Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Courtesy of Dominic Winter Auctioneers

Plate from George Edwards' Natural History of Uncommon Birds, offered at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on Wednesday, estimated at £8,000–12,000.

ALDE will sell 224 lots from the library of Jacques Attali on Tuesday, June 25. Some excellent philosophical and literary editions to be had, including Alain-Fournier's Le Grand Meaulnes (1913), estimated at €14,000–16,000, and Vercors' Le Silence de la mer (1942), estimated at €12,000–15,000.

On Wednesday, June 26, Bonhams London will sell Fine Books, Manuscripts, Atlases & Historical Photographs, in 257 lots. A 1660–61 ledger kept by Edward Backwell to document the transactions of a bank which acted as paymaster to the Excise and the House of Commons is expected to lead the way, with estimates of £100,000–150,000. A first impression of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone could sell for £40,000–60,000 (another copy, with repairs, could still fetch £20,000–30,000). A set of proof copies of Blake's illustrations for The Book of Job is also estimated at £20,000–30,000. A 1737 copy of Horace taken by William Perry around the world on Captain Cook's Endeavour voyage is estimated at £15,000–25,000.

Also on Wednesday, The Library & Picture Collection of the late Martin Woolf Orskey at Dominic Winter Auctioneers, in 440 lots. Rating the top estimate is an illuminated Latin Book of Hours (Use of Rome) from around 1450 (£10,000–15,000). A lovely copy of George Edwards' Natural History of Uncommon Birds (1743–51), from the library Charles Shaw-Lefevre, 1st Viscount Eversley of Heckfield, could sell for £8,000–12,000. Some other interesting lots from this sale include a manuscript recipe book from around 1700 (£1,000–1,500); Caslon's 1785 Specimen of Printing Types (£700–1,000) and a number of other type specimens and auction catalogues. There are some very nice bindings, &c. too; I highly recommend a close look at this sale.

Rounding out Wednesday's sales, University Archives holds an auction of Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Photos & Books, in 259 lots. A military checklist signed by Edward IV is estimated at $35,000–40,000, while a Stalin letter from 1930 asking questions about American culture could sell for $30,000–35,000.

Chiswick Auctions sells Books & Works on Paper on Thursday, June 27, in 199 lots.

Also on Thursday, Fine Literature with Mystery & Detective Fiction at PBA Galleries, in 519 lots. A first edition, signed, of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind is estimated at $3,000–5,000; a presentation copy of Sinclair Lewis' Main Street rates the same estimate. Lots 457–519 will be sold without reserve.

A 428-lot sale of Livres & Manuscrits at Aguttes on Friday, June 28, will round out the week.