Pictured above are the contemporary morocco gilt slipcase and the embroidered binding of an Almanach Contenant un Recueil des Coëffures des Dames published in Paris in 1781, next to one of the dozen coloured plates of extravagant hairstyles found among its pages. Dominic Winter could find no other record of this little work, which sold at £2000.
On the web
Shown here is one of the 28 hand-coloured plates that illustrate Aranei, or a Natural History of Spiders. A 1793 first of a work edited by Thomas Martyn and drawing on other early works on English and Swedish spiders by Eleazar Albin and Charles Clerk respectively, it sold at a mid-estimate £2400.
Taking a lot of flax
Featuring artwork by James Humbert Craig, Northern Ireland Flax Growing, a poster issued by the Empire Marketing Board in the 1930s, was sold at £1200.
Shown here is one of the more dramatic of the 72 coloured engraved plates of insects, plants and lizards after Maria Sybylla Merian that illustrate a 1719, ‘first complete’ edition of her …Insectorum Surinamensium, a famous work on tropical insects, flowers and, as seen here, some rather larger creatures.
Accompanied by her daughter Dorothea, Merian spent two years in what was then a Dutch colonial territory in South America, collecting and illustrating specimens for a work that was first published in 1705. Following their mother’s death in 1719, Merian’s other daughter, Johanna, added an extra 10 plates for this edition and two other related illustrations by Albert Seba were also included.
It sold for £40,000 by Dominic Winter.
Pride and peacock
This copy of an 1894 edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, illustrated by Hugh Thomson and boasting a now famous ’Peacock’ binding, was sold online at a record £1600. That sum improved on the £1300 – which may itself have been a record – that Dominic Winter achieved for a copy offered last October.
Sold at £8000 was a good copy in a 19th century binding of a 1595 epitome of Dame Juliana Berners’ The Gentlemans Academie or, The Book of S. Albans.
As the title-page proclaims, that original work of 1486 has here seen its three sections on falconry, on the hunting of deer, boars, hares and other creatures, and on heraldry, “…now reduced into a better method” by Gervase Markham.
This copy was last seen at auction in New York almost a hundred years ago, but in this outing equalled the sum paid in 2006 at Christie’s for the Rivière bound, ex-Schwerdt-Gloucester copy.