Bloomsbury Auctions

Bloomsbury Auctions is a specialist saleroom for antiquarian books, prints and maps. The business was founded as Bloomsbury Book Auctions in 1983 by Lord John Kerr, Frank Herrmann and David Stagg who ran the firm independently for 17 years.

The firm has gone through a number of changes in ownership since 2000.

Art advisers Gurr Johns purchased Dreweatts and Bloomsbury in 2017 and resumed auctions under the Bloomsbury brand the following year.


Summer brings books and works on paper auction riches

06 August 2018

June and July brought a rich crop of auctions in London, around the country and overseas. A few of those sales and stand-out results have already been reported on these and the ATG news pages, but many more hammer highlights were achieved.

Canterbury bible

Medieval bible bought at auction to return to Canterbury Cathedral after 500 years away

02 August 2018

Canterbury Cathedral has bought a rare illuminated bible once owned by one of the last members of Britain’s monastic community before the Reformation.


Pick of the week: Hours and centuries of famous owners

16 July 2018

Estimated at £200,000-300,000, the 'Hours of Isabella d’Este' sold at £340,000 (plus buyer’s premium) at Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale of Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures on July 10.


Bidders keep eyes on the prize

21 May 2018

Bearing a title that translates as ‘The Book of Correction of Optics for those who have Sight and Mind’, an early 14th century Arabic manuscript made a much higher than expected £450,000 during the recent Islamic week of sales in London.


Parisian Book of Hours with Russian princess link

05 March 2018

A Parisian Book of Hours dating to c.1440-50 was among illuminated or decorated manuscripts sold during in the closing weeks of 2017.


Mallett reunited with Dreweatts and Bloomsbury after sale by Stanley Gibbons

31 January 2018

Antiques dealership Mallett has been reunited with its former stablemates Dreweatts and Bloomsbury following a £100,000 purchase by Gurr Johns-owned Dreweatts.


Marilyn’s sultry happy birthday song to JFK

18 December 2017

The night, just three months before her death, that Marilyn Monroe sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in sultry tones at a Democratic Party fundraiser celebrating John F Kennedy’s 45th birthday caused quite a sensation.

Gavel falls on Bloomsbury Auctions

11 December 2017

Update (July 2019): auctions resumed at Bloomsbury in 2018 following Gurr Johns' purchase of Dreweatts and Bloomsbury in 2017. In February 2019 it expanded the number of sales at its London office at 16-17 Pall Mall. The original story is below.


Lear sticks to landscape

20 November 2017

A letter that Edward Lear wrote in 1881 to a friend to whom he intended to dispatch two drawings of Athens was among the more successful lots that Bloomsbury Auctions (24/18/12% buyer’s premium) sold on October 19.


George Bailey back at Dreweatts as end beckons for Bloomsbury Auctions

09 October 2017

Update (July 2019): auctions resumed at Bloomsbury in 2018 following Gurr Johns' purchase of Dreweatts and Bloomsbury in 2017. In February 2019 it expanded the number of sales at its London office at 16-17 Pall Mall. The original story is below.


Comets, astronauts and out of this world selfies

02 October 2017

A ‘Glory of Science’ sale held by Bloomsbury Auctions (24/18/12% buyer’s premium) on September 14 included books, prints, photographs, letters, etc, and was one in which astronomy and space travel played a significant part where higher bids were concerned.


Stanley Gibbons gives up on Pall Mall space

18 September 2017

Less than six months after holding its first auction in its Pall Mall home, Stanley Gibbons’ The Fine Art Auction Group (TEFAAG) has left the central London premises and is in the process of selling the lease.


Tolkien writes early verses to get into the Hobbit

14 August 2017

Three of the poems featured in A Northern Venture…, a slim collection of verses by members of the Leeds University English School Association published by the Swan Press in 1923, added considerable value to this now rare little work.

Space selfie

First space self-portrait goes under the hammer at Bloomsbury Auctions

27 July 2017

Among the lots at Bloomsbury Auctions’ upcoming sale, The Glory of Science, is ‘the first space selfie’.

William Holland – John Bull 1797

Six of the best – Caricatures from specialist sale at Bloomsbury Auctions

25 July 2017

Bloomsbury Auctions have held specialist sales of caricatures since 2015 and the most recent took place earlier this month. The sale offered a mixture of around 30 lots of modern cartoons and 100 or so lots of much earlier material.


Erotic art sale at Bloomsbury Auctions offers 150 racy lots

19 June 2017

“All art is erotic,” remarked the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, one of art’s great womanisers.

stanley gibbons

Stanley Gibbons up for sale amid launch of strategic review

12 June 2017

Stamps and coin dealership Stanley Gibbons Group, parent of book auctioneers Bloomsbury, has put the company up for sale following discussions with a private equity firm.


Hubert Dingwall: Quixotic fancies and English fairies

22 May 2017

The late Hubert Dingwall began a lifetime of book collecting in 1935 with the purchase of a vellum bound copy of the second part only of a 1697 Antwerp edition of Don Quixote for one shilling and sixpence.


Christopher Lee’s collection of pens to be auctioned at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury

03 April 2017

A consignment of 16 pens from the collection of Christopher Lee, the distinguished British actor who played Dracula in nine films, is to go under the hammer at Dreweatts and Bloomsbury.


Rome deal for Dreweatts & Bloomsbury

05 November 2013

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury auctions have joined forces with Philobiblon, a leading Italian antiquarian books and manuscripts specialist, to offer monthly valuation events, auctions and fine art exhibitions in Rome.