THE opening map and atlas section of the Bonhams Bath sale of April 26 included a copy in rebacked contemporary calf of the first and only published volume of the 1675 first edition of John Ogilby’s Britannia with its general map and 100 engraved strip road maps, at £7000.
The second and third volumes of Britannia, which were to have contained town plans and country maps respectively, were never completed but Ogilby’s strip road maps were much copied and remain popular to this day, albeit for different and decorative reasons.
A Pinkerton Modern Atlas of 1815, the binding broken but with 61 double-page, outline coloured maps all present, reached £3200 and as far as individual maps are concerned, the most expensive, at £1450, was a coloured, Latin text issue map of Speed’s England in Anglo-Saxon times.
Extra-illustrated with original sketches and watercolours by the author, Sir Henry Holland, an 1819 second edition of Travels in the Ionian islands, Albania. Thessaly, Macedonia, etc... reached £600, while J.M.W. Silver’s Sketches of Japanese Manners and Customs of 1867, illustrated with a chromolitho title and 27 plates (one now loose) made £800.
Showing some browning and occasional slight spotting, but bound in contemporary calf with gilt panelled spines and complete with 160 plates, a three-vol. 1775 edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica was sold at £3400 and, bound in half calf, a copy of William Godwin’s privately printed ...Life of William Pitt, 1783, made £680.
A half morocco bound copy of the 1866, first bookform edition of Mrs Gaskell’s last and unfinished novel, Wives and Daughters, made £300, but bid to £520 was a three-vol. first of (in half calf) of an earlier work, Sylvia’s Lovers of 1863. The latter story is set in the whaling port of Monkshaven [Whitby] during the Napoleonic wars and the plot hinges on the activities of the press gangs.
One of 230 copies of Rilke’s Elegies from the Castle of Duino issued by the Cranach Press through the Hogarth Press in 1931 was sold at £820.
Children’s books and juvenilia included an undated Meggendorfer Monkey Theatre with eight coloured plates, half of which are in good working order, that made £550, and one of 100 copies of the 1927 first edition of A.A. Milne’s Songs from Now We Are Six, signed by both E.H. Shepard and the composer of the music, H. Fraser-Simson, at £460.
A bit foxed but still in the original wrappers, a copy of the first issue of the Radio Times, covering the week commencing Sunday September 30, 1923, was sold for £80.
A run of 48 Giles cartoon annuals from the first of 1946 to 1994 brought a bid of £460.
Natural history plate collections included a long run of William Curtis’ Botanical Magazine from its inception in 1788 to 1812, bound as 15 vols. in half calf and containing a total of 1233 coloured plates, that made £6800, and Pt. III only of George Edwards’ Gleanings of Natural History, 1764, offering 50 coloured bird plates and two of monkeys, which reached £2500.