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:</b> Jean de Mandeville, <i>Reysen und Wanderschafften durch das Gelobte Land,</i> Strassburg, 1488. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> José González Cabrera Bueno, <i>Navegación Especulativa, y Práctica,</i> Manila, 1734. Sold for $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. Sold for $65,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Louise Bourgeois, <i>He Disappeared Into Complete Silence,</i> portfolio with complete text & 9 engravings, 1947. Sold for $413,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Erich Maria Remarque, <i>All Quiet on the Western Front,</i> first American edition, Boston, 1929. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sir William Russell Flint, gouache & watercolor illustration for Homer's <i>Odyssey,</i> 1924. Sold for $22,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Kurt Vonnegut, archive of 12 letters, signed to his family, 6 illustrated, 1930s-40s. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Oscar Wilde, <i>Lady Windermere's Fan,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, London, 1893. Sold for $27,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Emil Cardinaux, <i>St. Moritz,</i> 1918. Sold for $17,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> R.J. Waters, 3 panoramas of the San Francisco earthquake & fire, 1906. Sold for $21,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Album with 200 cartes-de-visite, including images by Felice Beato, John Thompson & F.W. Sutton, Japan & China, 1863-69. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. Sold for $40,000.
  • <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>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> KNIGHT, HILARY. The Original Portrait of Eloise that Hung at the Plaza Hotel. $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> WARHOL, ANDY. "Iced Lemon Delight," an Original Watercolor Presented to Hilary Knight's cat, Phoebe $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SENDAK, MAURICE. <i>Where the Wild Things Are.</i> PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED with drawing to Hilary Knight in the month following publication. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> NOLAND, KENNETH. Original circle painting, untitled, acrylic and ink on cloth, for cover of monograph $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> TOULOUSE-LAUTREC. <i>Histoires Naturelles,</i> 1899. With 22 original lithographs. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>A Collection of Poems,</i> [1711]. The first authoritative and complete collected Sonnets.$15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> LONDON, JACK. <i>The Call of the Wild.</i> 1903. First edition, first state jacket. $2,000 to 3,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> FROST, ROBERT. Autograph Manuscript of "Build Soil," 12 pp, 1932-1936. $15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> GOULD, GLENN. Glenn Gould's extensively annotated copy of Bach's Goldberg Variations $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> PLATH, SYLVIA. EARLY Autograph Letter Signed, about her beginnings as a writer, Northampton, MA, 1951. $7,000 to 10,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> HOUDINI, HARRY. A collection of 11 cast iron shackle and lock items from Houdini's personal collection. $20,000 to 30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> M4 ENGIMA MACHINE, with very rare RARE HYDRA KEY ENVELOPE. $400,000 to 600,000

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