Books and Works on Paper


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Reach for the stars, take an Irish tour or Potter around

16 October 2017

An example of the extremely rare, “surreptitious” edition of John Flamsteed’s Historia Coelestis… – a star atlas that is one of the great rarities in its field – made a record £43,000 at Forum Auctions (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on September 27.

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The polar explorers who searched for fellow explorer Franklin

16 October 2017

A single-owner collection focusing on the polar regions was a notable feature of the travel section of the October 4 sale held by Dominic Winter (19.5% buyer’s premium). It included, at a 10-times estimate £3000, the posthumously published Memoirs of Lieutenant Joseph Rene Bellot.

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Columbus discovers the ‘wrong’ kind of Indies

09 October 2017

“My lord, because I know that you will take pleasure in the great victory which our Lord has granted me on this voyage, I write you this letter, by which you will learn how… I crossed to the Indies, where I found many islands populated with innumerable inhabitants; and I have taken possession of all of them…”

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Following the A-Z travel guide at auction

09 October 2017

The first book sale of the new season at Sotheby’s (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) dispersed the travel library of John and Suzanne Bonham, well-known specialist dealers in the British and international antiquarian book trade.

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La Reine’s regal return

09 October 2017

When the French literature section of the great Bradley Martin library was sold in 1989 (at Sotheby’s Monaco), an 1845 first of 'La Reine Margot' by Alexandre Dumas père was offered as part of a job lot of three of his works that sold for FFr11,500 (£1100).

Chicago before the inferno

02 October 2017

An exceptionally rare bird’s eye view of Chicago before the devastating fire of 1871 that destroyed so much of the old city was sold for $160,000 (£118,520) by local saleroom Leslie Hindman (20/20/12% buyer’s premium) on September 15.

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English Civil War and much more in Exeter

02 October 2017

A single-owner collection relating to the English Civil War featured among the 740 lots that made up a September 6 sale held by Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood (21% buyer’s premium).

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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.

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Air-raid reading for children

02 October 2017

Mostly sold by Woolworth’s stores at 3d each, Mighty Midgets ‘Blitz’ books helped distract children who had to spend nights in air-raid shelters or Underground stations during the Second World War.

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First English edition of 'Around the World in Eighty Days' tops Catherine Southon sale

25 September 2017

One of Jules Verne’s most popular tales, 'Around the World in Eighty Days', led the book section of a September 6 sale held by Catherine Southon (18% buyer’s premium).

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The magic of a clean Harry Potter

25 September 2017

Harry Potter’s 20th birthday celebrations continue apace – with a new record for a standard copy of 'The Philosopher’s Stone'.

Mining and other Cornish pastimes

25 September 2017

Works of Cornish interest featured prominently in a sale held by David Lay (18% buyer’s premium) of Penzance, among them those from the library of the writer and scholar, PAS Pool.

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John Napier’s doctrinal bone of contention

25 September 2017

Alice, Tennyson and Port of London plans all played their part in the success of a September 5 sale held by Bellmans (22% buyer’s premium), but the prize lot was something of much greater antiquity.

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'Flowers & Gardens of Madeira' watercolour sells at Thomson Roddick

25 September 2017

Sold for £560 by Thomson Roddick (17.5% buyer’s premium) on September 6 was a watercolour by Ella Du Cane (1874-1943).

Saleroom finds winning recipe

18 September 2017

In recent years Dominic Winter (19.5% buyer’s premium) has enjoyed considerable success with cookery manuscripts and the most recent auction further enhanced the saleroom’s recipe for culinary success.

Dickens strolls in at £45,000

18 September 2017

Bid to £45,000 at Sotheby’s (25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium) was an extensively revised and corrected autograph draft of what was to become Charles Dickens’ tale of ‘Mrs Gamp with the Strolling Players’.

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Album reveals POW camp life

18 September 2017

Located on the Vistula river in northern Poland, the old city of Torun somehow escaped undamaged from the ravages of the Second World War and is now recognised as one of the country’s national treasures.

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Ballroom dance guide leads Ilkley selection

18 September 2017

A Regency period guide to ballroom dancing, sold for a much higher than expected £800, was a rare and welcome entry in the book section of a September 6 sale held by Hartleys (18% buyer’s premium) of Ilkley.

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Story of an uprising Down Under

11 September 2017

Eureka Stockade has been dubbed as the only ‘battle’ to have taken place in Australia but was in reality little more than a skirmish in global terms. However, the 1854 uprising that cost nearly 30 lives is now recognised as a seminal political event in colonial history and one that marked the birth of democracy in Australia.

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Busy summer in Norfolk creates warm sales glow

11 September 2017

It was a busy summer for Keys (20% buyer’s premium), who had book sales in both July and August.

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