20th November Book Sale

04/12/2012     Chiswick Curates

Printed Books and Manuscripts – 20 November sale

In last week’s sale of Antiques and Fine Art, the first 160 lots of Printed Books and Manuscripts performed exceptionally well, with about 85% of lots finding buyers, and with strong prices in every category. Just a few highlights will suffice to give some idea of the range and variety of the section. Prices do NOT include buyer’s premium.

Lot 2. Coke’s The First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England ... fifth edition., 1656. This was a truly lovely copy of an important legal text, in completely original condition, with its rare folding table, and it sold to a private collector for £480 against an estimate of £300-500.

Lot 24. A fine French manuscript genealogy manuscript on vellum, 1785. This highly decorative manuscript sold for £320 against an estimate of £70-100.

Lot 44. Fleming’s Goldfinger, 1959, a fine copy of the first edition in dust-jacket. Demand for good copies of Fleming’s classic Bond novels, particularly the earlier titles in decent dust-jackets, continues unabated, and our copy reflected this, selling for £520 against an estimate of £300-500.

Lot 65. An archive relating to George Bernard Shaw, collected by his chauffer of over 32 years, and including material signed and inscribed by Shaw and his wife. This sold very well to a telephone bidder for £1,200 against an estimate of £400-600.

Lot 78. Charles Dickens’s The Chimes, 1845, The Battle of Life, 1846, The Cricket on the Hearth, 1846, and The Ghost’s Bargain, 1848, all fine copies of first editions. Perhaps the time of year added to the attraction of this lovely set of Dickens’s Christmas stories, helping them to realise a top estimate £1,200.

Lots 110, 111 and 112. The Donald McGill Archive. This important archive, comprising both original artwork and a substantial collection of postcards divided into three lots, “performed” exceptionally well, reflecting a “huge” amount of interest on the view and “stiff” competition on the telephones and internet, to “fnarr fnarr” exceed its estimate, realising a total of £3,850.

Lot 116. An album of original drawings of Victorian street life, possibly by Robert James Moser. This little lot was a particular favourite of mine, but we estimated it quite modestly at £200-300 because we could not be entirely sure of its attribution. In the end, the superb and poignant quality of the draughtsmanship ensured an excellent price of £1,100.

Lot 142A. A Collection of newspaper cuttings announcing performances at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, between 1769 and 1816, bound into 2 albums. This remarkable, and quite possibly unique, archive, sold to a private collector for £820 against an estimate of £300-500.

We are currently accepting entries for our next Book and Manuscript sale to be held in January 2013. For a free valuation, without obligation, please send details, and ideally pictures, to nicholas@chiswickauctions.co.uk or call him on 07746 713928.