Sold at £4700 in a Toovey’s (24.5% buyer’s premium) sale of May 21, it was a Venetian folio bearing the imprint of two German printers and exhibiting some ornamental penwork decoration. The binding was a 17th century one of blind-stamped calf.
Sold at £4400 was a work by the Greek historian and philosopher Xenophon (431-354BC) described as being principally focused on household management. It is also one of the earlier works on economics and refers to wider social issues such as the relationship between the sexes, slavery, religion and education.
The first printed edition was a Latin translation by Cicero, but the copy in this sale was an English version by Gentian Hervet, printed by Thomas Berthelet of London as Xenophon’s Treatise of Housholde. A woodcut-bordered title bears the date 1534, but the colophon at the rear gives the date as 1537.
Sold at £2500 was a copy of the 1507, first Aldine edition of Euripides’ Hecuba & Iphigenia in a 19th century binding of brown morocco.
A 1611 edition of the works of Edmund Spenser bearing the name of the novelist Joyce Cary on a front free endpaper sold at £2400 and, bound in red morocco gilt, a copy of David Loggan’s Oxonia Illustrata… of 1675 bearing Cary’s bookplate reached £3800.
A number of works by novelist and dramatist Patrick Hamilton, all of which contained affectionate inscriptions to his first wife, Lois, sold well.
Among the earlier works were a 1928, first US edition of Twopence Coloured that sold for £1300 and a UK first of The Siege of Pleasure of the same year that made £1000.
Both pre-dated their marriage in 1930, but in the latter Hamilton already inscribes these books under his pet name, ‘Disraeli’ – a practice he continued long after their divorce.
Warmly inscribed in that manner, a 1935, first collected edition of Twenty Thousand Streets under the Sky sold at £950 and two much later firsts, The West Pier (1951) and Mr Simpson and Mr Gorse (1953), made £800 and £700 respectively.
Two of Hamilton’s plays, Rope and Gaslight, were made into very successful films – the former by Alfred Hitchcock.