution at auction

09 October 2023

While its existence was known, the whereabouts was a mystery until a routine house valuation

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Chrysanthemums in full bloom at Bonhams Skinner

02 October 2023

The late 19th century Japanese artist Keika Hasegawa remains something of an enigma.

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Harry Potter work wins joint prize price

02 October 2023

Boy wizard Harry Potter was up against prize fighter Daniel Mendoza for the top spot at Chiswick Auctions (25% buyer’s premium).

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A 17th century rarity: unrecorded book emerges at Sussex auction

02 October 2023

An unrecorded 17th century printed book took £8800 hammer at a West Sussex sale.

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Fist editions: boxing books at auction

25 September 2023

Large group of pugilist-related works was collected over more than 50 years by London couple

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First principles: the Smiley library

18 September 2023

As co-publishers and editors of Firsts: The Book Collector’s Magazine established in 1991, Robin and Kathryn Smiley’s bookshelves were brimming with choice first editions from across the broad span of British and American literature.

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Baseball makes its debut in an early US publication

18 September 2023

The Book of Sports by Robin Carver is considered the first American publication to describe the sport of baseball.

Tikkunei Shabbat

Big bidding for a small prayer book: Hebrew manuscript takes five times estimate

11 September 2023

An 18th century copy of Tikkunei Shabbat (an amalgam of Hebrew prayers and devotions for the Sabbath) sold for £57,000 to an international phone bidder at Hansons on September 5.

Brockholes Nature Reserve

PBFA marks 50th with launch of Bath showpiece

11 September 2023

The PBFA (Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association) will celebrate its 50th anniversary in style next year with two new fairs: in Bath and Tunbridge Wells.

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The colourful world of Norman Bobins

28 August 2023

Latest slice of a ‘magnificent library’ that covered the development of book illustrations

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Rare Canadiana in Sussex… and another Norman Bobins

28 August 2023

Estimated at £300-500, a group of five hand-coloured prints of early 19th century Canada sold for £8500 at Gorringe’s (25% buyer’s premium) in Lewes.

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French author’s work proves cream of the crop rotation

21 August 2023

'Theatre d’Agriculture et Mesnages des Champs' issued in 1600 is the first major work on French agronomy.

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Homer finds an English audience

21 August 2023

Famous 17th century version by George Chapman translates into five figures

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Henry James refugee work is rare sale visitor on vellum

21 August 2023

Refugees in Chelsea was written by Henry James (1843-1916) to help the local Chelsea Committee to raise funds in the US to start an industry for crippled Belgian soldiers.

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Tutankhamen pharaoh tomb find detailed in three volumes

14 August 2023

Account of the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb comes as rare set with dust jackets intact

The Voyage of Governor Philip to Botany Bay

Copy of the ‘foundation book of modern Australia’ comes to auction

08 August 2023

Following the arrival of the first British colonists and convicts to Australia in 1788, early accounts of the settlement on the continent were created.

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Gilbert White work’s family value

07 August 2023

Apocrypha sold at auction was his personal copy and then inscribed by descendants who later owned it

Darwin notes

Darwin notes reveal evolution of a book

24 July 2023

Christie’s Books and Manuscripts sale on July 12 included a remarkable copy of 'Insectivorous Plants' by Charles Darwin (1809-82).

Title page of cricket book

Howzat: British Library nets rare cricket book from dealer

17 July 2023

An early book on cricket from the library of commentator John Arlott has been acquired for the British Library from London dealership Peter Harrington.

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Very early printed work to be found down south

17 July 2023

'Antipodum, nobis, incognita': how a great southern land is labelled (“the Antipodes unknown to us”) in one of the first mentions in print.