Thursday, June 30, 2016

Antiquarian Book News

Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers

On July 12, Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers will be offering for sale the collection of signed and limited Modern First editions assembled by Dr. Philip Murray. The sale will be at the Gresham Hotel, O'Connell Street, Dublin.

Ever since Philip Murray’s earliest years in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, he has been an avid reader and collector of books. Starting with the Dandy and Beano comics, he progressed easily to more serious literature, aided by the discovery when a student in Dublin and later Galway of the great variety of second-hand bookshops to be found in both cities. While working in Australia he became a serious collector and also discovered the works of novelist Patrick White.

Murray’s main interest has always been twentieth-century literary fiction and poetry, and over many years he has built up an impressive range of books by some of Ireland’s most significant poets and novelists, as well as the best of British, American (North and South) and European authors.

In addition to frequenting second-hand bookshops wherever he went, Murray has always made full use of specialist catalogues. Through attending book readings and literary festivals, he met and befriended many authors. The London book dealer and publisher Bernard Stone of the Turret Press became a special friend.

Murray specialised in collecting signed copies of first editions. When in 1980 Sean Golden and Peter Fallon published an anthology of the work of thirty-six living Irish writers under the title Soft Day, Murray set out to get his copy signed by all the contributors.

In his memoir Adventures of a Book Collector, published in 2011 by Currach Press, Murray writes with the zeal of a true devotee of the thrill of the chase, the delights of reading, and the many adventures and friendships his passion has brought him.

Murray has now retired after many years as a general practitioner in Sligo, and the advent of internet buying has taken away much of the pleasure of book-hunting. Accordingly, he has decided to part with his very personal collection, assembled over half a century and more. It includes about 2,200 American and British first editions, of which about 75% are either signed or inscribed, and the works of many prominent Irish writers, besides some five hundred letters.

Wordsworth's Prayer Book Stolen

A valuable prayer book that once belonged to William Wordsworth has been stolen from a Lake District church. The book was taken from a display cabinet in St Oswald's Parish Church, Grasmere, last week. The prayer book, which dates from 1835, was removed from the cabinet after the glass was smashed, and then taken from the church premises. Police have now alerted antique & book dealers around the country to look out for it.

Thomson, Roddick & Medcalf

Thursday 14 July at 12 noon
Antiquarian & Collectable Books etc.
Coleridge House, Shaddongate, Carlisle CA2 5TU

To include James Bruce's copy of Maria Riddell, Voyages to the Madeira & Leeward Caribbean Isles, 1792; Collection of the works of Abel Chapman; 3 works from the Lowther Castle library; a very extensive collection of good modern academic, art & cultural reference books from the estate of a Belfast gentleman; American War of Independence manuscript account books; private press & limited editions; antiquarian works; Cumbria & the Lake District; bookshop stock & general books etc.

Catalogues on request or at
On view: Wednesday 13 July, 10am to 5pm & sale day from 9am. Enquiries: 01228 528939

Cambridge University Library

Cambridge University Library's 600th exhibition, 'Lines of Thought', is currently displaying papyrus
 fragments of lines from Homer's Odyssey believed to date from about the second century AD.

The team from Cambridge University Library will be in the Make and Create Tent at The Big Weekend
 on Parker's Piece, to explore the mythical stories of ancient Greece. You are invited to make your own
papyrus scroll to take home, and decorate it with your own epic, magical tales. This event is being
generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

This a free, drop-in event for children. Visit The Big Weekend website for more information. Saturday, 9 July, 2016 at 12:00-17:00

The Book of Mormon

A first edition of The Book of Mormon printed in upstate New York and linked to Joseph Smith's establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has sold at auction for more than $50,000. Swann Auction Galleries says the rare 1830 edition was sold on Tuesday for $52,500.

The buyer’s name was not released. The item had an estimated pre-sale price of $40,000 to $60,000. The auction house says the first edition of the scripture of the LDS church was released just days before the church’s official establishment in early April 1830.
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