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Posts Tagged ‘Rare Books’

battered-books-2-CHL

Chawton House Library – books in need

When I was in Library School, one of my favorite classes was a study of book conservation and visit to the NEDCC (the Northeast Document Conservation Center) – this I thought was the place where the things I most loved were given the care they sorely needed. Sadly, I didn’t go into that field [hindsight is a dreadful thing!] – I was more into reading and making sure the right book got into the right person’s hands, believing that our system of free libraries was the grandest example of a free world. I remember as a 15 year-old page in our hometown library, roaming the shelves and discovering the Brownings, and rather than doing my job of re-shelving (I confess this now many years later), I was secretly discovering Poetry, finding Love and Words in the pages of these old books. I’ve never lost that love of an old book – the smell, the touch, the beauty of bindings and paper, the scribbled notes or bookplates or inscriptions of previous owners – not to mention the story being told. That I ended up a used bookseller was likely destiny at work – my favorite set of books in my home was an 1890 Encyclopedia Britannica! (I was not the most current student in history class!)

We now live in a world where the physical book is being rejected for the joy of carrying around 1500 titles on a small tablet that we can also use for all manner of interruptive connections to the real world. This escape into a book can be initiated wherever you are, whenever you want, without the inconvenience of lugging around poundage – I readily admit to loving my kindle! – But it is not the same, no matter how many people argue the point. I don’t remember the books I read this way – I don’t retain where such and such was on a particular page, I miss that smell, that touch, that communion with a physical object that has a history that somehow brings me closer to the author or a binder or papermaker or some previous owner or owners.

DentSet-dcb

[1898 Dent edition of Jane Austen’s novels – trivia: what is missing??]

I think, I have to believe that the book is not Dead, that an appreciation for the book as an object of beauty and worth may even be stronger than ever, fear of it all disappearing making it all the more valuable to us. And this then brings us to Book Conservation. Because if we don’t take care we shall be losing our very own heritage. I have had any number of books come across my desk that are in appalling states, either too well loved through the years, or just left to disintegrate in some old attic or basement – it is one of the saddest things to encounter really – a book of special significance that is rendered nearly worthless by its poor condition. Enter the conservationist! – Magic can happen! I have been fortunate in finding the most brilliant of these magicians, who has salvaged many a book for me and my customers … And though the value of a repaired work can be affected by such tampering, it is the return to its former state that is the end result, to preserve, protect and savor for the future… The digitizing efforts of so many of our libraries is a glorious thing – making so much accessible to all – I marvel at what is only a keystroke away – but preserving the original must and should be part of this plan.

Chawton House Library

Chawton House Library

And this brings us to Chawton House Library and their appeal for their book conservation program – they need our help!

The history of the Chawton House Library [CHL] is a well-known story, at least among most of my readers here, who perhaps have come to know of CHL because Jane Austen brought us there. Read its history if you don’t know it, and you will come away with unending gratitude to Sandy Lerner for making it all possible. If you have read Dale Spender’s classic Mothers of the Novel: 100 Good Women Writers before Jane Austen (Pandora 1986), and other various titles on the subject, you know that the entire literary tradition of women writers has been essentially silenced – if you are over 50, how many women writers did you read in college? How many did you even know about? The foundation and purpose of CHL has been to correct that horrible omission in our collective history, to give these women writers a home of their own, and to make sure none of them are ever again consigned to the neglected heap of second-class literature.

The CHL website offers a wealth of information on many of these women writers:

[for example: Aphra Behn’s The Rover; or, the Banish’d Cavaliers (1729), and Penelope Aubin’s The Inhuman Stepmother, or the History of Miss Harriot Montague (1770)]

Aphra Behn (1640-1689) - wikipedia

Aphra Behn (1640-1689) – wikipedia

Charlotte Lennox (c.1730-1804)

Charlotte Lennox (c.1730-1804)

  • The quarterly publication The Female Spectator is mailed to those who become Friends of the Library. Some of the past issues are available online from 1995 – 2010 here: http://www.chawtonhouse.org/?page_id=55522

Female Spectator-frontis-wp

 Frontispiece, vol. 1 The Female Spectator, by Eliza Haywood (1744-46) – the title CHL now uses for its quarterly newsletter [image: wikipedia]
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Chawton House Library

More books in need at Chawton House Library

But the books themselves, the majority really, are in need of repair. Keith Arscott, the Development Director of CHL, in the kick-off for this fund-raising effort, writes:

Thanks to our first and biggest single donation to date – over $3,000 from the George Cadbury Quaker Foundation – we have been able to organise our first conservation skills training day for 10 of our library volunteers to be run by a professional conservator. The donation also covers the first purchase of materials to enable our first volunteers to make a start. And for those of you that don’t know, we also had two generous donations at the reception – one from a red rose and the other from a yellow! [the reception for CHL members at the JASNA AGM in Montreal – we were all given roses!] But it is only a start – the Book Condition Survey that we were able to commission after a number of successful funding initiatives concluded that the cost of such a conservation programme would be easily a very large six figure sum  – if all the conservation work was undertaken by professional conservators in studio conditions. However, the tremendous interest that our appeal has had with volunteers and their willingness to give their time to help with much of the work – means we have an appeal target in mind of something in the $90,000 range.

