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Summer 2017 Antiquarian Book Auction Preview

Rachel Littlewood previews the Summer 2017 Antiquarian Book Sale, which includes an important single owner collection of books and manuscripts contemporary with the English Civil War. This auction of rare books and manuscripts in Exeter and over the Internet promises to be an exciting sale.

One of the highlights of the Summer 2017 Antiquarian Book Auction in Exeter is 'An
        Embassy From the East-India Company of the United Provinces, To the Grand
        Tartar Cham Emperour of China' by John Nieuhoff (BK18/494).

One of the highlights of the Summer 2017 Antiquarian Book Auction in Exeter is 'An Embassy From the East-India Company of the United Provinces, To the Grand Tartar Cham Emperour of China' by John Nieuhoff (BK18/494).

The Antiquarian Book Auction on 6th September 2017 at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood features a number of early children's books, including Elliott (Mary) The Book of Birds and Beasts (BK18/40) with 48 hand coloured plates, including one of a Duck Billed Platypus, from New Holland, published at a time (1826) when books for children had to have a strong educational purpose, this charmingly illustrated book must have been a delight to children when they were given it. The pre-sale estimate is £100-£200.

The Book of Birds and Beasts, Beautifully Coloured (BK18/40) by Mary Elliot.

The Book of Birds and Beasts, Beautifully Coloured (BK18/40) by Mary Elliot.

The auction also includes a number of signed/presentation copies of books by significant 20th Century authors including WH Auden, Robert Graves, Graham Greene, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Somerset Maugham, Iris Murdoch, Tennyson and PG Wodehouse.

Of particular interest is Kafka (Franz) The Metamorphosis (BK18/174) translated by AL Lloyd, printed by the Parton Press in 1937 with an estimate of £200-£300 and Kerouac (Jack) On the Road (BK18/175). Again a first edition from Viking Press in 1957, this defining work of the Postwar Beat Generation is inviting bids of £400-£600.

The Metamorphosis (BK18/174) by Franz Kafka.

The Metamorphosis (BK18/174) by Franz Kafka.

An amusing inscription from Wodehouse (PG) in How Right You Are, Jeeves (BK18/241) states 'That is the title at Present, but I bet they will want to change it – they always do'. This first edition from 1960, with the unique inscription, is estimated at £80-£120.

How Right You Are, Jeeves (BK18/241) by PG Wodehouse.

How Right You Are, Jeeves (BK18/241) by PG Wodehouse.

Also included within this packed book auction is an important 136 lot single owner collection of books and manuscripts contemporary with the English Civil War.

It is difficult to single out items from such a unique collection, but a highlight includes a one page letter to Major Wood in the hand of Charles II, dated May 22nd 1657, from Brussels (BK18/272) and signed 'Your affectionate frinde Charles R' from his court in exile on the continent Charles seeks to encourage a loyal supporter obviously with his own triumphant return as monarch in mind. Next year, with Cromwell's death, his prospects were to brighten considerably. Edward Wood maintained links to the Royal Court via the London spy Captain Silius Titus. The pre-sale estimate is £1,000-£2,000.

A letter signed by Charles II (BK18/272).

A letter signed by Charles II (BK18/272).

Other lots of interest include Nieuhoff (John) An Embassy from the East India Company of the United Provinces to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperour of China (BK18/494), London 1669 with an estimate of £5,000-£6,000 and Alken (Henry) The National Sports of Great Britain (BK18/614) with descriptions in English and French, with additional hand coloured engraved title page (dated 1821) and 50 hand coloured aqua-tint plates. This large folio volume is inviting bids of £1,000-£2,000.

An illustration from The National Sports of Great Britain (BK18/614) by Henly Alken.

An illustration from The National Sports of Great Britain (BK18/614) by Henly Alken.

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  • Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood
  • Antiquarian Book Auction

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