JUST two days after moving operations to new premises at Coleridge House, Shaddongate, Carlisle, the recently retitled firm Thomson Roddick & Medcalf celebrated with a special book sale and took a bid of £17,500 for one of the privately printed subscriber copies of Seven Pillars of Wisdom issued in 1926.
One of around 100 copies that were signed off as complete by Lawrence, illustrated, and offered at 30 guineas, this one showed some discolouring to the upper cover and spine of Best’s brown morocco binding, but it was also a copy that had, facing the dedicatory poem, a rarely seen wood engraved plate by Blair Hughes Stanton – titled and inscribed in pencil, “The Poem, 5/5, Blair H-S 26”.
One of 315 large paper copies of the 1927 abridged version of Lawrence’s epic, Revolt in the Desert, bound in quarter brown morocco and in a chipped and browned jacket, was sold at £550.
A limited edition set of Churchill’s Marlborough made £6500 (illustrated), but that was not the end of the four figure lots in this Carlisle sale.
Among the earlier works, a 1523 Aldine edition of the Argonautica of Valerius, an epic poem on the search for the Golden Fleece – nicely bound in old red morocco gilt – raised £780, and Paul Hepmann’s Horti Academic Lugduno Batavi Catalogus, a vellum bound volume of 1687 containing numerous engraved botanical illustrations in the text, realised £1150.
A 1651 [first?] edition of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan... in panelled calf gilt, formerly in the library of James, Earl of Bute, at Mountstuart, was sold at £2100, while bid up to £1200 was one of only a dozen copies of Poesie... by Lorenzo de’ Medici, discovered by William Roscoe whilst researching his biography of Lorenzo, and printed by him in Liverpool in 1791. This example was bound in blue morocco.
The litho plates that illustrate H.G. Knight’s Ecclesiastical Architecture of Italy... to the 15th Century of 1842 were all loose, but they do feature the work of Owen Jones and Edward Lear and the two volumes brought a bid of £2000.
One of 130, five volume sets of the limited edition Huth Library catalogue of 1880, containing a manuscript dedication to I. Bayley Balfour and a letter from Mrs Alfred Huth inviting him for a “last look” at the books as they will “soon have to be sent away”, made £1250. A 1910 Catalogue of the Woodcuts and Engravings..., again in quarter morocco, was part of the lot.
One of 380 signed and vellum bound deluxe copies of W. Heath Robinson’s Bill the Minder of 1912 reached £1200 and a 1910, limited edition copy of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, as illustrated by Willy Pogany, made £880 in rather rubbed calf gilt.
Thomson Roddick & Medcalf, Carlisle, May 10, Buyer’s Premium: 12.5 per cent
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