Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2016 Issue

Fonsie Mealy: a compelling Sale on December 13th

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Highlight lots from Fonsie Mealy's December sale

Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers of Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland is set to conduct a major sale in the rare books, manuscripts, and works of art categories on December 13th in Dublin, Ireland.  Those lucky enough to attend will have 800 lots to examine but many, probably most bids will arrive online in real time.  It’s simply the way auctions occur in 2016.  The sale is being held at Gresham Hotel, O’Connell St., Dublin 1.

 

The material is a broad selection of Irish, English, European and American collecting interests but what distinguishes it are three things, rarity, condition and the price estimates that are sufficiently low to entice bidding.  The art of staging auctions is an important aspect of the trade and this sale artfully combines the threads that, when well woven, tend to bring brisk sales.

 

Here are 15 items that typify the selection that comes up on December 13th:

 

Lot 69. With 50 Hand-Coloured Plates Alexander (Wm.) Picturesque Representations of The Dress and Manners of the Chinese, sm. folio L. 1814. 50 hd. cold. plts. (include frontis,) a.e.g., cont straight grained mor., gilt spine. (1)

 

Est. 600-800 Euro

 

Lot 255. With 335 Hand-Coloured Plates Lewin (W.) The Birds of Great Britain, 8 vols in 4, L.P. 4to L. 1795 - 1801 Second Edn., hd. cold. engd. frontis & 334 hand coloured plates (some mis-numbering) & include. doubles, titles in English & French, cont. diced calf. (4)

Est. 1,500 – 2,000 Euro

 

Lot 264.  18th Century Manuscript relating to Massachusetts Bay American interest:  a small octavo notebook. 

 

A small octavo notebook containing a summary of the proceedings of the Council of Massachusetts Bay and its negotiations with the British Parliament on the colonist's rights and privileges. This is evidently the second volume of a series, as the pages are numbered 85 -155, but written on left hand side only, and covers the years 1691 to 1728. A significant contribution to the documentation of relations between Britain and her American colonies in this period. In a contemporary full red mor. binding, with attractive gilt tooled borders, & spine, c. 1750.

 

Est. 350-500 Euro

 

Lot 376.  Signed Manuscript Poem [Heaney (Seamus) 1939-2013, Nobel Laureate 1995]

 

A signed holograph manuscript copy of his Poem 'The Wishing Chair', one page, 12 lines in his usual black ink, with a good signature, dated 20 December 1989. 'When you sat, far-eyed and cold, in the basalt throne Of "the wishing chair" at the Giant's Casueway. The small of your back made sense of the firmament...' The poem is from his Squarings sequence.

 

1,000-1,500 Euro

 

Lot 379.  Unique Collection Ballads by Brendan Behan (Brendan) in the early 1950’s

 

Unique Collection Ballads by Brendan Behan (Brendan) In the early 1950's, Brendan Behan was invited by Micheál Ó hAodha of Radio Eireann to contribute songs and scripts for the popular radio series The Ballad Maker's Saturday Night. At the time Behan was renowned in the pubs of Dublin for his seemingly inexhaustible repertoire of street-ballads and republican songs which he had learned in prison or from his mother Kathleen and his uncle Peadar Kearney, who wrote The Soldier's Song.

 

Est. 3,000-4,000 Euro

 

Lot 462.  In Fine 18th Century Irish Binding Estate Atlas:  Neville (Arthur Richard)

Coghill Bart, in Yorkshire, Kilkenny, Cavan, Meath and Dublin, 1791, Oblong folio (approx. 10 1/2" x 14 1/2"), with four large folding key maps (approx. 19 1/2" x 27") each in manuscript hand coloured and line backed, together with 47 full page maps each with its own reference key opposite, relating to this estate of almost 7200 acres. 

 

Est. 10,000-15,000 Euro

 

Lot 488.  "The Broadsides" With Fine Hand-Coloured Illustrations by Jack B. Yeats Dun Emer Press [-Cuala Press] Yeats (E.C.) A Broadside, Published Monthly For June 1908 - May 1915. Together 84 Nos Folio, printed at Dundrum. Each with hand coloured and black & white illus. by Jack B. Yeats, Complete Set. All in loose form, as issued. Now in a loose leaf folder. A fine & rare set. (1)

 

Est. 4,000-6,000 Euro

 

Lot 514.  Excessively Rare Benjamin Franklin Imprint Estaugh (John) A Call to the Unfaithful Professors of Truth, ... to which is added Divers Epistles of the same Author. Sm. 8vo Philadelphia. Printed by B. Franklin, 1744. First Edn. [XVIII] [19] - 119. Mis-pagination on p. 68, incorrectly numbered 86, indistinct name of a previous owner in pencil on title, in mottled calf, with gilt line bands on spine, mor. label, possibly a Philadelphia binding. (1) * An exquisite copy of this excessively rare volume, known only in a handful copies world wide. Last copy sold by auction over 70 years ago. N.B. The Second Edition was printed in London 1745, First Dublin Edition also 1745. Copac records only 6 Copies held in Institutional Libraries Worldwide. Sabin 23040.

