Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2017 Issue

Oct 12: The Edge Hall Library at Forum Auctions

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London-based Forum Auctions is a relatively new player in the field, having formed last year, but their team is anything but new to the rare book business. Since their launch, they have been quite active, with over 50 auctions conducted since July 2016! October is another busy month for Forum, with seven sales on the docket between London and their satellite office in Rome. Make sure to check out their Sales Calendar here.

 

For this sale preview, I’m going to focus on The Edge Hall Library, a live sale of 311 lots taking place October 12, at Forum’s regular auction venue, the Westbury Hotel in London. I’d never heard of the Edge Hall Library myself, and Forum includes this information at the beginning of the catalog:

 

The Dod family have been at Edge, near Malpas in Cheshire since Hova Dot settled there in King Henry II’s time. Another ancestor, Sir Anthony Dod, was one of the heroes at Agincourt and was knighted by Henry V on the battlefield. The library, formed largely in the 19th century, is a typical country house collection, focussing mainly on Natural history, Travel, Economics, Literature, Illustrated Books, handsomely bound sets and albums of prints. By order of the Trustees of Mr. A.K. Wolley Dod Residuary Trust the library is now offered for sale.

 

Headlining the sale is a five-volume set that has been described as “the most sumptuous and costly of British bird books” by British bibliographers Mullens and Swann. This work is probably no mystery to interested collectors, as it is quite famous: John Gould’s The Birds of Great Britain. An original subscriber’s copy first edition printed between 1862 and 1873, 367 hand-colored lithograph plates make Gould’s work a gem in any ornithological or natural history collection. The five volumes are estimated £30,000 to £40,000 as lot 98 of the sale.

 

Works of nature are in fact a strength of the sale. Beside Gould’s Birds, two other lots, floral in nature, stand out. The first is a florilegium—a term referring to a treatise on flowers that are ornamental in nature rather than scientific—by Daniel Rabel called Theatrum Florae. Another first edition, with 69 plates, this is the second engraved florilegium to be published in France (1622), and the artistry is exceptional. Estimated £10,000 to £15,000 as lot 118, this volume is rarely seen at auction in its complete form. Somewhat related is lot 111, a large run of The Botanical Magazine; or Flower Garden Displayed from the years 1791 to 1872. Volumes 1-62 (bound in 41 volumes), and volumes 79-98 are included for sale, totaling 4770 hand-colored plates! Forum calls the magazine “the most impressive and comprehensive, magnificently illustrated botanical magazine.” A massive run of it can be yours for an estimated £10,000 to £15,000.

 

If flowers don’t interest you, perhaps maps do? One of the sale’s first lots, #7, is John Arrowsmith’s The London Atlas of Universal Geography from 1842, an edited reprint of his 1832 work of the same name. Sixty-eight double-page engraved maps with hand-colored outlines are contained within. This edition is noteworthy for a specific 1843 map of Texas that is considered "probably the first to show the full extent of Texas's claim to the region of the upper Rio Grande, an area included within Texas's boundaries until the Compromise of 1850... [and] the best information on Texas geography available in Europe" (Martin & Martin, Maps of Texas and the Southwest, 32). Lot 7 is another item estimated £10,000 to £15,000.

 

The final highlight of this auction preview is a work on an entirely different subject from what we’ve seen so far, and this one is probably most at home on the shelves of a wolf on Wall Street. Estimated £8,000 to £12,000, David Ricardo’s On the Principles of Political Economy, and Taxation certainly fits in the budget of many people that the book’s subject speaks to. A first edition and an excellent copy, you can bid on it under lot 291.

 

Forum Auctions’ sale of The Edge Hall Library takes place Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 1pm British Summer Time at the Westbury Hotel in London. The sale’s catalog can be viewed in list form here, or as a PDF here.

 

Viewing times and locations are as follows:

 

220 Queenstown Road, London SW8 4LP
Tuesday 3rd October
10.00am – 5.30pm
Wednesday 4th October
10.00am – 5.30pm
Thursday 5th October
10.00am – 5.30pm

The Westbury Hotel, London W1S 2YF
Tuesday 10th October
6.00pm – 8.00pm
Wednesday 11th October
9.30am – 7.30pm
Thursday 12th October
from 9.30am

 

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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>

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