Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2016 Issue

March 17th@Bloomsbury Auctions: 20th Century Books and Works on Paper

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Select items from Bloomsbury's sale of 20th Century Books and Works on Paper

Heralding the end of winter, March is a busy month for most auction houses, and for Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, this rings especially true. With no less than five auctions dealing in works on paper between their London and Rome locations, you're likely to find something of interest in their sales of Antiquarian and Rare Books, Autographs and Memorabilia, The Bibliophile Sale, and Modern & Contemporary Editions. For this writeup though, we'll take a quick look at the March 17th sale of 20th Century Books and Works on Paper. Featuring 278 lots modestly estimated, a range of reprinted material, fiction, maps, and drawings make for an interesting subject variety.

The sale's headline lot has been called the most important work from the Kelmscott Press, and arguably the greatest of all private press book. The item in question is Chaucer's The Works......now newly imprinted. One of 425 copies on Perch paper, this was the last book published by the Kelmscott Press before founder William Morris passed. A loosely-inserted envelope contains a newspaper cutting from The Daily Telegraph of November 5th 1901 concerning the Sotheby's sale of F.S. Ellis' [the editor of The Works] collection of books, which included 2 copies of the Kelmscott Chaucer: "...the Chaucer was one of the thirteen examples on vellum to make a first appearance at auction, and Mr. Quaritch had to go to £510 before he secured possession.' Listed as lot 101, The Works......now newly imprinted is estimated £15,000–20,000 and is the highest estimated item in the sale.

The second highest estimated item diverges from Chaucer's reprinting in both subject and language. Verve, the French artistic and literary magazine, published its Revue Artistique et Littéraire from 1937 to 1960. The complete run of thirty eight issues is available as a single lot in the sale and features original illustrations by Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, among others. Estimated £10,000–15,000 as lot 171, complete sets of this important periodical are rare.

Several books by Sir Ian Fleming are being sold, with two being rare first editions. These two books are On Her Majesty's Secret Service, published in 1963, (also number 176 of 250 copies signed by the author), and Moonraker, published in 1955. Both books make for an excellent starting point or addition to a Fleming or British contemporary literature collection. They are available as lots 218 and 216 and estimated £5,000–7,000 and £3,000–4,000 respectively.

Continuing the trend of complete runs, The New Naturalist Library, a series of books published by Collins in the UK on a variety of natural history topics relevant to the British Isles, is also being made available. Published from 1945-2015, this is a numbered series with a low print run for some volumes, making it highly collectable. Listed as lot 205, it is estimated £3,500–4,500.

Set to take place March 17th at 1 p.m. London time (GMT), viewings of the sale will take place March 15th 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, March 16th 9:30 am to 7:30 pm, and the day opf sale from 9:30 am (all times GMT). Bidding is available through the expected avenues including in person, over the phone, and internet. Anyone wishing to bid must register for the sale prior. Online registration may be done so here, while phone or live bidding requires filling out a registration form and delivering to Bloomsbury.

The online catalog for 20th Century Books and Works on Paper is viewable online on Bloomsbury's website.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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