Sothebys has just published the results of today’s auction [December 17, 2008, Sale L08411, London] of English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations, with a final take of 901,913 GBP! Literature by the likes of Shakespeare, Byron, Milton, Dickens, and Beatrix Potter seems to be alive and well. Here are a few of the results:
Lot 26. John Milton. Paradise Lost: a poem in ten books. Simmons, 1669. 16, 250 GBP
small 4to (176 x 130mm), first edition, Amory’s no.3 issue (traditional 5th title page), “Angel” in imprint in roman, with note from the printer to the reader on [P]A2r (first state, second variant, in five lines), contemporary calf, upper and lower covers with blind double fillets, red speckled edges, neat repairs to hinges and joints, T4 slightly torn at outer margin and lower corner, Ff 1 slightly torn at lower corner, slightly browned, a near fine, unsophisticated copy
Lot 28. SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM.
A COLLECTION OF LEAVES FROM THE FIRST FOLIO EDITION (1623) AND THE SECOND FOLIO EDITION (1632) OF SHAKESPEARE’S PLAYS. 33,650 GBP
Lot 35. A Lock of Byron’s hair:
cut from his head after his death at Missolonghi, coiled and tied with a pink ribbon, with an accompanying wrapper inscribed in the hand of Byron’s intimate friend John Cam Hobhouse (“a lock of hair cut from the head of Lord Byron after his death by Dr Bruno”), and with a later envelope recording that the lock was later presented “by Miss Leigh to Miss Marianne Gidely” 3,000 GBP
Lot 45. Charles Dickens. THE WORKS. EDITED BY ARTHUR WAUGH, HUGH WALPOLE, WALTER DEXTER, AND THOMAS HATTON. THE NONESUCH PRESS, 1937-8. 5,625 GBP
Lot 49. John Keats. LAMIA, ISABELLA, THE EVE OF ST. AGNES AND OTHER POEMS. TAYLOR AND HUSSEY, 1820. 5,250 GBP
12mo, first edition, one of 500 copies, half-title, without advertisements at the end present in some copies, contemporary smooth calf gilt, spine in six compartments, black morocco labels, marbled edges, slight wear to edges of binding.
Lot 132. Virginia Woolf. MRS. DALLOWAY. LONDON: LEONARD & VIRGINIA WOOLF AT THE HOGARTH PRESS, 1925. 6,250 GBP
Lot 192. Beatrix Potter. Illustration of Mouse with a Spinning Wheel: 120 by 76mm., fine ink and watercolour drawing, signed and dated lower right corner “HBP. 1890.”, slight browning with minor spotting, mounted on card. 39,650 GBP
This is just a small sample…. there are works by Ian Fleming, Siegfried Sassoon, a Steinbeck photograph, George Eliot letters, Kelmscott Press books, Milne, Sendak, other Potter illustrations, and much more…