The fifth part of Sotheby’s The Library of an English Bibliophile series demonstrated, once again, the appetite for fine books from this magnificent collection. This selection of largely inscribed or signed volumes saw Oscar Wilde command the highest price (£197,000 for the exceptional dedication copy of The Importance of Being Earnest) followed by James Joyce (£143,000 for an inscribed first edition of Ulysses) and T.S. Eliot (£81,250 for an inscribed first edition of The Waste Land).
Part V of The Library of an English Bibliophile spotlights more than 140 rare and important signed and inscribed copies of works by major European and American authors from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth centuries, from James Boswell to Samuel Beckett. Superb presentation and association copies of first and limited editions by authors such as Oscar Wilde, Charles Baudelaire, James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, George Orwell, T.S. Eliot, Charles Darwin, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Ian Fleming, among many others, will feature in the highly select group of lots. This fifth instalment from The Library of an English Bibliophile continues the previous successes of this sale series, which began in London in 2010, continued in New York in 2011, and re-commenced again in London from 2013 onwards.
Please note there is a slight abrasion to the front free endpaper.
Please there are tears and slight damage from adhesives on pp. 454-56.
The final leaf (blank) and the rear free endpaper are becoming loose.
There is a tear to the leaf comprising pp. 39-40, not affecting text.
The binding is likely to be by C.&C. McLeish, identifiable by the vertical alignment of the letters "TEL" in the spine lettering
The date of publication is 1903 and not 1930 as stated in the catalogue.
There is a minor tear at the centre of the upper wrapper.
Please note the following amendment to the printed catalogue note: for Graves, read Sassoon. In addition, the letter reads "mental activity" and not "mental agility" as transcribed in the catalogue.
Note that the wrappers are becoming tender at the hinges and there is some loss to the upper corner of the lower wrapper of volume I. The frontispiece in volume II is becoming loose and the inscription is on the reverse of this (not, as stated in the catalogue, on the half-title). The inscription in volume III is on the preliminary blank (not, as stated in the catalogue, on the half-title).
There is a minor tear at the foot of the portrait frontispiece at the gutter. There is also a spot of soiling to the title-page.
The final two leaves are unopened and there is a short tear, not affecting text.