On 18 September, Chiswick Auctions will be holding its fourth sale dedicated to Books, Maps and Manuscripts.
Our first three sales in this category were hugely successful: a few highlights give some idea of their scope. In the November sale from last year, Francis Bacon’s heavily ‘annotated’ copy of Edweard Muybridge’s The Human Figure in Motion realised £9,400, more than double its top estimate, while Oscar Wilde’s The Sphinx, a limited edition presentation copy to E. F. Benson, signed and inscribed by Wilde, made £8,000.
In our 16 March sale this year, La Fontaine’s Contes et Nouvelles from 1762, complete with its famously risqué illustrations and in a beautiful contemporary morocco binding, made £1,700 (estimate £700-1,000). The sale also included two real surprises: a folding board game titled The Pirate and Traders of the West Indies from 1847, with an estimate of just £100-200, realised £2,900, and, two lots later, Gayer’s Foot Prints, published in Calcutta in 1909 – a rather unprepossessing book in appearance – far exceeded its estimate of £70-100 to realise £1,100 (the market for Indian travel and topographical books is particularly strong at the moment).
In our sale of 22 June, Crispin van de Pass’s Hortus Floridus of 1616, the most famous and exquisite of early Florilegia, realised £4,000, and Nicholas Machievelli’s hugely influential The Prince, in its first English edition of 1641, and in a contemporary vellum binding, sold for £12,500 (estimate £7,000-10,000)
We are currently accepting entries for our sale on 28 September (the closing date is the end of August). Building on a collection which has already been consigned, we are looking to include 19th-century (and earlier) books on science and natural history, including those with fine coloured plates, in addition to our usual eclectic selection of books and manuscripts on any subject and from any period, concentrating on the fine, rare and beautiful – and even the downright unusual!