 

Est. 7,000-10,000 Euro

 

Lot 627.  Spectacular Early Coloured View of The North West Passage Cresswell (Samuel Gurney) A Series of Eight Sketches in Colour; together with a Coloured Map of the Route; by Lieut. S.G. Cresswell, of the Voyages of the H.M.S. Investigator, Capt. M'Clure, during the Discovery of the North West Passage. Lg. atlas folio London (Day & Son) July 25, 1854. Sole Edition, title incorporating Dedit, 4pp, 8 full page chromo plts. and one full page chart, all leaves & plts. re-mounted on linen, orig. red cloth, gilt professionally rebacked, a few stains. An extremely fine copy with v. clean plates. (1) Reference: Abbey Travel 644; Sabin 17490.

 

Est. 15,000-20,000

 

Lot 675.  Of Legendary Rarity First Printing of Shakespeare Outside England Shakespeare (Wm.) The Works of Shakespeare In Eight Volumes. Collated and Corrected by former Editions by Mr. Pope. 8 vols. sm. 8vo Dublin (Printed by and for Geo. Grierson .. and for George Ewing...) 1726. First Edn. Vol. I red and bl. general title, [20], [XXVI], [2] black general title, 408pp + advert leaf at end. Separate title pages for 'The Tempest,' and 'A Mid Summer Night's Dream,' each dated 1725; Vol. II, [2], 471pp; Vol. III, [2], [2], 438pp; Vol. IV, [2], 452pp; Vol. V, [2], 474pp; Vol. VI, [2], 440pp; Vol. VII, [2], 424pp, [48] Index, [6] Table, + [2] Advert leaf; Vol. VIII, [2] XI, 462, [V] Table & Adverts. An extremely fine complete set, sprinkled calf mostly, not quiet uniform (five spines tooled gilt), made up from two sets, from the Library of John Congreve (same family as playwright William Congreve), with bookplates. N.B. Writing in 'The Athenaeum' in February 1903, E.R.Mc Clintock Dix, bibliographer states, "The edition of Shakespeare's Works is rare, as far as I can judge, and may perhaps not have been noted by some Shakespearean bibliographers. I cannot find it in Lowndes." As far as we are aware, no complete set (8 volumes) has been offered for sale in the last 100 years.

 

Est. 7,000-10,000 Euro

 

Lot 686.  Original Signed Volume From the Dean Swift's Library [Swift (Dr. Jonathan)] Grotius (Hugo). De Jure Belli ac Pacis Libri Tres, In quibus jus Naturae & Gentium, item juris publici praecipua explicatur. Edicio Nova cum Annotatis Authoris, ex postrema ejus ante obitum cura. Accesserunt Annotata in Epistolam Pauli et Philemonem, et Dissertatio de Mari libero. 8vo Amsterdam (J. Blaeu) 1670. Engd. portrait, add engd. title, & red & black printed title, Signed in top right hand corner 'Jon: Swift,' in ink. Faint library stamp on obverse of portrait, cont. mottled calf, with blind triple borders, raised bands, mor. labels. V. good copy. (1) * Excessively Rare. Books from Swift's library are recorded by only a handful of copies. For further information on this copy see 'Swift Studies, 9 (1994), pp. 113 - 117.'

 

Est.. 10,000-15,000 Euro

 

Lot 706.  Excessively Rare 16th Century Plate Book Eyzinger (Michael) Ad Leonis Belgici Topographicam atque Historicam Descriptionem, ... appendix. 2 vols.in one, 4to [Cologne] 1586. 162 dlb. page engd. illustrations (only) and 1 single page ditto, lg. fold. engd. map of Holland & Belgium in the shape of a lion, with cont. hd. colouring, some pps. lacking, the text & illustrations in extremely fine condition, in a 17th Century full sprinkled calf, with each gathering and each plate separately bound in, raised bands, spine gilt in panels. As a coll. of plts., w.a.f. (1)

 

Est. 3,000-4,000 Euro

 

