Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

John S Oliver was a well-known professional engineer who had a range of interests from manufacturing model aeroplane engines to building kit cars. His collection, consigned to auction by his family, will go under the hammer at Charterhouse’s January 20 sale in Sherborne.


Just 1500 copies were printed in the first run of JRR Tolkien’s first fantasy novel, The Hobbit.

Published in September 1937 by George Allen & Unwin to favourable reviews, every copy was sold out by December. Now one of these has been consigned to Chiswick Auctions’ Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts sale in London on January 25.

The book is missing its dust-jacket but retains its original green pictorial cloth with a design in dark green by the author.

Estimate £2000-3000.


Coming up in David Duggleby’s Maritime, Scientific Instruments, Antiquarian Maps & Books auction on January 28 in Scarborough are these 19th century celestial and terrestrial table globes by Kirkwood.

The globes each measure 14in (36cm) high and stand on wood tripod stands with cast-iron bases that are thought to be original.

Estimate £3000-4000.

davidduggleby.com *

William Connor (1881-1968), the Belfast-born artist known for his warm and sympathetic portrayals of working-class life in Ulster, is believed to have made this crayon drawing of a Belfast shipyard worker on the day the Titanic sunk.

The 8½ x 6in (21 x 15cm) wax crayon on paper is dated April 15, 1912. It has been consigned from a private collection to Irish auctioneers Morgan O’Driscoll’s online auction, which finishes on January 23.

Estimate €1500-2500.