An A-Z of Antiquarian Books for Literature Lovers

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Thursday 13th March Bibliophile sale saw a group of 59 tinted lithographs of France, Italy and Sicily sell for £2,108 alongside antiquarian books and manuscripts covering subjects from architecture to zoology.

The fascinating lithographs, from the late 19th century, [Lot 101] were succeeded by a series of views of China produced by Irish born writer Rev. George Newenham Wright. The plates, engraved by English architect and artist Thomas Allom, included scenes depicting Chinese workers ‘loading tea-junks at Tseen-tang’ and ‘China Opium Smokers’ amongst others. The four volumes bound in two sold for £854. [Lot 100]

Another travel and topographical work to attract a great deal of interest was The World displayed; or a Curious Collection of Voyages and Travels by Christopher Smart, Oliver Goldsmith and Samuel Johnson. The 20 volumes in 10 mixed edition included folding maps of the Americas, plans of Quebec and details of the first voyage of Christopher Columbus to America. It sold for £585. [Lot 36]

A section of works on the subjects of art & architecture included Baroque painter and architect, Andrea Pozzo’s work on perspective, Perspectivae Pictorum atque Architectorum…, which sold for £463 [Lot 62] and John Piper’s Stowe by artist John Piper and architectural writer Mark Girouard achieved £488. The out-of-series copy was from an edition limited to 300 that was signed by both the artist and the writer. [Lot 301]

Elsewhere in the sale The Whole Works of Homer, translated by George Chapman, a 16th century dramatist famous for his translations of Homer, received fierce bidding selling for £1,586 [Lot 332] and Updike’s Magnum Opus, The Book of Common Prayer doubled its pre-sale estimate selling for £671. The work was one of the most beautifully-designed American books of the 20th century and took two years to produce. [Lot 303]

The auction was held at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Godalming saleroom in Surrey on Thursday 13th March. Full results are available online at The next sale will be Books from the Ecclesiastical Collection of Joseph Mendham (1769-1856) on Thursday 20th March, to include The Holy Bull, And Crusado of Rome (1588). The full catalogue is available to view at


The full catalogue for the sale is available online.

Click here to view a fully illustrated online catalogue.

Click here to view a pdf of the sale catalogue

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