Auctions | July 8, 2016

Books and Works on Paper at Bloomsbury House, July 27

Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions will host an important sale of Books and Works on Paper on Wednesday 27 July 2016 with a fascinating selection of works relating to the history of travel and exploration. The auction will take place at Bloomsbury House, 24 Maddox Street.

A rare and complete Latin first edition of Hippocrates, Octoginta volumina, from 1525 is an important historic work and is expected to realize £7,000 - £10,000 (Lot 83). Marco Fabio Calvo of Ravenna undertook the project of preparing a complete Latin translation of the Hippocratic corpus in the early sixteenth century. A friend of Raphael, Calvo had translated Vitruvius into Italian for the use of the artist, and also prepared the first archeological mapping of ancient Rome. Calvo's Latin translation of Hippocrates was printed in Rome in 1525. 

Lot 42 is a first Latin edition of Narratio Regionum Indicarum per Hispanos Quosdam Devastatarum Verissima by Las Casas (BARTOLOME DE, Bishop of Chiapa) (Est: £4,000-£6,000). This classic work features the notorious series of engravings depicting atrocities committed by the Spanish settlers against the indigenous peoples in 1598. 

Highlighting the sales is an extremely rare and complete set of aquatints by Lt General Elisha Trapaud entitled Twenty Views of India from 1788 and estimated at £20,000 - £25,000 (Lot 28).  Lt. General Elisha Trapaud (1750-1828), soldier, engineer and artist, went to Sumatra in 1776 as an East India Company factor, staying for two years. He returned to London in 1778 but then joined the Madras Engineers in 1779. In 1783 it appears that Trapaud joined the expedition led by Captain John Macdonald to survey Sumatra that took three years and in 1786 he went to Penang. Trapaud was promoted to Lt. General in 1814 and died in 1828. 

An important botanical work included for auction is Lot 52, L'Heritier de Brutelle, Geraniologia, printed in 1787 and estimated at £2,500 - £3,500. Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle (15 June 1746 - 18 August 1800) was an 18th-century French botanist and magistrate. Born into an affluent upper-class Parisian family his connections with the French Royal Court secured him the position of Superintendent of Parisian Waters and Forests at the age of twenty-six. Starting as an amateur and developing into a self-made scientist, he studied native trees and shrubs, gaining interest in exotic flora. He soon corresponded with other important botanists at the time, among them Joseph Banks and James Edward Smith and had a spell working at Kew Gardens. 

Adding a dash of irony (given the reputation of the man and his most famous character), also up for sale is Ian Fleming’s copy of Hoyle's Hymns and Songs for Temperance Societies (Lot 197), inscribed in pencil to friend and golf partner Randal Hugh "Hughie" Vivian Smith "Swing it! - Ian", estimated at a modest £600 - £800.