Rare Books at Auction this Week

Before we look ahead to this week’s sales, a quick update on the volume from George Washington’s library that was offered on Saturday: it sold for $115,000.

                                                                                                                                                                         Three sales to watch this week, all on Wednesday, January 31.

                                                                                                                                                                                 At Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Printed Books, Maps & Documents, in 565 lots. Includes the Edward Elgar collection of Peter and Anne Duckers (lots 229-277) and the second part of David Lansley’s collection of Lewis Carroll (lots 405-434), and there are many lots of interest to the geology buff. An Elgar autograph manuscipt for an offertorium performed at the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911 is estimated at £3,000-5,000, as is a James Boswell letter to Catharine Macaulay. Sir Hugh Walpole’s copy of Dombey and Son in original parts could fetch £1,000-1,500. A 1635 London Bible in an elaborately-decorated binding (pictured) is estimated at £400-600.

                                                                                                                                                                       

binding.pngAn online sale of Books and Works on Paper in 175 lots from Forum Auctions; most of the estimates for this sale are in three figures. Among the lots that struck me are Patrick Woodroffe’s original dust-jacket artwork for a 1973 edition of Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man (est. £600-800), a group lot of Golden Cockerel Press books (£300-400) and a first edition in wrappers of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Parasite (£150-200).

                                                                                                                                                                                  Chiswick Auctions hosts a Printed Books & Manuscripts sale, in 132 lots. A much-altered 15th-century Book of Hours in a contemporary binding is estimated at £1,500-2,500, while a copy of the Olympia Press first edition Lolita could sell for £1,200-1,500. A lot of 41 volumes of the Tauchnitz editions of P.G. Wodehouse could fetch £800-1,200. A manuscript introduction and various associated documents relating to William Johnstone White’s Sketches of Characters (1818) is estimated at £100-150.

                                                                                                                                                                                Image credit: Dominic Winter Auctioneers

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