• <b><center>Sotheby’s<br> The Library of Henry Rogers<br>Broughton, 2nd Baron Fairhaven<br>Part I<br>18 May 2022</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> John James Audubon and James Bachman. <i>The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.</i> New York: J.J. Audubon, 1845-1848. £150,000 to £250,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Thomas and William Daniell. <i>Oriental Scenery,</i> London, 1795-1807 [but 1841], 6 parts in 3 volumes, folio. £150,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Mark Catesby. <i>The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands...</i> London, 1731-1743, 2 volumes. £100,000 to £150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 18:</b> Gould and Lear. <i>A monograph of the Ramphastidae,</i> 1854; <i>Illustrations of the family of Psittacidae,</i> 1832. £60,000 to £90,000.
  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Graphic Design<br>May 19, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Adolphe Mouron Cassandre, <i>Triplex,</i> pencil maquette, 1930. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Claude Fayette Brandon, <i>The Chap Book,</i> circa 1895. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Various Artists, a complete set of <i>Das Plakat,</i> set of 10 hardcover volumes, 1912-21. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Javier Gómez Acebo & Máximo Viejo Santamarta, <i>San Sebastian / XI Circuitto Automovilista,</i> 1935. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann May 19:</b> Ephraim Moses Lilien, <i>Berliner Tageblatt,</i> circa 1899. $12,000 to $18,000.
  • <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Birds.- Gould (John). <i>The Birds of Great Britain,</i> 5 vol., first edition, [1862-]1873. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Canadiana.- Cockburn (Maj. Gen. James Pattison, 1779-1847), After. [Six Landscape of Quebec City and Six Views of Niagara Falls], 2 suites in 1 vol., comprising 12 aquatints, 1833. £30,000 to £40,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Ulysses,</i> number 218 of 150 copies on verge d'arches, Paris, Shakespeare & Company, 1922. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> first paperback edition, signed by the author, 1997. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Du Maurier (Daphne). <i>Rebecca,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author to her governess, 1938. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Magna Carta.- An exact copy of King John's Great Charter of 1215, transcribed from the fire damaged but legible manuscript in the Cottonian Library, British Library, J. Pine, 1733. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Woolf (Virginia). <i>Mrs Dalloway,</i> first edition, Hogarth Press, 1925. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Tudor exiles opposed to the Marian regime.- Mary I (Queen of England) Letter signed "Marye the Quene" to Lord Paget, signed at head, titled at head "By the King and Quene", 1556. £8,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> America.- Newfoundland.- Whitbourne (Sir Richard). <i>A discourse and discouery of Nevv-found-land…,</i> second edition, By Felix Kingston, 1622. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th May 2022</b>
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Cervantès Saavedra (Miguel de). <i>El Ingenioso Hidalgo Do Quixote de la Mancha,</i> 4 vol., Madrid, Por Don Joaquin Ibarra, 1780. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Stubbs (George). <i>The Anatomy of the Horse,</i> first edition, first issue, Printed by J. Purser, for the Author, 1766. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum, May 26:</b> Cardiology.- Lower (Richard). <i>Tractatus de Corde item De Motu & Colore Sanguinus et Chyli in cum Transitu,</i> first edition, 1669. £5,000 to £7,000.
  • <b><center>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Old master, modern and contemporary art<br>Maps & Orientalia<br>8th-9th-10th of June 2022
    <b>Gonnelli Auction House:</b> Giuseppe Aloja, Veduta di Napoli dalla parte di Chiaia. Starting price: € 1650
    <b>Gonnelli Auction House:</b> Abraham Ortelius, Mappa dell'Atlantico del Nord. Starting price: € 280
    <b>Gonnelli Auction House:</b> Max Klinger, Für alle. 1884. Starting price: € 360
    <b>Gonnelli Auction House:</b> Katsushita Taito II, Kacho gaden. Starting price: € 320
    <b>Gonnelli Auction House:</b> Blub, Galileo Galilei. Starting price: € 100

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2019 Issue

Simon Beattie - “The books you never knew you wanted………..”


Simon Beattie is an English rare book dealer who founded the popular Facebook group, "We Love Endpapers."

If there is a trend in collecting nowadays, it is that collectors, more and more, are seeking increasingly obscure material, unique items that no one else has.”

