Books and Works on Paper

Books and works on paper auction calendar, May 21-31, 2024

20 May 2024

Our regular listing of UK and Irish books and works on paper auctions


London’s ‘curious gardens’ inspired German botanist

20 May 2024

Published between 1750-73, Plantae selectae quarum imagines ad exemplaria naturalia Londini in hortis curiosorum (‘A selection of plants from natural specimens nurtured in London’s curious gardens’) is considered the most important botanical work ever printed in Germany.


Cryptography book creates a Shakespearean drama

20 May 2024

Cryptoryptomentyces et Cryptographiae has been described as ‘arguably the most complete tome on esoteric cryptography ever published’, an esoteric claim to fame in itself.


Bake to basics approach to bread making

20 May 2024

Owen Simmons was a bit of a bread fan, it is fair to say. A lecturer at the National Bakery School in London, he produced the lavish book shown here.


Laying down the laws for monks

20 May 2024

Manuscript ‘sold in 1776’ at forerunner of Sotheby’s emerges in New York sale


Sponsor’s message: It’s a wonderful world

13 May 2024

Rupert Powell of Forum Auctions reflects on a busy year in the ‘stage-play’ of rare books


Posters that steal the show

13 May 2024

Designs promoting exhibitions can be a great way to collect on a tight budget


Second editions: Worth having second thoughts

13 May 2024

First editions are not always the be-all and end-all for collecting


Shackleton’s farewell from South Georgia

13 May 2024

A letter from Ernest Shackleton to a supporter, written from South Georgia on the eve of his final departure on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, was offered at Charles Miller’s (24% buyer’s premium) latest Maritime and Scientific Models, Instruments & Art sale.


For poetical and practical purpose

13 May 2024

Ladies and gentlemen of the Georgian period carried not only prayer books and bibles, but also books of poems and the annual miniature almanacs containing practical information on everything from the phases of the moon to the currency exchange rates of Europe.


Picture postcards from Polar explorers delight at Lays

13 May 2024

Letters and postcard written by Antarctic expedition members were sent to New Zealand host family


Colour plate books: Around the world with Norman Bobins

13 May 2024

ATG takes a whistlestop tour of the globe via the greatest recent collection of colour plate travel and costume books

British and Irish book auctions, May 14-June 7, 2024

13 May 2024

Our regular listing of books and works on paper sales


Handy little bibles to thumb through

13 May 2024

The first ‘Thumb Bibles’, paraphrased or abridged versions of the good book, were published in the early 17th century – the London printer John Weever offering his 128- page An Agnus Dei, measuring just over 1in, in 1601.


Miniature books: Small is indeed beautiful

13 May 2024

Small books have long been objects of wonder. The history of tiny type can be traced back to the smallest cuneiform clay tablets of ancient Mesopotamia or the diminutive papyrus codices treasured by Christians in Roman Egypt.


Intourist: a journey of 30 years

13 May 2024

London dealership AntikBar brings a major collection of pieces relating to Intourist, the 20th century USSR travel company, to 'Firsts London' book fair.

Lessons in a collecting life

13 May 2024

Based on his own experiences and those of his clients, a seasoned rare books buyer offers advice on getting the most from the collecting journey


Auction previews: Eye-catching lots to look out for

13 May 2024

A selection of stand-out lots coming up at a variety of auctions


Events to look forward to: Firsts, London Map Fair, PBFA London and the Ephemera fair

13 May 2024

A wide range of dealers are set to offer a variety of items at upcoming fairs


How Whistler became a prolific and powerful printmaker

13 May 2024

When James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) arrived in Paris in 1855 determined to pursue a career as an artist, printmaking was experiencing a revival.