Sunday, December 12, 2010

Auction Preview: Sotheby's London

The last major book auction of 2010: on 16 December, Sotheby's London will sell English Literature, History, and Children's Books & Illustrations, in 246 lots. A presentation copy (to Maria Edgeworth) of the first edition of Jane Austen's Emma (1816) rates the top estimate, at £70,000-100,000 (another copy of Emma, with the ownership inscription of Austen's friend Martha Lloyd, is estimated at £30,000-50,000). A fabulous, 49,000-page manuscript compilation of the Journals of the House of Commons in 75 folio volumes (with one volume covering the House of Lords), covering almost the entire seventeenth century, is estimated at £50,000-70,000; Jane Austen's brother Edward's Wedgwood dinner set rates the same estimate. The Duke of Northumberland's copy of the Fourth Folio is estimated at £40,000-60,000, while a presentation copy of the first book edition of Dickens' Pickwick Papers rates a £30,000-50,000 spread. Other interesting items include a first edition of Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson in the original boards (est. £10,000-15,000) and much militaria.