You have 2 more free articles remaining

Mallams Oxford auction of Literature, Poetry and Photography on February 8 will feature 300 lots of Alice related material including books, porcelain, artwork, posters, toys and dolls.

Across 25-years of collecting, Schuster and his wife Greta acquired thousands of English children’s literature and related items.

Schuster, whose books and prints business was based in Maddox Street in Mayfair, died in 2013 in Torquay, aged 76.

Greta Schuster and son Chris have now decided to sell this Alice collection.

English children’s literature

His interest in English children’s literature was started by a client in Japan and he became a recognised expert in the works of Kate Greenaway, Beatrix Potter and the Enid Blyton character Noddy. He published the Kate Greenaway catalogue raisonné in 1986.

Parts of his Alice collection have been exhibited in the past at the Schuster gallery in the late 1990s and at the Tate Modern Liverpool in 2012, as part of an Alice in Wonderland exhibition that later moved to Italy and Germany.

Mallams said viewing the lots to be auctioned is “the first opportunity to view the collection in its entirety - the myriad books, porcelain, artwork, posters, toys, dolls and ephemera that have surrounded the cult of Alice since the earliest years. They range from the rare and academically important to the downright bizarre.” 

Mallams said the Schuster’s have chosen to sell the collection in Oxford because of its associations with the Alice story.

It was during a boat trip on the Thames in 1862 that Christ Church College don Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, first entertained the 10-year-old Alice Liddell and her sisters with the tale of a girl who fell down a rabbit hole into a world called Wonderland.

Dodgson was persuaded to write down the story, with the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland first published in 1865.