And so this is where your help is needed. Gillian Dow, the Executive Director, writes on the website that small amounts of money can make a very big difference to our programme” and outlines how any donation can contribute to protecting this unique collection:

  • £1 / $1.70 can buy document repair tape
  • £6 / $10 can buy unbleached cotton archival ribbon
  • £10 / $17 can buy an archival box to protect a fragile book
  • £100 / $162 can pay for a full set of conservation equipment including unbleached cotton archival ribbon, document repair tape and archival boxes
  • £300 / $486 can pay for a volunteer training day, giving a whole team the necessary skills to carry out vital conservation work
  • £500 / $809 can restore a complete volume

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Conservation tools at the NEDCC

Conservation tools at the NEDCC

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*You can visit the CHL website to watch a film on the program:  http://www.chawtonhouse.org/?page_id=58943

*You can also find on the CHL blog this post by Giorgia Genco, “A Career in Book Conservation” where she writes about assisting in the training of volunteers in this new program: http://www.chawtonhouse.org/?library_blog=a-career-in-book-conservation

*And here, some great PR from the BBC: last November, they visited CHL and produced a video on the appeal, where Frankenstein and Sense & Sensibility are featured among other titles: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-hampshire-29949168

*For those of you near Chawton, there is an evening lecture on February 12, 2015 at 6:30 pm on “Conserving a Unique Literary Heritage at Chawton House Library” with library conservator Caroline Bendix – it is free, but donations graciously accepted! – and you must register [but alas! the event is fully booked!]: http://www.chawtonhouse.org/?lectures_talks=conserving-a-unique-literary-heritage-at-chawton-house-library

A tattered 'Sense & Sensibility' at CHL

A tattered ‘Sense & Sensibility’ at CHL

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How to donate? For those of you living in the States, you can donate online directly to the North American Friends of Chawton House Library (NAFCHL) [NAFCHL is a U.S. 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization and all donations are deductible for purposes of U.S. income taxes]. NAFCHL will acknowledge U.S. donations as being specifically allocated to our Book Conservation Appeal. See the link on the right sidebar on this page: http://www.chawtonhouse.org/?page_id=58943 . [Everyone else can donate by visiting the same page and choosing the “Virgin Money Giving” link.]

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Mary Brunton (1778-1818) – Jane Austen writes about Brunton in her letters [image: wikipedia]

You will find if you spend a bit of time on the CHL website just how many of these women writers have been resurrected from their centuries-long oblivion. They are being studied more than ever as our female literary tradition finds its rightful place in the history of literature. The Chawton House Library has been and continues to be instrumental in finding and keeping these materials – the books, manuscripts, diaries, letters, and artifacts – and we need to preserve it all as best we can so that the Book as we now know it will be there for future generations of readers and scholars.  Any donation will be greatly appreciated…hope you can help!

Sources and further reading:

JA-letter-MorganJane Austen letter – the Morgan

c2015 Jane Austen in Vermont

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Several interesting (and largely expensive!) items will be up for auction in the next month:

CHRISTIES: Sale 8952: Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts, 18 June 2013, London.

P&Ptp - christies 6-18-13Lot 174: 

AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817). Pride and Prejudice. London: T. Egerton, 1813. 3 volumes, 12° (173 x 115mm). (Lacking half-titles, P2 at end of volume one with small marginal repair, tiny orange marginal mark to L5v of vol. II and lighter mark on a few other leaves, some spotting occasionally heavier.) Contemporary calf (rebacked, extremities lightly rubbed).

