THE Top lot in this North Yorkshire sale at Tennants on 18 October appeared very early on in the proceedings, when, as part of the opening art and architecture section of the sale, a copy of Humphrey Repton’s Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening was sold for £6000.
This scarce early work by Repton was printed in 1794, in an edition of just 250 copies, according to DNB, and while this Yorkshire copy was described as having “16 hand-cold. plts, 14 with overslips”,
the handful of other copies that have been sold at auction in the last decade are described as containing ten coloured and six uncoloured aquatints.
Some of the overslips in this Leyburn copy were creased and the margins of some of the plates browned. Stains to text leaves, occasional finger and pencil marks, and a poor and very rubbed binding, broken at the spine and repaired with tape, also had to be taken into account, but Repton’s first major work on landscape gardening rarely comes up for sale.
One of 1000 large paper sets of the works of Jane Austen, a five volume [OUP illustrated?] edition of 1923 in marbled boards, made £600 and a seven- vol. set of The Life and Works of Charlotte Brontë and her Sisters, published in 1884-87 and bound in half calf gilt, reached £360.
Another, earlier example of this Brontë set, this one dated 1878-82, possibly a Smith Elder ‘Illustrated Library’ edition and again bound in half calf gilt and marbled boards, sold at £420 (Cumming) in a Phillips Bath sale.
A 1926 first of Winnie the Pooh in a dusty and faded jacket, torn at the backstrip and corners, was sold at £1000. Sold for £400 was a Speaking Picture Book imitating the Cries of Animals, in which eight coloured plates were enlivened by cord-activated sound effects. One cord-pull was defective
and the rear board required re-gluing to the voice box.
A long but incomplete run of Illustrated London News from the years 1846-94 made £2600. Still in the original cloth gilt binding, a copy of Bradshaw’s Railway Companion of 1841, which contains maps, plans, table, fares, etc., made £280 and George S. Measom’s Official Guide to the Midland Great Western and Dublin & Drogheda Railways of 1866, in the original embossed and gilt cloth binding, reached £340.
Among the natural history lots, an 1891, third edition of Beverly R. Morris’ British Game Birds & Wildfowl, illustrated with 60 colour plates, made £800, as did a Houghton British Fresh Water Fishes of 1879. The latter, however, incorporated an additional copy of the first volume or division, bringing the total of Lydon colour plates to 61.
A coloured Speed map of The County Palatine of Lancaster, an unspecified Humble issue, was sold at £800 and an Ogilby Britannia of 1698 in which a few of the 100 double-page strip road maps were torn at the margins with slight loss, went on to sell for £4800.
Tennants, Leyburn, October 18
Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent