Auctions | October 31, 2022

Did Sir Walter Raleigh Annotate This Book?

1612 edition of Jan Jansz Orlers description of the military exploits of Prince Maurice of Nassau, possibly owned by Sir Walter Raleigh

The preview of #13 opened at 12.30pm EDT on Wednesday 26th: bidding will begin on Wednesday 2nd November at 12.30pm EDT, and close for all lots at 12.30pm EST on Wednesday 9th November. The sale includes over 300 lots of books, maps, manuscripts, artwork and photographs.

Some highlights include the Osterley Park copy a French-language 1612 edition of Jan Jansz Orlers description of the military exploits of Prince Maurice of Nassau. This is a substantial book in its own right, beautifully illustrated but there is a fighting chance that this copy belonged to and was annotated by Sir Walter Raleigh which takes it to a whole new level – we are not sure, hence the tentative reserve (lot 1 res. $8000)

Jumping forward about 250 years, there is also a fascinating collection of rare or very rare publication dealing with the Draft Riots in New York city in July 1863. (lot 2 res. $4000) Further forward again there is a collection of 46 letters from mathematician, puzzler and Lewis Carroll expert, Martin Gardner. Dating between 1962-1975, they are addressed to his friend, the artist and mathematician, John Ward McClellan (lot 4 res. $1500).

Americana, with a Cornish twist: lot 5 is a presentation copy of an extremely rare 1809 edition of Anna Seward’s ‘Monody on Major Andre’, published in Penzance and here extra-illustrated with a silhouette portrait of Edward Collins Giddy, the book’s editor and publisher. (lot 5 res $1200).

Fine bindings are also covered: from the traditional, a very fine 3-vol set of the Thomas Rowlandson illustrated Dr. Syntax (lot 14 res $900), in red morocco by Morrell’s of London, to a photographer’s album, leatherbound but with the decoration on the covers being directly inspired by the photographer’s own x-ray photos of seahorses! (lot 15 res. $900)

There is also an interesting showing from the manuscript material: lot 244 (res 200) is a 4-page letter, sent from Danburgh, Georgia, to a one Timothy Jones of East Hartland, Ct., it includes an eye-witness account of a duel with pistols. “they took their stands 10 paces apart and at the worde five they boath fired… This took place in South Carolina but awful was the sene.”

The world of contemporary art is represented by the late great Keith Haring: he collaborated in an unexpected way to produce: the Cranbrook Kingswood School 1988 Yearbook (lot 35, res. $200) with cover art, divider pages, and other details by Keith Haring,  who served as artist-in-residence for the Cranbrook Academy of Art, working on a large mural installation in 1987.

Literature is not forgotten with lots from Woolf (lot 24), Miller (lot 29), Yeats (lot 26), Malcolm Lowry (lot 28), Flannery O’Connor (lot 27), Raymond Carver (lot 300) and others.

The Book as Art is represented by two of Islam Aly’s exquisite creations (lot 268 res. $150 and lot 269 res. $400), both from his Metamorphoses series: focusing on Islamic art and design Islam Aly notes that he ‘wants to reveal how patterns develop and morph, in a book that makes the viewer experience their beauty, elegeance, harmony, intricacy, and complexity”

See US sale #13 to both preview and bid, the catalogue alone can also be
found on (bids cannot be accepted via this site).