Thursday, January 30, 2014

Antiquarian book news from Ibookcollector

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

William Morris’ The Wood Beyond The World, one of the earliest fantasy novels, sold for £2,196 alongside other printed books and works on paper at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Bibliophile Sale on Thursday 23rd January.

William Morris was a writer, artist and textile designer who was heavily involved in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the Arts and Crafts movement, of which he was the leader. The movement was developed during the 1850s by a group of friends who supported traditional artistic processes and, later, supported social and economic reform. As a designer, William Morris was a passionate believer that the design and manufacture of a product should not be separated and he insisted on learning the techniques and understanding the materials used in anything produced in his workshop. He said, "without dignified, creative human occupation people became disconnected from life"

In 1891 he founded the Kelmscott Press in Hammersmith, London, where he produced limited edition books in the elegant and classic style of the fifteenth century. It was at Kelmscott Press in 1894 that this copy was printed by Morris and the frontispiece designed by Edward Burne-Jones, a friend and artist also closely associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. This rare survivor was one of only 350 that were made on paper at the press. [Lot 264]

BloomsburyConsidered by many as the father of modern fantasy novels, William Morris was the first writer to create a completely imaginary and supernatural world. The Wood Beyond The World is believed to have heavily influenced C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series and other post-war authors including J. R. R. Tolkien.

In turn, their influence can be seen in more modern fantasy novels, some of which reached top prices elsewhere in the auction. A first edition of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with signed presentation inscription from the author ‘To Harry’ on the title page sold for £1,037. [Lot 328] Another signed copy of Rowling’s work, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was sold with related ephemera achieving £1,159. [Lot 329]

Full prices realised from this sale can be found online. The next Bibliophile sale will take place on Thursday 13th February and will be followed by the sale of a collection of natural history books from the library of a south-coast gentleman on Thursday 27th February in London.

Bonhams - Los Angeles
Los Angeles — 2014 promises to be an exciting year for the discerning book collector as Bonhams brings to auction a tasteful selection of ornithology, photography, art, and literature in its Fine Books and Manuscripts auction on February 10, set to coincide with the annual California ABAA Book Fair in Pasadena.

The sale opens with a strong selection of ornithological titles, including the Lockwood octavo edition of Audubon's Birds of America (est. $15,000-20,000), John Gould's A Monograph of the Trogonidae… ($16,000-18,000), Mathews' The Birds of Australia and The Birds of Norfolk (est. $15,000-25,000) and Rothschild's The Avifauna of Laysan and the Neighbouring Islands (est. $15,000-25,000), one of the first and most important books on Hawaiian birds. This section, which all originates from the same source, also includes some handsome original artwork, including a Louis Agassiz Fuertes watercolour of Germain's Peacock Pheasant and Pea Hen and Charles Robert Knight's oil of three Lady Amherst's Pheasants (each est. $4,000-6,000).

Bonhams is very pleased to offer as well a selection of vintage photographic images of China taken between 1910-1929 by John Zumbrun, an American businessman and the owner of the Camera Craft store in Peking, including a large and stunning panorama of Beijing (est. $20,000-30,000).

Some other sale highlights include an excellent copy of Foujita's A Book of Cats (est. $60,000-80,000) and a very rare and fine copy of Hamilton and D'Hancarville's Collection of Etruscan Greek and Roman Antiquities from the Cabinet of the Hon. W. Hamilton … (est. $75,000-100,000). This last title is almost unknown in the full four volumes, and certainly not in a contemporary binding.

The sale closes with small but interesting sections of Literature and Philosophy, including the first collaboration of Marx and Engels (est. $6,000-8,000) and a fine copy of Hume's Treatise of Human Nature (est. $15,000-20,000), followed by some excellent examples of Western Americana, including George Bonnell's Topographical Description of Texas (1840; est. $8,000-12,000) and Leonard Kip's California Sketches…. (1850, est. $5,000-7,000), the former the first book on Texas and the latter an important account of Gold Rush-era California.

Preview begins in San Francisco January 31-February 2, coinciding with the 2014 San Francisco Book and Print Fair. The following weekend Bonhams will hold extended preview hours in Los Angeles to accommodate attendees of the book fair in Pasadena, opening 10-5 Thursday the 6th through Sunday the 9th. The sale will be held Monday the 10th at 10am, simulcast between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

More detailed information of the auction is available here .

Two weeks after the Fine Books and Manuscripts auction, Bonhams will feature a large collection of Fine Press books and Books on Books in the February 24 Period Art & Design auction at Bonhams in San Francisco. Included are examples from legendary Bay Area presses Arion Press, Grabhorn Press and Allen Press, as well as other American and British presses including Barbarian Press, Bird & Bull Press, Doves Press, Essex House Press, Gehenna Press, Golden Cockerel Press, Gregynog Press, the Limited Editions Club, Pennyroyal Press and Trianon Press.
New York Public Library

A number of maps have recently been discovered as missing from the Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division of The New York Public Library. If you have any information about, or know the location of, any of these maps please notify Matt Knutzen, Assistant Chief of the Map Division at

From the British Library
Hidden History of the British in India, the leading family history website, and the British Library announced today the online publication of 2.5 million records detailing the lives of the British in India from 1698 to 1947.

Covering over 200 years of rich and colourful history, the newly-released records chronicle the lives of Europeans living in areas under British influence and include individuals from all walks of life. Soldiers, army officers, surgeons, doctors, wealthy merchants, members of the military, civil, legal and public works establishments, their families and many others such as traders, planters, missionaries and mariners can all be found within the collection.

2.5 million records chronicling the lives of early 'expats' from all walks of life.

India Office Records spanning over two centuries of the British In India from the East India Company to the Raj through to Indian Independence now scanned and fully searchable.

Available online for the first time.

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