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A dozen or so lots are described in accompanying caption stories below, and from the many more that I should like to have mentioned, I have selected just those described here.

Bound in modern half red morocco, the copy of Mornay’s Picture of St. Petersburgh, c.1825, which provided the colour plate (one of 20) used as a wrap-around illustration for the catalogue sold at £1300 to Shapero, while Sauvan’s Picturesque Tour of the Seine..., an Ackermann publication of 1821 containing 24 coloured aquatints plus a map, made £1600 in a contemporary half morocco binding.

J.F. Lewis’s Sketches and Drawings of the Alhambra... of 1835, in a broken binding and with some spotting and staining to the 25 tinted litho plates, went to Colin Page at £1700.

Thomas Jefferys’ Description of the Spanish Islands and Settlements on the Coast of the West Indies..., 1762, which contained 32 outline coloured engraved maps and charts, made £1200 (Montero) in a modern binding of three-quarter morocco.

Amongst the autographs were two important and hitherto unknown manuscripts – essays in effect – that were sent in 1937 by C.S. Lewis to the poet Alan Rook.

Sold at £3000 was one in which Lewis expounds his “entire philosophy of religion, belief and the state of mankind”, with particular references to “the poet’s ability to achieve vision”, while another, in which he develops his views of poetry as an art and expresses opinions on various poets, contemporary and past, such as W.H. Auden and Wordsworth, sold at £1050. Both went to Farahar & Dupre.

Sold at £1200 (Ibbott) was the log of an East Indiaman, the Resolution from the years 1743-44 – a log which provides fascinating details of trading in Indian and Arabian waters.

Two lots from the December 14 art reference and bibliography sale, one that also included prints and drawings, are featured below, but I might also mention here Frits Lugt’s Répertoire des Catalogues des Ventes Publiques Intéressant l’Art ou la Curiosité... 1600-1925, published in four volumes in the years 1938-87, which sold at £1200 (Marlborough).

Other highlights included:

• Sold for £2600 (Angelini) in the art sale held in Swindon was Gravures de Henri Matisse of 1947. This was one of 35 copies containing an extra suite of the 12 lithographs, printed on china paper. The decorative head pieces and initials are also by Henri Matisse.

* Two books from the library of the diarist John Evelyn: a 1621 first edition of Gervase Markham’s Hungers Prevention: Or, the Whole Art of Fowling by Water and Land and a 1620 edition of Thomas a Kempis’ De Imitatione Christi.... Both are bound in Parisian mottled calf gilt and the latter, if not both, was among the books bequeathed to Evelyn by his father-in-law, Sir Richard Browne, who was British ambassador in Paris at the time of John Evelyn’s first visit to that city in 1643. In 1977-78, when Christie’s sold John Evelyn’s library, Markham’s book reached £800, but in Swindon last December the bidding reached £3400 (Ximenes). De Imitatione Christi, which sold for £240 in the Evelyn Library sale, this time went to Bayntuns at £800.

* Though all others were blank, the first initial of a 1476, first printing of Poggio’s Historia Fiorentina offered in Swindon was a fine decorative specimen and this good copy in 18th century vellum was sold at £4800 (Privatera), who also gave £2000 for a 1487 first edition of the Decades rerum Venetarum of the critic, historian and classical scholar Marcus Antonius Coccius Sabellicus, bound in 19th century half vellum.

Other incunables in this end of year sale included the editio princeps of Expositio aurea super totam artem veterem, commentaries on Aristotle by the 14th century English Franciscan and scholastic philosopher, William of Ockham. Printed at Bologna in 1496, this copy lacked the first seven leaves and only the lower board of what had once been a contemporary quarter calf and wooden boards binding remained, but it sold for £2050 to Quaritch.

* Sold for £2700 (Barlow) in the art sale was an album containing an outstanding collection of autograph and pictorial material – many of the letters addressed to Thomas Thorneycroft – relating to the work of many of the leading artists of the 19th century.

* An 1899 first of Wilde’s The Importance of being Earnest, in original red-brown cloth, went to Hawthorn at £520.

Dominic Winter, Swindon,
December 13 & 14
Buyer’s premium: 12.5 per cent