This month, UK-based auction house Dominic Winter Auctioneers is celebrating its 30thanniversary with 180 lots of Fine Books & Manuscripts organized under six headings: early English and continental literature; historical documents, manuscripts, and autograph letters; natural history; foreign travel and exploration, maps and atlases; British travel and topography, maps and atlases; and Folio Society facsimiles.Estimates are quite reasonable, with many items under or near £1000, and the highest estimate £20,000 to £30,000. With a large variety of subject material covered, the following are some interesting lots which may pique your interest.
The sale’s highest estimate, as previously mentioned £20,000 to £30,000, belongs to a set of 49 (out of 52) first state playing-card county maps, circa 1717. Dominic Winter calls these maps “one of the rarest items in British cartographic history,” and the record seems to back up this claim: the Bodleian Library has 18 cards, the Beineke 17, and the British Library and Cambridge University Libraries none. These maps as cards are truly a unique and interesting format. They can be found in the sale as lot 146.
Two books of religious nature ought to be mentioned, and they are notboth Bibles. Lot 20 isthe Bible, in an embroidered binding over white satin, printed by Robert Barker in 1617. The binding is something else, described as: the covers with central oval of silver thread stumpwork incorporating two grotesque animal heads, each enclosing a female emblematic figure in coloured silks and silver thread (the figure to upper cover carries a cornucopia and open book, the figure to the lower cover holding a palm frond), the backgrounds with a few spangles still present, the majority now worn off, floral cornerpieces, the spine in five compartments with floral motifs in coloured silks. This particular bible is estimated £2,000 to £3,000. Further on into the sale, lot 62 is an early 19thcentury illuminated manuscript Qur’an originating from Qajar Iran. Decorated throughout, the binding is a Qajar-era floral lacquer. This beautiful Middle Eastern work is estimated £1,000 to £2,000.
Autograph material makes up a portion of the sale, and an ALS by C. S. Lewis, in which he discusses The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, and The Wind in the Willows with pupils of Grittleton House School in 1952 is quite remarkable. Lewis’ letter is estimated £3,000 to £5,000 as lot 88.
Two maps rank among the most noteworthy items in the sale. Lot 115 is Herman Moll’s A New and Exact Map of the Dominions of the King of Great Britain on ye Continent of North America, printed around 1715, is estimated £4,000 to £6,000, while the following item, lot 116, Henri Abraham Chatelain’s Carte tres curieuse de la Mer du Sud  includes a large engraved wallmap on four sheets depicting California as an island. Chatelain’s work is estimated £8,000 to £12,000.
And finally, from the other side of the world, lot 134 is what the auction house calls “the famous deluxe edition of the earliest and most comprehensive treatise on Chinese architecture.” This Jie Li’s Li Mingzhong Yingzao Fashi, in eight volumes, printed in Shanghai in 1925. This work was written as a handbook of government standards for building methods, materials, and manpower, and has been referenced as the most important primary text for the study of ancient Chinese architecture (Feng). This text first appeared in 1103 and was rediscovered only in 1919. Jie Li’s Yingzao Fashiis estimated £4,000 to £5,000.
Dominic Winter Auctioneer’s 30thanniversary sale of Fine Books & Manuscriptsis slated for September 12, 2018 at 12 noon GMT+1, taking place at their saleroom in Gloucestershire, UK. The entire catalog is available online here. Online bidding may be done through the-saleroom.com and Invaluable.