Bloomsbury Auctions

Bloomsbury Auctions is regarded as a specialist saleroom for antiquarian books, prints and maps. The firm has gone through a number of changes in ownership since 2000.

The business was founded as Bloomsbury Book Auctions in 1983 by Lord John Kerr, Frank Herrmann and David Stagg who ran the firm independently for 17 years.


Printed edition of Islamic medical text is healthy seller

20 May 2019

Billed as the first printed edition of the most authoritative medical text in the Islamic world, a 1593 copy of a work known in the English-speaking world as Avicenna’s ‘Canon of Medicine’ was part of a recent London sale.


Single-owner collection devoted to modern first editions includes 1937 copy of The Hobbit

15 April 2019

Devoted wholly to modern firsts, a recent online sale presented the first selection of a single-owner collection – the second portion of which will be sold later in the year.


Five lots to watch at auction this week including a Lowestoft pug, an undiscovered melody by Elgar and Russian avant-garde art

25 March 2019

With estimates from £150-15,000, here are five previews from upcoming sales this week.


World Book Day focus: Five classic and collectable rare books going under the hammer this month

07 March 2019

Today marks World Book Day, and while the occasion is aimed at young people, it could also be a chance for rare book collectors to take stock of their libraries and investigate some top lots in store at future auctions.


Anglo-Saxon binding cornerpiece is full of value

21 December 2018

Illuminated manuscript sales of recent times will be the subject of a future review, but seen here is something a little different in that line offered as the very first lot in a December 1 sale of such material held by Bloomsbury Auctions (25/20/12% buyer’s premium).


Summer brings books and works on paper auction riches

06 August 2018

June and July brought a rich crop of auctions in London, around the country and overseas. A few of those sales and stand-out results have already been reported on these and the ATG news pages, but many more hammer highlights were achieved.

Canterbury bible

Medieval bible bought at auction to return to Canterbury Cathedral after 500 years away

02 August 2018

Canterbury Cathedral has bought a rare illuminated bible once owned by one of the last members of Britain’s monastic community before the Reformation.


Pick of the week: Hours and centuries of famous owners

16 July 2018

Estimated at £200,000-300,000, the 'Hours of Isabella d’Este' sold at £340,000 (plus buyer’s premium) at Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale of Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures on July 10.


Bidders keep eyes on the prize

21 May 2018

Bearing a title that translates as ‘The Book of Correction of Optics for those who have Sight and Mind’, an early 14th century Arabic manuscript made a much higher than expected £450,000 during the recent Islamic week of sales in London.


Parisian Book of Hours with Russian princess link

05 March 2018

A Parisian Book of Hours dating to c.1440-50 was among illuminated or decorated manuscripts sold during in the closing weeks of 2017.


Mallett reunited with Dreweatts and Bloomsbury after sale by Stanley Gibbons

31 January 2018

Antiques dealership Mallett has been reunited with its former stablemates Dreweatts and Bloomsbury following a £100,000 purchase by Gurr Johns-owned Dreweatts.


Marilyn’s sultry happy birthday song to JFK

18 December 2017

The night, just three months before her death, that Marilyn Monroe sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in sultry tones at a Democratic Party fundraiser celebrating John F Kennedy’s 45th birthday caused quite a sensation.

Gavel falls on Bloomsbury Auctions

11 December 2017

Bloomsbury Auctions holds its final sale on Thursday (December 14), following the purchase of its brand name by art consultancy and valuation company Gurr Johns in October.


Lear sticks to landscape

20 November 2017

A letter that Edward Lear wrote in 1881 to a friend to whom he intended to dispatch two drawings of Athens was among the more successful lots that Bloomsbury Auctions (24/18/12% buyer’s premium) sold on October 19.


George Bailey back at Dreweatts as end beckons for Bloomsbury Auctions

09 October 2017

Gurr Johns takeover seeks to create ‘destination of choice’ for mid-tier market


Comets, astronauts and out of this world selfies

02 October 2017

A ‘Glory of Science’ sale held by Bloomsbury Auctions (24/18/12% buyer’s premium) on September 14 included books, prints, photographs, letters, etc, and was one in which astronomy and space travel played a significant part where higher bids were concerned.


Stanley Gibbons gives up on Pall Mall space

18 September 2017

Less than six months after holding its first auction in its Pall Mall home, Stanley Gibbons’ The Fine Art Auction Group (TEFAAG) has left the central London premises and is in the process of selling the lease.


Tolkien writes early verses to get into the Hobbit

14 August 2017

Three of the poems featured in A Northern Venture…, a slim collection of verses by members of the Leeds University English School Association published by the Swan Press in 1923, added considerable value to this now rare little work.

Space selfie

First space self-portrait goes under the hammer at Bloomsbury Auctions

27 July 2017

Among the lots at Bloomsbury Auctions’ upcoming sale, The Glory of Science, is ‘the first space selfie’.

William Holland – John Bull 1797

Six of the best – Caricatures from specialist sale at Bloomsbury Auctions

25 July 2017

Bloomsbury Auctions have held specialist sales of caricatures since 2015 and the most recent took place earlier this month. The sale offered a mixture of around 30 lots of modern cartoons and 100 or so lots of much earlier material.