Lot 745.  An Exceptionally Rare Pair in Uniform Bindings Colgan (John) Acta Sanctorum veteris et maioris Scotiae, seu Hiberniae Sanctorum Insulae,... Tomus Primus, Qui de sacris Hiberniae Antiquitatibus est Tertius Januarium, Februarium, and Martium complecteus. Folio Louvain (Everardum de Witte) 1645. First Edn. Hf. title, [28] 906pp, first few & last few leaves stained, otherwise v. good. together with: Colgan (John) Triadis Thaumaturgae, seu Divorum Patricii, Columbae et Brigidae, trium veteris et naoris Scotiae, seu Hiberniae Sanctorum Insulae, Communium Patronorum Acta,... Tomus Secundus Sacrarum ejusdem insulae Antiquitatum, nune primum in lucem prodiens. Folio Louvain 1647. First Edn. Hf. title, pp[24], 740, [2, errata]. some mispagination. The pagination omits 153, 154, 387, 388, some damp weakening at fore-edge at front, a few leaves strengthened, in matching contemporary style 18th Century bindings with blind decoration, raised bands, gilt tooled floral decoration in panels, mor. labels. (2) * Each volume exceptionally rare, but the auctioneers have never handled the pair in near contemporary matching bindings. Shane Leslie in his article on 'The Rarest Irish Books,' 1935, mentions the above volumes, 'which are the desire of every Irish Collector.' '..Bishop Reeves calculated there were about fifteen sets of Colgan in Ireland. There cannot be more than fifty in the world at a very large estimate.'

 

Est. 7,000-10,000 Euro

 

Lot 753.  Highly Important Album Some of the Earliest Irish Photographs Dated 1855 Coghill (Sir Joscelyn) First Secretary of the Dublin Photographic Society: A very important Album of original 'Photographs, 1855', dated on cover 1855, the album containing circa 100 numbered pages, oblong quarto, with about 140 images in various sizes, many neatly captioned, some about 6 x 8 ins, others smaller, mostly portraits but also including some important landscape photos. Portraits include Sir Joscelyn himself, his wife Katharine, the young Egerton (oval) dated June 1858, Honb. Emmeline Plunket acting a part as 'Tragedy', Thomas Greene and (presumably) his wife, various family members, various tradesmen and servants, Sir Joscelyn playing cards, a good family group at a gate, Coghill's first carte-de-visite dated 1855, a splendid gentleman said to be Don Caesar de Bazant, a sleeping child, and many images of his wife and children. Landscape photos include Drumcondra House, a superb image of Drogheda harbour with sail-boats, important views of the Boyne Viaduct under construction, Muredach's Cross at Monasterboice showing fine uneroded detail, the bridge at Finglas before the city swallowed it, the Rock of Cashel with the original village at its foot, Hore Abbey, Adare Abbey, Desmond Castle, the old Weir Bridge, Gap of Dunloe, Muckross Abbey, Holy Cross, Brickeen Bridge, Newtown near Trim, an exceedingly bare view of Killiney with the obelisk, the Meeting of the Waters, Sackville St. with the Pillar and GPO, a windmill at Feltrum, the village of Swords, Chapel Izod (still a village), and near the end Windsor and some Welsh or English views and portraits. The quality of the images is generally excellent, the prints are neatly laid down and are mostly unfaded and in good condition. The album itself is strongly bound in half leather buckram. The covers are somewhat soiled and shaken, a few early pages have been cellotaped, but in general it is holding strongly. (1) A wonderful album by one of the earliest pioneers from the very beginning of photography in Ireland. See Edward Chandler's Photography in Ireland: The Nineteenth Century [Burke 2001] for further information about Coghill and his work, and his essay on 'The Mutual Relations of Photography and Art' [1859]. Provenance: by family descent.

 

Est. 6,000-8,000 Euro

 

Lot 802.  Original Manuscript Edith Somerville's Unpublished Children's Book Somerville (Edith Oenone) [1858-1949] The original Manuscript of an unpublished and unrecorded book for children titled 'GROWLY-WOWLY. Or, The Story of the Three Little Pigs', the story entirely in verse in Somerville's hand, and with seven superb full page watercolour illustrations by Somerville (including the title page), circa 8" x 9" mostly signed in monogram, showing how the wolf gleefully hunts down the piglets but is eventually outwitted. Signed on rear by Somerville, with addresses in Cork and Kensington. Preserved in a modern binder's folder. The title page is lightly soiled; the other plates are clean and fresh. Edith Somerville is best known for her 'Irish R.M.' books; but her 'The Story of the Discontented Little Elephant' [1912] has long been among the most sought-after of Irish children's books. The present work is probably much earlier (the Kensington address suggests about 1880). It is not clear why it was not published, or indeed if she sought publication; it may have been intended for the amusement of her sister's children. A marvellous discovery. (1) Provenance: Coghill family [Edith's sister Hildegarde married her cousin Egerton Coghill].

Est. 3,500-5,000 Euro

 

The Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers website

www.fonsiemealy.ie

 

Links to the full auction

www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/fonsie-mealy-auctioneers/catalogue-id-srfons10022

 

Contacts

info@fonsiemealy.ie

Phone:  353 56 4441229

 

Questions are invited.

Rare Book Monthly

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