Books and Works on Paper


Gould’s Birds of Britain flies to £36,000 at Dominic Winter

07 August 2017

Handsomely bound, a set of Gould’s Birds of Britain offered as part of the small but select Dorros ornithological library at Christie’s New York sale of June 15 failed against a $60,000-80,000 estimate, but in a Dominic Winter (19.5% buyer’s premium) sale of the previous day a very differently presented set brought a mid-estimate £36,000.


Cologne edition of the first Bible in Low German makes £195,000 at Christie's

07 August 2017

“With the exception of Dürer’s Apocalypse, the most influential woodcut programme from Germany was that of the Cologne Bible of 1478-79.”


Thomas Fale’s work on the art of dialling sell at Bonhams for £5000

07 August 2017

Bid to £5000 at Bonhams (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on June 14 was a 1593 first of Thomas Fale’s 'Horolographia. The Art of Dialling'.

Karl Marx makes auction mark

05 August 2017

Sold for €62,500 (£54,825) by German auction house Kiefer (20% buyer’s premium) in a June 30-July 1 sale in Pforzheim was an 1867, Hamburg first edition of the first volume of Karl Marx’s 'Das Kapital'.


Great Exhibition game unites nations on wooden blocks

24 July 2017

Purchased at the Great Exhibition of 1851, the ‘Industrial Exhibition of All Nations’ jigsaw type game shown here sold for £1350 at Lawrences (22% buyer’s premium) on June 16.


So many results in the pipeline

24 July 2017

An extraordinarily rich and varied crop of book sales have taken place this summer.


Children’s classics in the Vienna Secession avant garde

24 July 2017

A superb suite of the original ink and gouache drawings – one shown here – made by Carl Otto Czeschka to illustrate a 1908 edition of Die Niebelungen dem Deutschen Volke sold at $290,000 (£224,805) in a Sotheby’s New York (25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium) sale of June 6 called Important Design.


Thomas More not the merrier at the Tower

17 July 2017

Translated from a Paris version that had appeared earlier in that same year of 1535, an 8pp German newsletter giving an account of the execution of Thomas More sold for $11,500 (£9055) as part of the Eric Caren archive at Christie’s New York (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on June 15.


First French version of The Little Prince

17 July 2017

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s much-loved tale of The Little Prince was first published in New York in 1943, with Reynal & Hitchcock issuing it in both French and English versions.

Newton was master of the universe but not money

17 July 2017

Sold by RR Auction (25/22.5% buyer’s premium) on June 14 was a financial document of November 1721 bearing the signature of Isaac Newton – an order to pay to a Dr Francis Fauquier the dividend due on his substantial investment in the South Sea Company.

Happy birthday to Dickens 12 years late

17 July 2017

The Charles Dickens Birthday Book, edited by his eldest daughter, Mary, and illustrated by his youngest, Kate, was published in 1882, 12 years after the writer’s death.


Galileo landmark astronomical work at auction

17 July 2017

A 1610 first of Galileo’s Sidereus nuncius, a foundation work in modern astronomy, sold for €320,000 (£278,400) on June 15 at Minerva Auctions (25/18% buyer’s premium) of Rome.


Map marks early view of Canada

17 July 2017

Marc Lescarbot’s Nova Francia… of 1609 is an account of French settlements in North America and what we now think of as Nova Scotia and Canada. It predates the more famous first accounts of Champlain’s voyages and discoveries by three years.

Wrighting record wrongs

15 July 2017

In ATG No 2292, I noted as a record the £13,000 sale of a copy of Thomas Wright’s Original theory… of the universe… (1750), as part of the Christie’s April 26 sale of the Beltrame library.


Vienna Vesalius is a truly impressive body of work

10 July 2017

Andreas Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica is one of those rare epoch-making works, a publication that changes everything in its field and sets a standard for others to emulate.

Fifteen years a slave: a pirate prisoner

10 July 2017

A June 16 sale at Lawrences (22% buyer’s premium) of Crewkerne included theological works from the library of Edward Tottenham (1810-53), a cleric whose parishes were in Bath and Wells.


Beano takes magical turn

10 July 2017

A further selection of children’s annuals from the Brenda Butler archive, characterised as usual by superb condition, provided some of the highlights of a May 2 sale at Comic Book Auctions (16% buyer’s premium).


Catalan cruises in the Med

10 July 2017

Sold for £55,000 by Bonhams (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on June 14 was a newly discovered and very decorative portolan chart on vellum of the Mediterranean.


Dutch discoveries in a world guarded by Spain and Portugal

10 July 2017

The island of St Helena featured in a folding plate from a 1598, first English edition of Jan Huygen van Linschoten’s famous Itinerario – published as Discours of Voyages into ye Easte & West Indies – offered by Ketterer Kunst (20% buyer’s premium) on May 22.


Goya flop is now a big auction seller

10 July 2017

Preserved in a fine contemporary binding of crimson morocco gilt that seems likely to have been specially commissioned by the artist from Pasqual Carsi y Vidal, a leading Madrid binder, a rare presentation set of Goya’s Los Caprichos prints sold for $500,000 (£393,700) at Christie’s New York (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on June 15.