Auctions | October 7, 2014

<i>Wealth of Nations</i> Achieves Top Price at Bloomsbury Auctions&#8217; October Printed Books Sale


London—Bloomsbury Auctions’ Printed Books and Manuscripts Sale was a resounding success. With a full saleroom and active online platforms, high prices were achieved across the board. Francis A. Groom’s The Sportsman's Diary for Shooting Trips in Northern China and other documents sold well above estimate, a rare second edition of Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations and Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire achieved impressive sale prices.

With plenty of pre-sale interest and competitive bidding in the room, a strong hammer price was ultimately achieved for The Sportsman's Diary for Shooting Trips in Northern China, a signed presentation copy from the author Francis A. Groom to Douglas Jones (Secretary of the Union Insurance Society of Canton, of Shanghai, and later of Eelmont, Hoddesdon Hertfordshire, 1847-1923) was the highlight of Thursday’s sale. Also included in the lot were 3 original photographs of the shooting party with their trophies, Chinese permits for shooting, a permit to shoot in Hong Kong and the New Territories, manuscript maps, a medal commemorating the Shanghai Jubilee 1893, a pair of glasses and others [Lot 54, Sold for £9,300].

Two of the other lots selling well above estimate included a rare second edition of Adam Smith’s magnum opus, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations [Lot 151, Sold for £18,600] and Edward Gibbon’s—The History of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire [Lot 150, Sold for £16,120] , 6 vol., first edition, which is still considered a masterpiece of historical penetration and literary style, and remains one of the ageless historical works.


A lovely set of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Books sold for an impressive £11,160. The 5 volume set comprised; A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, The Haunted Man and The Ghost’s Bargain, with  illustrations by Leech, Stanfield, Tenniel and Stone. All five were in their original cloth bindings and in very good to near fine condition [Lot 178, Sold for £11,160].

Further Highlights

Thursday 2nd October 2014


Matthaeus Merian Dance of Death (1725)

[Lot 79] £5,952

An Ode Made on the Welcome News of the Safe Arrival and kind Reception of the Scottish Collony at Darien in America (1699) 

[Lot 8] £4,712

Giorgio Baffo

Le Poesie (1771) 

[Lot 108] £3,968

Alfred Crawhall Chapman [Notebook of tours in Britain and Europe] (1891-94) 

[Lot 297] £3,968

Treaty of Turkmanchai Copy of the Treatise relating to the Agreements made between Russia and Persia (1828) 

[Lot 252] £3,224

Horse racing on St. Helena St. Helena Turf Club, Second Meeting (1817)

[Lot 33]  £1,860

L. (C.A.) Views in South Wales and the Borders, album of watercolours, (1896) 

[Lot 53] £1,488

Jacobus Theodorus Tabernaemontanus Eicones Plantarum, seu Stirpium, Arborum Nempe, Fructicum, Herbarium, Fructuum, Lignorum, Radicum, omnis generis (1590) 

[Lot 77] £1,488

A Full and True Account Of the much lamented Death of Mrs. Elizabeth Dunvil [c. 1700] 

[Lot 9] £1,364