Books & Works on Paper, Darwin Letter at Bloomsbury Auctions, June 22

Books and Works on Paper copy.jpegBloomsbury Auctions will be hosting the auction of Books & Works on Paper at 24 Maddox Street, London W1S 1PP, at 12noon. The sale comprises 416 lots, ranging from in estimate from £100 - £6,000, with works from a wide range of collecting categories, notably English Literature & History, Autographs and Memorabilia, Art & Architecture, Travel and Sport, amongst others.

Of particular interest is an autograph letter signed by renowned English naturalist, Charles Darwin. The letter (lot 140, est. £4,000-£6,000) is written on mourning stationary to an unknown recipient, and reads: "Four editions of the Origin have appeared; that published last month is considerably added to and can be purchased through any bookseller. I am glad to hear that you are interested in the subject”, Down, Beckenham, Kent, 17 December [1866]. Darwin received a request from his publisher John Murray for a fourth edition of 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’ in February 1866. This edition was released in November and it featured several corrections and additions to the previous ones, including a discussion on whether one or many forms of life first appeared.

Other sale highlights include a first paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone from 1997 (lot 214, est. £2,500-£3,500), as well as a first edition of Ian Fleming’s Diamonds Are Forever from 1956 (lot 193, est. £700-£900).

A beautiful engraved double-hemisphere world map with original hand-colouring is estimated to reach £700-£900. The 1746 map by Homann Heirs, Nuremberg, (lot 344) shows inset northern, southern and oblique hemispheres, diagrams of the earth's position at the solstices, and includes Latin and French title cartouches of allegorical figures in the upper corners.

From the Science & Natural History section, lot 369 is a first edition of The Historie of Foure-footed Beastes by Edward Topsell, from 1607 (est. £1,000-£1,500). Topsell’s fantastical works are remembered for their detailed illustrations, such as the rhinoceros based on Albrecht Dürer’s 1515 woodcut.

Six botanical engravings from Nuremberg, [c.1613 and later] by Basilius Besler also feature (lot 370, est. £2,500- £3,500). The engravings include irises, hyacinths, sweet peas, caryophyllus and campanula.

From the Sporting group, a set of first editions of Chinese Kung-Fu Karato by Leong Fu (lot 416, est. £250-£350) is offered. The set is in 21 original parts, with illustrations by the author, original illustrated wrappers and within its original postal box. The editions were self-published in Ipoh, Perak, Malasia, in 1958.

Auction time/date: 12pm, Thursday 22nd June 2017 Auction location: 24 Maddox Street, London W1S 1PP 

Image: Lot 140: Autograph letter signed by Charles Darwin, 1866, (est. £4,000-£6,000)

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