Books and Works on Paper


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Virginia and Vanessa joint production is dust the thing

23 October 2017

A copy of the 1925, Hogarth Press first of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway attracted a great deal of competition in a Cotswold Auction Company (20% buyer’s premium) sale of October 3 and finally sold at £18,000.

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Book sale surprises spring up in the north and south

23 October 2017

Sales held on consecutive days in Edinburgh and London produced two lots that ended up selling for far, far higher than expected sums.

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Early printed works measure up

23 October 2017

The celebrated Columbus letter announcing his discovery of a New World, sold for $620,000 (£462,000), was very much the star turn at Bonhams New York (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on September 26 (see ATG No 2313).

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Further journeys worldwide via the Bonham library

16 October 2017

Last week’s first report on the fine travel library of John and Suzanne Bonham at Sotheby’s (25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium) focused on the Middle East, India, Central Asia and the Far East. This second selection begins with an African discovery and ends at the South Pole.

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Warblers, hummers and hunters at auction

16 October 2017

Pictures, prints and taxidermic displays accounted for the larger part of the Ornithology Sale held by Keys (17.5% buyer’s premium) on September 22, but it also offered some 175 book lots, many of them multiples.

Logarithms that add to trigonometry study

16 October 2017

Sold for £1100 by Chiswick Auctions (23% buyer’s premium) on September 27 was a copy of the posthumously published, 1633 first of Henry Briggs’ Trigonometria britannica….

Beatrix Potter family links

16 October 2017

Children’s books sold at Forum included a couple of appealing Beatrix Potter items that were first owned by Francis William Clark, who was just two when he was sent a 1912 first of The Tale of Mr Tod.

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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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