Deliberately timed to take place just after the ABA Fair (May 24th-26th), Forum Auctions’ sale on the 31st has a wealth of enticing lots covering most areas of interest. This year the main London book fair is being held in Battersea Park, just a 10-minute walk from Forum’s offices in Queenstown Road, and the auction house is looking to make the most of the proximity of the world’s dealers and collectors by opening their doors for viewing for the full week before and during the fair. Also on view then will be highlights from other forthcoming sales, including Modern and Contemporary Prints, Wine, and a selection of works from the Rothamsted Collection – rare agricultural books from 1471-1840, with the sale taking place on 10th July.
Highlights from 31st May sale include:
- A superb dust-jacketed first edition of Tolkien’s The Hobbit, 1937, est. £20,000-30,000, one of several Tolkien-related items in the sale
- A manuscript map by Lt. Col. Sir Edward Baker entitled Plan of the Province of Upper Canada showing the route of the Simcoe Expedition, bound into a copy of Hearne’s A Journey from Prince of Wales’s Fort in Hudson’s Bay…, 1795, est. £6,000-8,000
- Jefferys’ The Natural and Civil History of the French Dominions in North and South America, 1760 – a very good copy of the first edition in contemporary calf, est. £6,000-8,000
- The George Katkov copy of the original typescript of Boris Pasternak’s Doktor Zhivago, with autograph corrections, 1956, most likely the copy used by the CIA to publish the first edition in Russian for dissemination in the Soviet Union, est. £100,000-150,000
- A very good copy of the first issue of Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, 1843, est. £6,000-8,000
- A miniature Book of Hours with 6 full-page miniatures and 6 large initials with full borders, Flanders, second quarter of the 15th century, est. £6,000-8,000
- A fine mini-archive of letters from G. K. Chesterton to Enid Simon with autograph poems and original sketches from the 1920s, est. £6,000-8,000
- Manuscript eye-witness account of the Indian Mutiny and Massacre at Cawnpore by William Jonah Shepherd, 1857, est. £3,000-5,000
- Group of school exercise books and a sketch pad used by a teenaged Terry Pratchett, with doodles, sketches and story fragments, mostly c.1962-64, est. £6,000-8,000
- Laboureur (Jean-Emile) Petites Images de la Guerre sur le Front Britannique, Paris, 1917, one of only 4 copies with 3 additional suites of plates in progressive states before letters, est. £5,000-7,000
- One of only 10 copies printed on vellum of the Cresset Press edition of Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regain’d, 1931, est. £8,000-12,000
- A fine collection of 19 original watercolour caricatures of Milanese high society by Sebastiano de Albertis, 1864-65, est. £4,000-6,000
- A good impression of Albrecht Durer’s woodcut Hercules conquering Cacus, 1496 (but printed c.1580), est. £4,000-6,000
- A complete set of 4 17th century Tokugawa hanging scrolls demonstrating the Japanese art of acupuncture, Tokyo, 1662, est. £5,000-8,000
- Guericke (Otto van) Experimenta nova…de Vacuo Spatio, Amsterdam, 1672, a very good copy of this highly important work on experimental physics, est. £12,000-16,000
- Desmond Morris’ copy of Edward Tyson’s landmark work on comparative morphology, Orang-Outang, sive Homo Sylvestris: or, the Anatomy of a Pygmie, first edition, 1699, est. £4,000-6,000
- Merian’s Erucarum Ortus, Amsterdam, 1718, the first Latin edition of this profusely illustrated early entomological work, depicting butterflies and grubs in juxtaposition with flowers and blossoms, est. £6,000-8,000
- Ptolemy’s La Geografia, Venice, 1574-73, a very good, complete copy of the third Ruscelli edition, est. £5,000-7,000
- Group of 4 unrecorded original watercolours by Edward Walsh (medical officer and artist) documenting the Napoleonic Wars, including one of La Belle Alliance “executed on the spot” 7 days after the Battle of Waterloo and showing the burial of the dead, est. £4,000-6,000
- Mallet’s Description de l’Univers, 5 vol., Paris, 1683, an excellent copy of this important atlas from the Grand Siecle, complete with almost 700 plates and maps.
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