Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2014 Issue

Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers: A Decidedly Irish December 9th Sale

Hailing from Castlecomer, Ireland, Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers is an auction house dealing in fine art and rare books whose results are archived into the AED. On December 9th, 2014, their sale of Rare Books, Manuscripts, Literature & Maps will take place on site in Dublin, Ireland, as well over the phones and online. Containing 792 lots, the sale is sizeable with a large array of subjects and material covered, including but not limited to rare books and literature, photographs, bindings, medical books, maps, and Irish historical and literary items and manuscripts. Let’s take a look at some assorted items.

No rare book sale in Ireland would be complete without a showing of one of the country’s most famous authors, and Fonsie Mealy does not disappoint. Lots 187 and 188 are copies of Joyce’s Ulysses and Dubliners respectively. Ulysses is a first English edition, limited to 2000 copies (this is number 449) and is estimated €1,000 - €1,500. Dubliners, also a first edition of which there were approximately 746 copies printed, has an interesting provenance stemming from a classmate of Joyce’s at Clongowes. This copy is estimated €3,000 - €4,000.

There are many interesting items in the sale, and one that jumps out is an important archive of the Scottish family the Rentons of Lamberton. An old name, dating back to at least the 14th century, this series of about 300 Renton documents makes for a fascinating case study of the legal and financial affairs of a lowland Scots landed family in the early modern period. The lot is estimated €1,200 - €1,600.

Here are several other items of note:

Lot 439, substantial manuscripts of two novels by the Irish author Charles Lever. One contains 38 chapters, the other lacks the first 9 pages but continues to page 440. Est. €1,500 - €2,000.

Lot 443, Samuel Beckett’s Echo’s Bones and other Precipitates. A very rare limited edition with a fine presentation inscription. Est. €2,000 - €3,000.

Lot 452, an archive of the Wardells, a Victorian military family, including an original letter from the camp at Rorke’s Drift, 1879. Est. €1,000 - €1,500.

Lot 468, an Army Recruiting Poster, The Kaiser’s Insult. Est. €200 - €300.

Lot 555, first edition of Charles Dickens’ The Uncommercial Traveller. Est. €400 - €600.

Lot 698, first edition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Est. €750 - €1,000.

Lot 699, first edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles. Est. €550 - €750.

An e-catalog as well as a PDF copy of the sale’s catalog are available on the Fonsie Mealy website. If you wish to participate in the sale online, bidding will be done via the-saleroom.com. You can register to bid here, as well as view the catalog.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Closing Time, Advance Readers Copy of Uncorrected Proof with a letter from Heller on his personal stationary
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Gates, Bill, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, N Y: Knopf, 2021; first edition, with a handwritten note from Bill Gates
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Catch-22, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, first edition, first printing, first issue dust jacket, inscribed on the front end paper by Heller
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Something Happened, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974, first edition, inscribed on the front end paper by Heller
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Austen, Jane, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, London: John Murray, 1818, in four volumes
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000

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