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Ashendene Dante and More

01 November 2001

The Ashendene Dantes that sold for £7000 as part of the book section of this general antiques sale at Dreweatt Neate on 10 October were formerly in the library of Sir Frederick Handley Page, founder of the aeronautical firm, and sold at £3500 was his copy of the 1906 Ashendene edition of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia.

Christie’s New York sell the library of Abel E. Berland

15 October 2001

Several auction records were broken when Christie’s New York sold the library of Abel E. Berland in an October 8-9 sale that saw 90 per cent of lots sold for a premium-inclusive total of $14.4m (£9.8m).

Eden in full colour...

12 October 2001

There were few plate books in this year’s Arts of India sale at Christie’s, held on September 27, but one notable result was provided by Emily Eden’s Portraits of the Princes & Peoples of India, published by J. Dickinson in 1844.

Architectural Adornment

26 September 2001

ISAAC WARE’S Complete Body of Architecture, a calf bound 1768 edition illustrated, or rather “adorned” with engraved plates of “...plans and elevations from original designs... in which are interspersed some designs of Inigo Jones”, was one of a small group of architectural books that brought most of the higher bids in this Bearne's sale on 21 August.

Uncle Fred, Scoop and Pooh do well in Oxford

26 September 2001

Pictured are two modern firsts, both in rather chipped jackets, from the book section of a September 7 sale held by Mallams of Oxford. P.G. Wodehouse’s Uncle Fred in Springtime of 1939 was sold for £100, while Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop of the previous year reached £210.

Aeronautica, or Voyages in the Air

31 August 2001

Depicting the balloons of the Montgolfier and Charles brothers, as well as Blanchard, Lunardi and Garnerin, this folding colour frontispiece plate comes from an anonymously published little volume entitled

Secondhand copy of first hand first

20 August 2001

AMONG the earlier travel books in the June 14 sale held by Pacific Book Auctions was a 1632 first edition of Bernal Diaz del Castillo’s famous first-hand account of the conquest of Mexico, Historia Verdadera de la Conquesta de la Nueva-España. An ex-Nottingham Free Library copy in a 20th century quarter morocco binding, it had stamps to the title and other pages and a few other shortcomings of condition, but it is an important work and sold at $5000 (£3625).

P is for the Potters – Beatrix and Harry

27 July 2001

THERE WAS no competing with Harry Potter in the Sotheby’s sale of July 10, and bidding rose to £75,000 for Thomas Taylor’s original illustration for the the book that launched those wizard tales in 1997, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but Beatrix Potter did her bit too, as did Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen, W. Heath Robinson, E.H. Shepard, Lawson Wood, Ronald Searle, Dr Seuss and others.

A recently rediscovered manuscript of William Gilpin’s book on Forest Scenery...

09 July 2001

UK: Sold for £48,000 to Quaritch at Christie’s on June 4& 6 was a recently rediscovered manuscript of William Gilpin’s book on Forest Scenery... (first published in 1791) that fills four volumes and contains 25 full and 20 half-page watercolour drawings by Gilpin, plus three pencil and wash drawings of animals by his brother Sawrey.

Selection of Hexandrian Plants

09 July 2001

An incomplete copy of one of the masterpieces of English botanical illustration of the 19th century, Mrs Edward Berry’s Selection of Hexandrian Plants (1831-34), offered at Christie’s on June 4 & 6 contained only 45 (of 51) of the younger Robert Havell’s partially colour-printed and hand-finished engraved and aquatinted plates, but it brought a bid of £60,000 from the Oppenheimer Gallery.

A leaf from the Gutenberg Bible and other treasures

28 June 2001

A single leaf from a 1455 Gutenberg Bible, in a copy of Alfred E. Newton’s A Noble Fragment of 1921 sold at Bloomsbury Book Auctions on June 8 for £15,000 (+ 15 per cent buyer's premium).

Summer saleroom selection II

21 June 2001

More selections from the early summer auctions.

More Zainer Incunabula

29 May 2001

USA: INCUNABULA offered as part of the April 26 sale of Early Printed Books at Swanns were not in the Friedlaender class, but the top lots did include two books from the press of Gunther Zainer, Augsburg’s first printer.

Seven Pillars & Poem

29 May 2001

JUST two days after moving operations to new premises at Coleridge House, Shaddongate, Carlisle, the recently retitled firm Thomson Roddick & Medcalf celebrated with a special book sale and took a bid of £17,500 for one of the privately printed subscriber copies of Seven Pillars of Wisdom issued in 1926.

“The only readable portion of the book is the title”

23 April 2001

UK: A key feature of the Bloomsbury Book Auctions sale of April 5 was a private collection of the works of A.A. Milne.

£22,000 for John Gielgud’s Hamlet – the Olivier bequest

17 April 2001

In a Bloomsbury Book Auctions sale reported earlier (Antiques Trade Gazette No. 1485, April 21, 2001) I mentioned a bid of £2800 on a 1930 (German text) Cranach Press edition of Hamlet, but at Sotheby’s on April 5, as part of the John Gielgud Collection, a copy of the English text version made very much more than that.

Night Thoughts and a word or two on Grog

02 April 2001

UK: THE PRINTED word and picture, rather than the familiar manuscript and ephemeral material, were to the fore in this smaller than usual Chichester sale, and just edging to the front of the price lists was a copy of the famous 1797 edition of Young’s ...Night Thoughts, as illustrated by William Blake.

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.

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.

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).