Auctions | November 11, 2022

Opera Books from the Earl of Harewood Plus Harry Potter First Editions to Auction

Courtesy Tennants Auctioneers

Vocal scores for an unknown opera or musical performance, inscribed ‘Adolph Prince D Angleterre 1796

A collection of Opera scores and books from the Library of the late 7th Earl of Harewood are to be sold in Tennants Auctioneers’ Books, Maps and Manuscripts Sale on November 23. George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood (1923-2011) was a music lover with a particular passion for opera; during a long career he was Director of the Royal Opera House, Chairman of the board of the English National Opera, Managing Director of both the English National Opera and the English National Opera North, and Governor of the BBC.

Following his death, part of his extraordinary library was donated by the late Lady Harewood to Opera North, and whilst the majority of the collection is being retained by the company, many exciting lots are now up for auction, offering a rare opportunity to buy a piece of this wonderful collection.

Highlights from the collection include a vocal score for ‘Carmen’ by Georges Bizet, inscribed and signed by the composer (estimate: £300-500 plus buyer’s premium), a signed copy of a limited edition copy of Benjamin Brittain’s ‘Gloriana’ (estimate: £500-800), and a copy of Brittain’s ‘Sonata in C for Cello from 1961, inscribed after its first performance by the star cellist and dedicatee of the work Mstislav Rostropovic ‘To Lady and Lord Harewood, As a souvenir of the first performance of this wonderful work. With warmest love hoping for more frequent reunions, Mstislav Rostropovic (estimate: £200-400).

Further intriguing lots include what appears to be vocal scores for an unknown opera or musical performance, inscribed ‘Adolph Prince D Angleterre 1796’. Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge (1774-1850) was the tenth child of George III, who lived in Germany most of his adult life, commanding the Hanoverian Guards. It is unclear if the prince’s name is the title of the work, or if it was presented to him. The vocal score, which is in Italian, French and German, is on offer with an estimate of £500-800.

From other vendors in the sale come two first edition Harry Potter books; a 1997 first paperback edition of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ (estimate: £4,000-6,000), and a further copy of the same volume (estimate: £2,000-3,000). Following the theme of children’s literature, a 1911 first edition of ‘Peter and Wendy’ by J.M. Barrie is offered with an estimate of £1,500-2,500, and a 1931 volume of Aesop’s Fables, published by The Gregynog Press, is offered with an estimate of £2,000-3,000.

A fully illustrated catalogue for the sale will be available at