Our English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations sale on 14 July achieved sale total of £1,449,734.
The top lot, selling for £275,000, was the Nobel Prize awarded to Hans Krebs in 1953 for the discovery of the Krebs Cycle, the process by which food is converted to energy within a cell. The sale of the medal will benefit the Hans Krebs Trust, which provides grants for the support of refugee scientists in the biomedical sciences.
Competitive bidding for our cover lot, a finely preserved example of a Service Enigma Machine, led to a final result of £149,000, far exceeding the presale estimate of £50,000 - £70,000. Further success in the science category included a collection of books by and related to Charles Darwin sold to benefit the Charles Darwin Trust from the libraries of Richard Keynes (1919-2010) and Quentin Keynes (1921-2003). This was led by a presentation first edition of The Descent of Man, inscribed by Darwin to his daughter Henrietta, sold for £112,500.
Elsewhere, we were delighted to achieve a price of £47,500 for Wellington’s Campaign Cloak, believed to have been worn at the Battle of Waterloo.
English Literature opened with an unrecorded variant of Tyndale’s New Testament, bought in a Cambridge bookshop in the 1960s and in the same private collection ever since. It was sold for £60,000, more than double the low estimate. Books from the library of the late Gary Prouk represented an exceptional and comprehensive collection of fin-de-siècle and private press material alongside fine modern first editions. These lots were recognised for their quality and attracted international bidding.
The closing section of the sale, comprising children’s literature and illustrations saw continued strong interest in these categories. Highlights included E.H. Shepard’s original ink drawing “Toad told Rat all his Adventures" which was sold for £22,500 against an estimate of £10,000 - £15,000, while Kay Nielsen’s watercolour “The Czarina held a great contest of archery" sold at its high estimate.
Our sale of English Literature, History, Children’s Books & Illustrations on 14 July includes significant material across the collecting categories.
The Nobel Prize awarded to Hans Krebs for the discovery of the citric acid cycle leads our morning session. This Nobel medal, complete with its Nobel Prize diploma, is sold to benefit the Hans Krebs Trust which provides grants for the support of refugee scientists (lot 56).
Other highlights include an exceptionally well-preserved German Enigma Machine (lot 55), an unrecorded variant of Tyndale’s New Testament (lot 57), a copy of The Compleat Angler formerly in the possession of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe (lot 62), and numerous Byron manuscripts and letters.
In the bicentenary year of Waterloo, we are delighted to be offering a variety of important manuscripts and relics relating to the battle, including a campaign cloak believed to have been worn at the Waterloo by Wellington himself (lot 24). This remarkable relic has provenance dating back to the early 1820s, having been given to Lady Caroline Lamb by the Duke as a memento of their brief affair.
A strong group of works by Charles Darwin and others previously in the library of Richard and Quentin Keynes features a first edition of The Descent of Man inscribed by Darwin to his daughter (lot 39). Henrietta Darwin read the manuscript ofThe Descent in its entirety, tasked by her father with reviewing both the content and style of his writing on this controversial subject. These books are sold to benefit the Charles Darwin Trust.
Offered throughout the sale, books from the library of the late Gary E. Prouk represent an outstanding selection of fin-de-siècle literature, encompassing almost every significant writer of the period and with a particularly notable collection of works by and relating to Oscar Wilde. The collection continues in the afternoon session with exceptional modern first editions and private press material.
The afternoon session also includes letters, books, and typescripts from the collection of the publisher Tom Maschler (lots 188-197) and fine drawings and illustrations by E.H. Shepard, Kay Nielson and Charles Folkard, amongst others.
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|13||William Ledyard was not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, as incorrectly stated in the printed catalogue.|
|45||Please note that there are two quotations on the verso of the half title, not three as listed in the printed catalogue.|
|80||In addition to the three copies recorded in the British Isles (as stated in the catalogue) there are three recorded copies in American institutions.|
|96||It appears that this drawing may have minor additions in a later hand other than Beardsley's.|
|120||Please note that this lot is not illustrated in the printed catalogue. The image which appears on p.70 has been incorrectly numbered and shows lot 121.|
|121||Please note that this lot is illustrated in the printed catalogue on p.70, although the image has been incorrectly numbered 120.|
|131||Please note that this lot is not illustrated in the printed catalogue. The image which appears on p.74 has been incorrectly numbered and shows lot 132. Also please note that the programme attached to the paste-down is from one of the performances between 20 February 1892 (opening night) and 31 March 1892.|
|132||Please note that this lot is illustrated in the printed catalogue on p.74, although the image has been incorrectly numbered 131.|
|145||The rebound copy of A Picture of a Dorian Gray included in this lot appears to be a reprint.|
|149||Please note that this lot includes a total of 64 volumes.|
|171||Please note that this item derives from the Eberstadt Collection. The inscription by Joyce is in the month of publication and the recipient is George Borach, a friend of the writer's in Zurich. Joyce was in Zurich for a ninth operation on his eye by Professor Alfred Vogt, which had been performed on 15 May. The full inscription, which is truncated in the printed catalogue, reads "To | Georges Borach | Souvenir de la Sainte Bloom 1930 | James Joyce | Zurich | 16.vi.1930" The first two lines are in black ink, and there is an ink blot at the end of Borach's name; Joyce then switches to blue crayon.|
|189||Please note that this lot is illustrated in the printed catalogue on p.98, although the image has been incorrectly numbered 190.|
|190||Please note that this lot is not illustrated in the printed catalogue. The image which appears on p.98 has been incorrectly numbered and shows lot 189.|
|223||Please note that this lot is not illustrated on pages 80-81 of the catalogue. The illustration on those pages is for lot 251.|
|258||As Shepard died in 1976, this piece was evidently acquired from the artist or the artist's wife and not, as stated in the catalogue, from the artist's widow.|