Second edition. Pride and Prejudice was written between October 1796 and August 1797 when Jane Austen was not yet twenty-one, the same age, in fact, as her fictional heroine Elizabeth Bennet. After an early rejection by the publisher Cadell, Austen’s novel was finally bought by Egerton in 1812 for £110. It was published in late January 1813 in a small edition of approximately 1500 copies and sold for 18 shillings in boards. The present second edition is thought to have been published in October that same year. Gilson A4; Keynes 4. (3)

Estimate: £3,000 – £5,000 ($4,527 – $7,545)

 

Lot 175: 

AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817). Sense and Sensibility, London: printed for the Author and published by T. Egerton, 1813. 3 volumes, 12° (176 x 105mm). (Lacking half-titles and without final blanks, occasional light spotting.) Contemporary calf, gilt spines (joints splitting, corners very lightly bumped, small blank stain to vol. II). S&S - Christies 6-18-13

Second edition of Jane Austen’s first published novel which grew from a sketch entitled Elinor and Marianne, written in 1795 in the form of letters; it was revised 1797-1798 at Steventon; and again in 1809-1810, the first year of Jane Austen’s residence at Chawton. Thomas Egerton undertook the publication of the first edition in 1813 on a commission basis, and Jane Austen ‘actually made a reserve from her very moderate income to meet the expected loss’. The price of the novel was 15 shillings in boards and advertisements first appeared for it on 30 October 1811. The present second edition is believed to have been printed in October 1813 as the first edition sold out in less than two years. Gilson A2; Keynes 2. (3)

Estimate: £3,000 – £5,000 ($4,527 – $7,545)

Lot 192:

SETS, English and French literature — AUSTEN, Jane. Works. Illustrated by C.E. Brock. London: 1907. 6 volumes, 8°. Contemporary red half calf, spines lettered in gilt (extremities rubbed). [With:] ELIOT, George. Works. Library Edition. Edinburgh: 1901. 10 volumes, 8°. Contemporary blue half roan, spine tooled in gilt (spines evenly faded, extremities rubbed). [And:] BALZAC, Honoré de. Oeuvres completes. Paris: 1869-1876. 24 volumes, 8°. Contemporary red half roan, spines lettered in gilt (extremities rubbed). And 5 related others [ie. Maupassant, Corneille, Rabelais, Macaulay] in 33 volumes, 12° and 8°. (73)

Estimate: £500 – £800 ($755 – $1,207)

PP lizzy - brock

Brock – P&P

[Image from Mollands]

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Other items of interest at this Christie’s auction (i.e., what I would love to have!):

Lot 75:

ACKERMANN — Microcosm of London. London: T. Bensley for R. Ackermann [1808-1810, plates watermarked 1806-1808]. 3 volumes, 4° (330 x 272mm). Engraved titles, engraved dedication leaves, and 104 hand-coloured aquatint plates by Buck, Stadler and others after Rowlandson and Pugin. (Lacking half-titles, light offsetting from the plates onto the text, some text leaves evenly browned.) Late 19th- early 20th-century red half calf, spine gilt in compartments, morocco labels (spines lightly and evenly faded).

ackermann london - christies 6-18-13

ONE OF ACKERMANN’S FINEST BOOKS, the rumbustious figures of Rowlandson are the perfect foil to Pugin’s clear and accurate architectural settings. Printing continued for nearly 30 years but, as Abbey notes, the ‘original impressions of these splendid plates have a luminous quality entirely absent from later printings’. This copy is evidently bound from the original parts: with the first issue of the contents leaf in volume 1, and all the errata uncorrected in volumes 2 and 3, and 5 out of 6 errata corrected in volume 1. This copy shows 2 of Abbey’s first state points for the plates: at plates 8 and 11 in volume 1. Abbey Scenery 212; Tooley 7. (3)

Estimate: £3,000 – £5,000 ($4,527 – $7,545)

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BONHAMSBooks, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs 20752, 19 Jun 2013 London.

Lot 139: 

S&S1st - bonhams 6-19-13[AUSTEN (JANE)]. Sense and Sensibility: a Novel. In Three Volumes. By a Lady, 3 vol., first edition, without half-titles, final blank leaf present in volume 2 only, some pale foxing and staining, contemporary calf, sides with gilt and blind-tooled borders, rebacked preserving most of original backstrips and red morocco labels [Keynes 1; Gilson A1; Sadleir 62a], 12mo (173 x 104mm.), Printed for the author, by C. Roworth… and published by T. Egerton, 1811. FIRST EDITION OF JANE AUSTEN’S FIRST PUBLISHED NOVEL. According to Keynes, Egerton printed no more than 1000 copies, priced at 15 shillings in boards; all were sold by the middle of 1813.