This month Rare Book Hub corresponded with Simon Beattie, 44, an antiquarian specialist based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire in South East England which borders Greater London. Beattie bills himself as a specialist in “the books you never knew you wanted.”

His website displays his talents as a bookseller, translator and composer. It states that after almost a dozen years in the London book trade, he set up on his own in 2010, and two years later was included among the winners of the Smarta 100 Awards for ‘the most resourceful, original, exciting small businesses in the UK’. He is the founder of the popular Facebook public group “We Love Endpapers,which now has over 4,000 members.

Because of the time difference between Hawaii and England RBH conducted this interview via email:

RBH: Can you tell us a little about your career in bookselling?

SB: I began my career as a bookseller straight out of university, in 1998, when I got a job working for Bernard Quaritch Ltd. in London. I set up as an independent bookseller in 2010, so next year will be my 10th anniversary. Having studied modern languages at university, my main interest is European (cross-)cultural material. Another interest is music, as I have sung in choirs since I was eight years old; I now also write choral music. I think the only hobby I have been doing for longer than singing is reading.

I became involved with the world of rare books just as the Internet was starting to have an effect. It’s a wonderful tool, and a rich source of information when doing research. Though I tend to agree with the late Bill Reese’s remark, made in 2009, that ‘in the age of the Internet one has to have the best, the cheapest, or the only copy.’

Although I enjoy the benefits the Internet has brought, I sell almost nothing online. Most of our sales are to people on our mailing list, either by catalogue, or at book fairs. I have no interest in having thousands of books in stock and engaging in faceless, impersonal transactions with people I don’t know. I’m a bespoke bookseller. I enjoy getting to know people, understanding their interests, and then finding books for them.

Although we list our books on third-party websites (such as ABE), I don’t like the lack of control you have over how the books are presented. While social media can be a great tool in developing relationships with customers and colleagues, in a friendly, visual way, right across the globe, I still come back to the traditional catalogue, whether printed or electronic for selling.

We’ve just had a new website built (www.simonbeattie.co.uk); there are no books to browse, and no search facility. What you can do, however, is sign up for our e-lists. That way, you get first notice of new stock, and we have control how the books are presented, in catalogue format.

RBH: Though the Internet is set up for finding books you know you want, Beattie makes much of “finding the books you didn’t know you wanted.”

SB: We have a word, of course, for these chance encounters when looking for books: serendipity. A word which was, incidentally, coined by a collector (Horace Walpole, in 1754). It’s something that humans, by their nature, enjoy; serendipity was voted the UK’s favourite word in the year 2000, and Peter Howard gave his legendary Berkeley bookstore the very same name.

People like browsing. So it’s an irony that we use the word ‘browse’ when looking online. For if you’re searching for books to buy, that is exactly what you cannot do. Book-buying on the Internet requires the buyer to know what it is she is looking for; databases are weak at allowing discovery.

Beattie quoted Mark Forsyth in “The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the Delight of not getting what you wanted:”

The Internet is a splendid invention, and it won’t go away. If you know you want something, the Internet can get it for you. My point … is that it’s not enough to get what you already know you wanted. The best things are the things you never knew you wanted until you got them. The Internet takes your desires and spits them back out at you, consummated. You search, you put in the words you know, the things that were already on your mind, and it gives you back a book or a picture or a Wikipedia article. But that is all. The unknown unknown must be found otherwhere.’

When I set up my business ten years ago this was certainly what I had in view. I’ve always enjoyed what you might call footnotes to history. I wanted to offer people things they’d never seen before, quirky stuff, ‘the books you never knew you wanted’.

If there is a trend in collecting nowadays, it is that collectors, more and more, are seeking increasingly obscure material, unique items that no one else has.

RBH: Beattie is well known in the trade as the founder of a popular Facebook public groupWe love Endpapers.” (www.facebook.com/groups/WeLoveEndpapers/RBH sees something interesting on that page almost every day. What gave you the idea? and does it surprise you how rapidly it's grown and the amount of interesting art that it generated?

SB: My only motive, if it was a motive, for starting the group was that I know various people in the rare book world who say ‘those are nice endpapers’, or ‘look at these’ at a book fair or when visiting a bookshop. I thought a Facebook group would be a good forum for people to share pictures of attractive endpapers as and when they come across them. Initially, I intended it to be just for bookseller and librarian friends of mine, but soon opened it up to anyone who may be interested. It’s been fascinating, and was even featured on The Guardian website earlier this year.

