Thursday, January 19, 2017

Antiquarian Book News

Engineering Exploration: The Collection Of Henry J.L. Dunlop on Sale at Bonhams.

bonhamsAn exceptional collection of polar ephemera, which once belonged to the Nimrod’s Chief Engineer, Henry J.L. Dunlop will appear in the Travel & Exploration auction at Bonhams, Knightsbridge on 1 February. The collection includes a unique first edition of the first book ever to be printed and published in Antarctica: Shackleton’s Aurora Australis. Estimated at £25,000-£35,000, it is the only know copy to include the elusive etched plate 'A giant Tick was investigating the carcase', that was thought to be a myth until its discovery in this copy in 2011. The volume also includes a curious menu for a midwinter dinner, which announces that the expedition team will be treated to "Penguin Patties", "Seal Cutlets" and "MORE WHISHKY!!!!!?"
The collection also includes an intriguing vestige of the team’s experiments in Antarctic book production: a dummy copy of the Aurora Australis, bound in the usual venesta packing crate by Bernard Day, but filled with 58 blank leaves. Estimated at £4,000-£6,000, its subtle variations in size and design reveal the trial and error of Day’s attempts to create the perfect binding for the final volumes.
For more information about the sale, visit: or call 0207 393 3828.

Animal Picture Book Acquired

The William & Mary Libraries at the University in Virginia, USA has recently acquired an 1805 edition of Ferdinand Seidel’s Naturhistorisches Kupferwerk: mit erklärendem Texte nach Büffon, or Natural History in copper plates, with explanatory text following Buffon. The edition is the only one in the U.S. and one of three in the world belonging to a library, according to WorldCat’s global library catalog.

“The book bears the signatures of G. Muller and E. Bodenhoff. During research conducted as part of the cataloguing process, it was found that Muller and Bodenhoff are most likely General Frederik Gotthold von Müller and Ernst Emil Bodenhoff, both of whom were connected to the royal court of Denmark, Mueller as courtier and Bodenhoff as his biographer. Credit has been given to Ellen Cloyed, library specialist in the cataloguing department, for her diligent work in tracing the ownership.

Reviews praise the quality and quantity of the illustrations, though at least one reviewer would have preferred it if Seidel had copied not the black and white "Buffon-style" illustrations but instead had chosen illuminated copperplates.

Library users can view the book in Swem Library’s Special Collections Research Center. For more information, contact:
British Library

The BL has announced its programme of cultural highlights for 2017 but as yet there are no exact dates.

  • Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths, a major new exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution
  • Title announced for exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK
  • The personal archive of writer P.G. Wodehouse comes to the British Library on loan
  • Jane Austen’s teenage writings reunited for the first time in 40 years
  • British Library treasures go on tour to China for the first time
  • Material from 20th century playwrights, including Joan Littlewood and Terence Rattigan, to go online on our Discovering Literature website
  • Brand new portraits of some of Roald Dahl’s best-loved characters painted by Sir Quentin Blake to be displayed in a new free exhibition space 

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