Books & Periodicals

Material in this specialist market ranges from the early printed works of the Gutenberg Press and William Caxton right through to Modern First Editions and now up to signed copies of Harry Potter. Condition and rarity are the keys to this sector.


1642AB02B.jpg

A feast of amusing and edifying tales for young gentlefolk of all ages

02 June 2004

AN April 29 sale held by Bloomsbury Auctions presented an enormous selection of children’s, illustrated and private press books that ran to nearly 900 lots. While there was much to admire in the other sections of the sale, I shall concentrate on the children’s books for this report. A great many of the lots came from one fine collection in which many of the books contained a bookplate designed by Pauline Baynes.

Antiquarian Book Fair – something for all, priced at £50 and up...

28 May 2004

The ABA’s annual Antiquarian Book Fair, which this year will be opened by the writer Frederick Forsyth, will run from June 3-6 at Olympia. Illustrated and/or very briefly described here are half a dozen items promised by dealers from Britain and the USA.

Wrong-footed Somerset Maugham jacket design brings $42,500

19 May 2004

THE first part of the Maurice F. Neville collection of modern literature, which sold for a premium-inclusive $5.22m (£2.95m) at Sotheby’s New York on April 13, was primarily but certainly not wholly focused on the work of American writers. Seen here are two of the English books that brought strong results.

Cornish Hobbit has few financial rivals

13 May 2004

A 1937 FIRST edition of The Hobbit was always likely to be the big story in the April 14 books and collectables sale held by David Lay of Penzance. In a jacket with some chips and losses, notably towards the spine ends, and showing an ink correction to the mis-spelt version of Charles Dodgson’s name on the back flap, it duly sold at £10,500.

Ronald W. Coleby – the compleat northern angler

13 May 2004

RONALD W. Coleby of Houghton in Cumbria, who died last year, just a week after completing the memoir of his wife that had occupied much of his time in recent years, became a full-time bookseller in 1972, specialising in hunting, shooting and, above all, fishing.

Forsyth is brought to books

05 May 2004

RENOWNED thriller writer Frederick Forsyth is to be the patron of this year’s Antiquarian Book Fair, which runs at London’s Olympia from June 3 to 6.

Murder mystery Jacobean style…

05 May 2004

JACOBEAN London was enthralled by the Overbury Murder case and the subsequent trial of the conspirators.

Cloth-filled and calf-bound ...

05 May 2004

Valued at £8000-12,000 in a Sotheby’s sale of May 13 is a copy of the 1787, first and only edition of Alexander Shaw’s Catalogue of different specimens of cloth collected in the three voyages of Captain Cook...

Poems from a famous neighbour

05 May 2004

Sold at £5500 in a general antiques sale held by Michael J. Bowman of Newton Abbot on March 13 was a group of six manuscript poems written by Ted Hughes for his neighbour Ronald Yates.

William Randolph Hearst and his Bavarian connections...

05 May 2004

RECENT auctions held by Pacific Book Auctions have tended to be driven to a large extent by absentee bidding and by those using the ‘Real-Time Bidder’ internet option, but for a March 25 sale devoted to one man’s collection of letters, photographs, drawings and other mementoes relating to the life of William Randolph Hearst, those old fashioned habits of turning up in the room or even just picking up a telephone were dusted off.

Chinese photograph albums

05 May 2004

TWO albums of 19th century Chinese photographs assembled by a British diplomat sold for £5200 in a general antiques sale held by Sworders at Stansted Mountfitchet, on March 30.

The Old Rectory at Banningham

28 April 2004

BOOKS, manuscripts and photographs from The Old Rectory, at Banningham in Norfolk, provided a separately catalogued section of a three-day March 21-23 contents sale conducted by Bonhams and represented 70 years of collecting by the owner, picture restorer Bryan Hall, and his father, the Rev. William Hall, who was at one time Vicar of Barton Turf and Smallburgh.

Gershwin’s musical sketch book is a $100,000 hit in California

28 April 2004

ONE notable item from the Bonhams & Butterfields sale of March 23 was a rare copy of Jacques Gautier d’Agoty’s colour printed Anatomie de la Tête of 1748 that made $19,000 (£10,220) – but not the top price lot, a Gershwin sketchbook that made $100,000, or indeed several other interesting items.

Fashion and other optical illusions

22 April 2004

Though the catalogue did contain a selection of antiquarian and collectable books of a general nature, the March 31 sale held by Hampton & Littlewood of Exeter was notable for two specialised collections – the Ron Morris collection of magic lanterns, optical toys and related books and ephemera, and the collection of costume and fashion books formed by the late Janet Hill.

Angling instructions and confessions...

01 April 2004

THE first day of the March 13-14 angling sale held by Mullock Madeley at Ludlow Racecourse was devoted to the literature of the sport. Seen right is one of two complete runs of The Creel from the years 1963-67 that sold at £200 and £210. A set of all bar one of the ...How to Catch Them series, all in dust jackets and all bar the Pike book first editions, sold at £460.

Man and Ape

01 April 2004

Edward Tyson’s Orang-outang, sive homo sylvestris: Or, the anatomy of a pygmiecompared with that of a monkey, an ape, and a man... was the first work to demonstrate scientifically the structural relationships between man and anthropoid ape and one which had a powerful influence on subsequent thoughts on man’s place in nature – albeit the orang-outang on which his work was based was actually a young chimpanzee.

PREVIEW

31 March 2004

A letter written and signed by Jean Harlow, which reveals an unexpectedly sensitive side to Hollywood’s original Blonde Bombshell, will go on sale at Byrne’s of Chester on Wednesday (March 31).

Wynkyn de Worde’s indulgence and Thomas Bewick’s extra illustrations ...

23 March 2004

THE rarest and probably the earliest piece of printing in a February 26 sale held by Pacific Book Auctions of San Francisco, the papal indulgence from Wynkyn de Worde’s press seen right, was bid to $13,000 (£6890), but there were some other early items in the collection of editions of Aesop’s Fables formed by the late Dr Margaret Rose Quentin that opened the auction.

Binding for Columbus

23 March 2004

JUST two of the 600 or so lots that made up a March 2 sale of books and prints held by John Nicholson of Fernhurst, Surrey, managed four figure bids – a binding and a postcard album.

The mysterious case of the lost archive…

23 March 2004

IT could have come straight out of one of the author’s own stories – a lost archive of unique material valued at two million pounds uncovered in the offices of a London law firm after being missing for decades.

Categories

News