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Blyton’s Famous Five give the Shire folk a run for their money

29 January 2001

UK: THE FIRST Tolkiens of 2001 combined to add £11,000 to the takings at this Bath sale.

Creases and stains are no bar to Bounty book hunters

29 January 2001

UK: ONE CHART was very creased and there was a stain on the frontispiece that penetrated to the title page and early leaves, but the copy of Bligh’s Narrative of the Mutiny on [the...] Bounty offered in Carlisle was a tightly bound copy of the 1790 first edition in a contemporary binding of quarter calf and marbled boards, and it sold at £3150.

A must for collectors

29 January 2001

The Catalogue of Silver in the Grosvenor Museum, Chester by Peter Boughton, published by Phillimore & Co, Chichester. Available from the museum on 01244 402008 fax: 01244 347587 or bookshops. ISBN 186077153X £19.95 pb.

Pirate treasures from Wichita

29 January 2001

US: THOUGH he grew up on a Kansas farm, far from the sea, Charles E. Driscoll, who died in 1951, devoted much of his life to the study of piracy and as well as writing a great deal about his pet subject, assembled a marvellous library that was bequeathed to Wichita Public Library at his death. Last year the library decided to sell off the collection to raise funds for other acquisitions and on December 12, Christie’s East of New York sold the Driscoll Piracy library for $427,570 (£292,860).

Heures de la Vierge manuscript

29 January 2001

FRANCE: THIS Heures de la Vierge manuscript, from Auvergne or the Lyon area (c.1485) fetched Fr215,000 (£20,5000) at Bondu on December 22. This Book of Hours (Use of Rome), 61/2 x 61/2in (17cm x 17cm), had a tired 16th century brown morocco binding but contained 14 full-page paintings influenced by Jean Colombe and artists from Bourges, and many of its 131 leaves (from a probable 135) had decorative borders with flowers, strawberries, fabulous creaturs and acanthus leaves.

Incomparable Catcher... ?

29 January 2001

US: DESCRIBED as “probably as good or better than any copy at auction in the last five years”, a 1951 first of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the cloth binding extremely clean and the dust jacket in “nearly superb” condition, made $7500 (£5170) in the December 18 sale held by the Baltimore Book Company.

Venice by Naya

29 January 2001

FRANCE: Venezia Fodaco dei Turghi, Carlo Naya’s moonlit view of the Grand Canal (c.1870), headed the Baron-Ribeyre photo sale on December 19. The albumen print, 161/2 x 21in (41 x 53cm), was dubbed in perfect condition and raced to a treble-estimate Fr55,000 (£5200).

A window on social history too

29 January 2001

Treasures To Hold: Irish and English Miniatures 1650-1850 from the National Gallery of Ireland Collection by Dr Paul Caffrey, published by the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. tel: 01 661 5133. email: artgall@eircom.net ISBN 090316275X £19.99.

Buoyant bids as determined buyers push through floods

22 January 2001

UK: SUPPLY the goods and, through hell or, in this case, high water, they will come. The new Chichester operation of Henry Adams underlined this article of auctioneering faith when at their second sale they were able to put up a good range of items sought by the middle and upper markets and, despite the serious local flooding (one would-be buyer marooned miles away phoned to complain that the sale should have been cancelled), they enjoyed a considerable success.

Albertus Seba’s Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri...

22 January 2001

US: A SCIENTIFIC library formed by New York businessman Joseph A. Frielich was sold by Sotheby’s New York for $10.7m (£7.2m) on January 10-11, 2001, and among many lots that made much higher than predicted sums was a magnificent copy of Albertus Seba’s Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri...

Riddle of the sphinx

22 January 2001

UK: THIS 63/4in (17cm) high striking table clock proved to be the most expensive lot in a sale of clocks and watches held by Christie’s South Kensington 17.5/10 per cent buyer’s premium) on December 14.

Scotland’s finest goes to England

22 January 2001

UK: LOCAL bidders accounted for most of the Oriental and European ceramics and works of art offered at Edinburgh where 306 lots totalled £75,000 but the top seller went to an English bidder.

Government to compensate family over Nazi loss painting

22 January 2001

UK: ARTS Minister Alan Howarth has announced that the Government will pay £125,000 compensation to a family forced to sell a painting as they fled the Nazis.

Cowshed columns

22 January 2001

UK: THE last of the monthly sales of collectors’ items and antiques of the year at Cirencester was dominated in visual terms by a pair of Cotswold stone columns, 7ft 6in (2.25m) high, which had been rescued by the vendor from a cowshed where they had lain for 60 years. They achieved a new-found status when they sold at £1200.

The dream before the nightmare…

22 January 2001

UK: THIS looks the life! Relaxed in elegant company, high above the world and its cares on a sunlit terrace with parasols and palms.

Braced for bidder’s action

22 January 2001

UK: SPECIALIST auctioneers Tool Shop Auctions (10 per cent buyer’s premium) finished the year with an 1100-lot dispersal on December 4 at Needham Market Suffolk, where a UK bidder beat an American rival to the top seller, this extremely rare boxwood Ultimatum brace, right, by William Marples.

Butcher’s boy wins £260 stake

22 January 2001

UK: WELCOME as the activity of interior decorators is on today’s auction scene, it was still a little surprising to note the interest that some took in this 1950s butcher boy’s bicycle, right, offered at the Scarborough sale held by David Duggleby (10per cent buyer’s premium) on December 4.

Clean linen press tops Devon day

22 January 2001

UK: THE most prominent entry to this monthly two-day sale in Devon was an early 19th century linen press had come from a South Coast farmhouse.

Scientific breakthroughs

22 January 2001

UK: CLOSE to 640 lots were packed into the catalogue of the last Bloomsbury sale of the old year – half of them scientific and medical – but compared with the sale of the previous week, reported in Antiques Trade Gazette No. 1473, four-figure bids were few and far between.

Billy Wright scores at Ludlow – thanks to star French footballer

22 January 2001

UK: TWO days of selling in the niche sporting memorabilia market resulted in something of a score draw for specialists Mullock Madeley.

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