Published 12th March 2012
The next Book Auction held by Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood will be on 28th March 2012 at our Honiton sale rooms. A feature of this sale will be a number of individual collections on specific subjects.
Not only does this collection include most of the important county histories, such as Polwhele's History of Devonshire (1793-1806), Lysons' Magna Britannia (1822), Prince's Worthies of Devon (1810) and Risdon's Survey of Devon (1811), it has a real local East Devon flavour, with a copy of Farquarson's History of Honiton (1868) - the first individually published history of the town. There are numerous other works by important local authors, such as GPR Pulman, PO Hutchinson, TH Mogridge and James Davidson, who wrote the first bibliography of books on Devon (1861). Also from this magnificent collection are impressive copies of the standard county histories for the adjacent counties of Somerset by John Collinson (1791), and Dorset by John Hutchins (1861-70).
Complimenting the above collection will be a magnificent collection of books and maps relating to the county of Devon. The major authors are all represented, Gilbert, Borlase, Davies, Boase, Polsue, Maclean, etc. There are also many fine copies of rare village and town histories and directories. Also among a selection of maps of the county will be an attractive copy of the highly important Martyn map of Cornwall (1749) and the rare playing card map depicting that county by Robert Morden (c1676).
These two collections together represent the first substantial collection of West Country books to appear at auction for over ten years. It will be fascinating to note how prices may have changed during this period.
In the sale are two important Churchill items. One is the beautiful and magnificently bound set of the Collected Works of Sir Winston Churchill in 34 volumes. Published by the Library of Imperial History between the years 1973-77, bound in full gilt vellum, this set unusually still retains its original slipcases, and is limited to 3,000 copies.
The other item is more unusual. It is a set of his English Speaking Peoples, four volumes. Churchill was at the height of popularity when these appeared in 1956, and the title was published in large numbers. However, this set is unique in that each volume is signed by Winston Churchill on the front endpaper, and there are two notes by his secretary, one of which states, "Sir Winston was glad to sign your books." It is believed these volumes were presented to AJ Moyles CBE on his retirement as Chief Accountant at the Palace of Westminster.
Also in the sale are two limited edition works by another great wartime leader, Field Marshall Montgomery, Viscount of Alamein. Both works are signed "Montgomery of Alamein", and were published by the Arcadia Press in 1969 and 1971.
Among a number of interesting photographic lots is an outstanding archival collection of eighty Indian photographs, many of which are numbered and signed in the negative by Sache. The photographs represent a broad range of life in 1870-80s India. There are street scenes, tradesmen, architectural and topographical subjects, some views in the Himalayas. One photograph features "Sache Portrait Rooms", a rare example of the exterior of a late nineteenth century photographer's studio. John Edward Sache was a prominent European photographer in India during the nineteenth century. He began work in Calcutta in 1865, later he worked with Colin Murray until 1870. During the 1870s he ran studios in Lucknow, Naini Tal, Meerut and Mussoorie. He had left India by the 1880s.
This section of the book sale continues to grow in popularity. As well as the Cornish maps already mentioned there are examples of John Speed maps, Buckinghamshire, Britain (Saxon). There is a late 16th century example of Braun & Hogenberg's map of London. Also Robert Morden's playing card map of Middlesex is on offer. There are further examples of maps by Ogilby, Blaeu, Kitchen, Morden, Blome, etc. There is a disbound copy of Fullarton's Royal Illustrated Atlas of Modern Geography, with 76 coloured maps some of which have attractive vignette views. Also in this section is Edward Lear's Views of Rome.
A fine collection of shell books are on offer including many monographs from the iconic work by Sowerby and Reeve, Conchologia Iconica, all illustrated with beautiful hand coloured plates. An eighteenth century work stands out in this section, John Ellis; An Essay Towards a Natural History of the Corallines (1755).
The pick of the early books is a cookery/household management book with the fascinating title, The office of the Good House-wife. With necessary directions for the ordering of her family and dairy; and the keeping of all such cattle, as to her particular charge ... (1672), intriguingly signed "FB". It is expected to attract bidding in excess of £600.