Books from the estate of descendants of Henry Williamson, author of the much-loved tale of Tarka the Otter, sold well on December 14 at Stride & Son (18% buyer’s premium).
Bid online to £5200 was a fivepiece Tarka… lot that included signed and inscribed copies of Nos 2, 3 and 76 of the 100 copies that were privately printed for subscribers only in 1927, along with two copies of a large paper issue than ran to 1000 copies.
The principal works were intended for family members and No 2, signed by Williamson alongside his owl device, bore an inscription that recorded it as being intended “…for his son, grandson, great-grandson, et seq. as an heirloom. Or I’ll haunt the one as sells’m!!…”
Bid to £3600 was one of just eight privately printed and full vellum gilt bound special copies of The Gold Falcon or The Haggard of Love of 1933. Bearing the initials TES in Williamson’s hand beneath the printed dedication, said the saleroom, it was likely that it was a copy inscribed in memory of his lost friend TE Lawrence.
In 1923 Lawrence had enlisted as a private in the Royal Tank Corps, but under the assumed name Thomas Edward Shaw, a nod to his friend, George Bernard Shaw.
First published work
Sold online at £4800 was a lot that presented a dozen copies of Williamson’s first published work, The Beautiful Years.
Among them were two copies of the 1921 first edition, one bearing manuscript revisions and notes throughout, and another, also annotated, that had its author’s owl monogram both printed and drawn on a front endpaper.
Other Williamson lots included a complete first edition set of the 15 books that made up his Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight series from the years 1951-69, mostly bearing annotations and dedications and containing associated correspondence. The set sold at £4000.