Our July sale of English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations achieved a total of £1.56 million, with strong results across the categories. Particular highlights included the corrected typescript for Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice, which sold above the high estimate for £47,500, and a bible inscribed by Charlotte Brontë to Ellen Nussey, which was sold for £32,500. Other strong prices were achieved for works by Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh and for 18th- and 19th- century poetry.
This summer’s English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations auction presents exceptional material across the collecting categories. The sale will open with a important group of royal letters from the collection of the Marquess of Anglesey, led by an exceptionally rare letter signed by the young Elizabeth I as princess, and continues with a significant selection of early and rare editions of 18th- and 19th-century English literature and poetry, most with provenance from the libraries of renowned bibliophiles, modern first editions including Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, James Joyce, T.E. Lawrence and Evelyn Waugh, and original illustrations by Edmund Dulac, Beatrix Potter and E.H. Shepard.
Outstanding highlights also include the No.10 jersey worn by England’s hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst in the famous 4-2 victory over West Germany in the World Cup final at Wembley fifty years ago (30 July 1966), a rare intact example of the German military Enigma machine defeated through the ingenious efforts of the World War II code-breaking team at Bletchley Park, and the original Proclamation of Independence of the Irish Republic, which marked the beginning of the Easter Rising in Ireland one hundred years ago.