Yes, I have been amazed at the response. The group’s just over three years old and we have well over 4,000 members. It may just be eye-candy to some, but it can be educational, too. You can learn about marbling techniques, or how particular kinds of paper were made. Whatever the reason people join, I’m glad they enjoy it. Any book can be posted, regardless of date, and it’s been interesting to see the number of new books featured. Modern publishers have really upped their game when it comes to book design.

RBH: Do you have any thoughts about the UK vs the US book scene? Are there any fairs or annual events you like?

SB: I enjoy coming to the US, and seeing friends, customers, and colleagues there. I don’t have an open shop and exhibiting at a book fair gives me an opportunity to showcase what I have.

Pop-up shops’ are sometimes heralded as the new thing; book fairs have been doing it for centuries. There used to be a rhythm in the international fair calendar, with roughly one a month: Stuttgart, California, Milan, New York, Paris, London. More recently, the fairs have all begun to edge earlier and earlier, so that the year is now somewhat top-heavy.

The proximity of the California and New York fairs, now only a month apart, in the past few years has proved particularly challenging in terms of finding new stock, overall logistics and, put bluntly, cashflow.

For 2020, I have decided, sadly, to give Pasadena a miss so that we can focus on New York, which has always been a highlight. Another difficulty in recent years has been exchange rates, at least for buying. I suppose I’m fairly sanguine about it. Perhaps my margins can’t be what they were a few years ago, but it offers US customers a good deal. Now more than ever is the time to buy British!

RBH: Do you have any current enthusiasms to share?

SB:I follow the various British Library blogs; Medieval Manuscripts, European Studies, and Untold Lives are particularly good. (www.bl.uk/blogs/) In print, I still look forward to The Book Collector (www.thebookcollector.co.uk/) and the Deutsches Literaturarchiv’s Marbacher Magazine, (in German) and have been enjoying the recent series on independent historic libraries in The London Library Magazine. (www.londonlibrary.co.uk/about-us/magazine)

The Women in the Book Trade initiatives, on both sides of the Atlantic, go from strength to strength, and the series of interviews on the Fine Books & Collections website, with young librarians and booksellers, help highlight ongoing vitality in the rare book world. (www.finebooksmagazine.com)

RBH: Anything else you like to comment on?

SB: Going back to what I said earlier, looking for books online can be hard work. You can sift through a lot of dross to find a nugget worth having. I find I return again and again to booksellers I like, people with a good eye for books, and whom I trust. I appreciate things that are well described, with no nasty surprises when they arrive. Sometimes one has to pay a little more, for better material, but I’m happy with that.


We Love Endpapers public group on Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/WeLoveEndpapers/

Simon Beattie website: www.simonbeattie.co.uk

Links to Simon Beattie elists at: simonbeattie.co.uk/bookseller/

Simon Beattie

84 The Broadway

Chesham, Buckinghamshire HP5 1EG

United Kingdom


Office number: +44 (0)1494 784954.

Office and hours: Beattie has an office in Chesham, and it is generally staffed Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, though it’s probably best to make an appointment.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>Initial A on vellum, Cologne around 1300. Est: €25,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>J. Androuet du Cerceau, <i> Bastiments de France,</i> 1607. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>E. Cerillo, <i>Dipinti murali di Pompei,</i> 1886. Est: €2,500
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>L. de Austria, <i>Compilatio de astrorum scientia,</i> 1489. Est: €9,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>B. Besler, <i>Hortus Eystettensis,</i> around 1750. Est: €50,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br><i>PAN,</i> 1895-1900. Est: €15,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>F. Colonna, <i>Hypnerotomachia Poliphili,</i> 1545. Est: €40,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>F. Schiller, <i>Die Räuber,</i> 1781. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>J. Albers, <i>Formulation : Articulation,</i> 1972. Est: €18,000
    <center><b>Ketterer Rare Books<br>Auction on May 30</b>
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>G. B. Ramusio, <i>Delle navigationi e viaggi,</i> 1556-1613. Est: €14,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>M. Wied Neuwied, <i>Reise in das Innere Nord-America,</i> 1839-41. Est: €12,000
    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 30:</b><br>E. Paolozzi, <i>Bunk,</i> 1972. Est: €25,000

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