October 2010 | Jeremy Dibbell

Auction Report: Arcana II & English Bibliophile Sale

The second round of Arcana sales was held yesterday at Christie's London. The sale realized £2,281,225, with 54 of 65 lots selling. The first edition of Mark Catesby's Natural History of the Carolinas &c. was the top seller, making £241,250; Theodor de Bry's Florilegium renovatum et auctum (1641) with contemporary hand coloring sold for £181,250. Seven other lots made more than £100,000, including the very lovely uncut, unrestored copy of Johnson's Dictionary (1755), which made £157,250 (well over estimates). The copy of Brant's edition of Aesop (1501) with a great provenance also did better than expected, making £139,250.

Today Sotheby's London hosted the The Library of an English Bibliophile, in 149 lots. Full results are here; the sale realized £3,160,275, with 120 of the lots selling. The presentation copy of Dickens' A Christmas Carol to his close friend W.C. Macready was, as expected, the top seller, at £181,250. A first edition of Wuthering Heights surpassed estimates, selling for £163,250. The Hogan-Doheny copy of Austen's Pride and Prejudice fetched £139,250 (better than expected), and the first edition of Shakespeare's collected poems (1640) made £133,250.

An inscribed copy in original wraps of Joyce's Ulysses made £121,1250, while a first edition of Darwin's Origin sold for £127,250, a first edition Frankenstein made £115,250, and a Kelmscott Chaucer made £97,250. Galileo's Dialogo (1632) better than doubled its estimate at £91,250.

The set of all five editions of The Compleat Angler published during Walton's lifetime did not find a buyer.