‘Vitruvius Britannicus’, or ‘The British Architect’ by Colen Campbell, a work offered by Ronald Wilson of Edinburgh’s Old Town Bookshop for £8500 at the PBFA fair.

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The British Architect

A three-volume edition of Vitruvius Britannicus, or The British Architect, is available from the stand of Ronald Wilson of Edinburgh’s Old Town Bookshop for £8500 at the PBFA fair.

The 18th century book was the work of pioneering Scottish architect Colen Campbell (1676-1729) and was essentially a catalogue of design containing engravings of English buildings by various prominent architects.

This edition is dated 1717.

Map of Ceuta in Morocco


Map of Ceuta printed in London in 1721 showing the city during the siege in 1720, offered with a separately published broadsheet map of Ceuta for £3000 by Angelika Freibe of The Map Woman in Dorking at the ‘London Map Fair’.

Situated at the northernmost point of Morocco, Ceuta has always been a very important stronghold for military and commercial purposes. During the reign of Philip II, it became part of Spain but was besieged by the Moroccan army under Moulay Ismail from 1694-1727.

This very rare map of Ceuta printed in London in 1721 shows the city during the siege in 1720. There is only one known copy, which is in the British Library. At the 2019 London Map Fair, Angelika Freibe, who runs The Map Woman in Dorking, will offer it together with separately published broadsheet map of Ceuta, with two insets of Gibraltar, explaining the various strongholds and important sites. The asking price for the pair of maps will be £3000.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

D&D Galleries brings a second-edition copy of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to the PBFA fair.

The single volume includes four hand-coloured engraved plates by John Leech and four black and white illustrations by WJ Linton. Two extra leaves are bound in the back of this volume stating that it belonged to Eugenie Field. Offered in very good condition, it is available for £2900.

Samuel Johnson copies inscribed by Boswell

These copies of The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) and The Principal Corrections and Additions (1793) both carry presentation inscriptions from author James Boswell to Andrew Lumisden (1720-1801). London dealership Peter Harrington will bring them to Firsts priced at £185,000.

Lumisden, a former Jacobite who had served as the under-secretary and the first clerk of the treasury to the Young Pretender throughout the campaign of 1745-6, had rebuilt his reputation after escaping to Europe after the Battle of Culloden. He received a full pardon from the British government in 1778, and back in Edinburgh had assisted Boswell in his work by deciphering one of Johnson’s manuscript notebooks.

A footnote to The Life… reads: “My worthy and ingenious friend, Mr Andrew Lumisdaine [sic], by his accurate acquaintance with France, enabled me to make out many proper names, which Dr Johnson had written indistinctly, and sometimes spelt erroneously.”

World Cup underground map


1966 World Cup issue of the London Underground map by Paul Garbutt, offered by Bryars & Bryars at the ‘London Map Fair’ priced at £250.

At the London Map Fair Bryars & Bryars will offer this 1966 World Cup issue of the London Underground map, by Paul Garbutt, featuring World Cup Willy, the lion mascot for the competition, and instructions on how to get to the stadiums at Wembley and White City.

It is one of the rarest post-war London Underground passenger maps and is priced at £250.

Schiller's Swinging London


1960s serigraph silkscreen poster map of Swinging London by David Schiller, offered by Maps Perhaps at the ‘London Map Fair’ and priced at £640.

Maps Perhaps of Gerrards Cross is a first-time exhibitor at the London Map Fair in 2019.

Owner Stephen Guth is bringing this stylised 1960s serigraph silkscreen poster map of Swinging London by US illustrator David Schiller. It was published by Trend Graphics in 1968.

Among the jumble of London landmarks and streets are signs naming popular rock bands of the era such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Cream and The Who. The asking price is £640.

Twelve Months of Japanese Toys


An image from the 1926 woodblock printed book ‘Twelve Months of Japanese Toys’ by Kyosen Kawasaki offered by Clare Brightman for £200 at the PBFA fair.

Clare Brightman brings Twelve Months of Japanese Toys by Kyosen Kawasaki (1877-1942) to the PBFA fair. The artist worked during the Meiji and Showa periods drawing pictures of traditional toys specific to different localities.

The 1926 woodblock printed book contains 12 double-spread hand-coloured plates with a few pages of text. It is offered for £200.

Lucien Boucher map design


Map design for an Air France poster by Lucien Boucher, offered for £2400 by the Altea Gallery of Mayfair at the ‘London Map Fair’.

This poster commissioned by Air France in 1937 is one of a series of map designs by Lucien Boucher (1889-1971) that the Altea Gallery of Mayfair will take to the London Map Fair on 8-9 June.

Boucher worked for Air France for nearly 30 years, earning himself the nickname ‘Monsieur Planishere’ as he charted the globe with his designs showing the company’s air routes. The asking price for this map is £2400, with other Boucher maps priced from £2000.

Meteor mezzotint


Matthew Coates Wyatt mezzotint offered by Alembic Rare Books at the ‘Firsts’ fair for £6500.

At around 12 minutes before 11 o’clock on February 11, 1850, the artist Matthew Coates Wyatt saw a meteor passing over Paddington. After gazing at it until it disappeared, he quickly made a drawing of the phenomenon and engraved a printing plate shortly afterward. The mezzotint, measuring 11 x 17in (28 x 42.5cm), is now on offer from Alembic Rare Books at Firsts for £6500.

The dramatic depiction of an explosion and sparks of its head suggest that the object in the sky was a bolide. Other examples of the print are held at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and the British Museum.

A new way to experience maps

Daniel Crouch Rare Books offers a selection of antique maps – and a very 21st century way of experiencing them – at Firsts. Visitors will be able to travel back in time to 18th century Paris by way of a virtual reality tour designed with Oculus Rift.

The experience ‘flies’ users over Michel- Etienne Turgot’s Plan de Paris, created in 1739, and gives them the chance to select and learn about individual landmarks. Made with Louis Bretez, the original map is available for £30,000 at the fair. VR users can also take a tour of the first printed plan of Amsterdam from 1544 by Cornelis Anthonisz.