Estimate: £15,000 – 20,000  US$ 23,000 – 30,000 €18,000 – 23,000

 

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Also of note in this auction: a first edition of Jane Eyre

Lot 147: 

[BRONTE (CHARLOTTE)]. Jane Eyre. An Autobiography, 3 vol., first edition, with all but two of the printing flaws listed by Smith, half-titles in each volume (but without the additional fly-leaf and advertisements), volume 2 with additional 8-page ‘Ready Money Price List of Drawing & Painting Materials… Alexander Hill’ tipped-in on front free endpaper (seemingly removed from other volumes), original price of “31/6″ marked in pencil on front paste-down of volume 1, a few leaves slightly creased, some light foxing and occasional soiling in margins, UNTRIMMED IN PUBLISHER’S GREY BOARDS with grey/brown diaper half cloth spine, rubbed, spine label to volume 1 chipped with loss of 2 or 3 letters, split to lower joint of volume 2, crease to upper cover of volume 3, [Sadleir 346; Smith 2; Grolier, English 83], 8vo (199 x 122mm.), Smith, Elder, and Co., 1847janeeyre - bonhams 6-19-13

 

Footnotes

FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BRONTE SISTERS NOVEL: AN EXTREMELY RARE VARIANT IN ORIGINAL BOARDS, ENTIRELY UNTRIMMED AND WITH THE ORIGINAL PRICE OF ’31/6′ MARKED IN PENCIL. The binding seems to correspond with Smith’s variant B (allowing for some fading of the cloth over the years), but with white rather than yellow endpapers and a further slight variation in the printed spine labels, those on the present set having no semi-colon after “Eyre” and the words “In Three Volumes” inserted above the volume number. We can find no trace of any other copy in original boards having sold at auction.

Provenance: the tipped-in small price list of drawing and painting materials suggests an Edinburgh connection at or soon after the time of publication. Alexander Hill (of Princes Street, Edinburgh, younger brother of the painter David Octavius Hill) was publisher, artists’ colourman and printer to the Royal Scottish Academy from 1830 until his death in 1866. In 1847 he was also appointed printseller and publisher in Edinburgh to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (see National Archives, LC 5/243 p.61). The price list tipped-in to this copy gives Hill’s address as 67 Princes Street, where he had a shop from 1839 until his death, and mentions the royal appointment, reference to which he seems to have dropped by 1853.

Estimate: £30,000 – 50,000  US$ 45,000 – 75,000 €35,000 – 58,000

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BONHAMS:  Fine Books and Manuscripts 20981: June 25, 2013, New York

Lot 3259

[Austen, Jane]. Northanger Abbey: and Persuasion. With a Biographical Notice of the Author. London: John Murray, 1818. 4 volumes. 12mo (180 x 105 mm). [2], xxiv, 300; [2], 331, [2], 280; [2], 308 pp. Without half-titles. Period half calf over marbled boards, spines gilt. Extremities rubbed, typical light spotting and toning, pp 251-262 in vol 3 creased at outer margin, ffep. in vol 1 loose, volume 4 more so with a crack down spine, a little re-touching to vol 2 spine.

NA P 4v- Bonhams image

Provenance: T. Hope (early ownership stamps); purchased by the family of the current owner in 1960 from McDonald Booth. FIRST EDITION IN CONTEMPORARY BINDING of Jane Austen’s last published work, issued a year after her death. Persuasion was in fact her first novel, but its first appearance is in this set. This was also her only four-volume publication, all previous works were issued in “triple-deckers.” Gilson A9; Sadleir 62e.

Estimate:  US$ 5,000 – 8,000 £3,300 – 5,300 €3,900 – 6,200

 

Lot 3260: 

E - bonhams 

[Austen, Jane]. Emma: A Novel. In Three Volumes. By the author of “Pride and Prejudice” &c. &c. London: Printed for John Murray, 1816. 3 volumes. 12mo (176 x 112 mm). [6], 322; [2], 351, [1]; [4], 363, [1 ad] pp. Half-titles in vols 1 & 2. Old green marbled boards rebacked to style in calf, green morocco spine labels. Intermittent spotting and browning; vol 2 L8 with corner tear crossing a few letters.

FIRST EDITION. Emma is the only one of Jane Austen’s novels to bear a dedication, to the Prince Regent. It was her fourth novel to be published with a print run of 2000 copies. Gilson A8; Sadleir 62d.

Estimate:  US$ 8,000 – 12,000 £5,300 – 8,000  €6,200 – 9,300

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And finally, this letter from Frances Burney to her father comes to auction in just a few days:

Dreweatts / Bloomsbury auction: Important Books & Manuscripts – 30th Anniversary Sale,30 May 2013 London

Lot 171:  

burney letter - dreweatts 5-30-13

Burney  (Frances [Fanny], married name D’Arblay, writer, 1752-1840) Autograph Letter initialled “FB d’A” to her father, Charles Burney, “My dearly beloved Padre”, 4pp. with address panel, 8vo, Chenies Street, 12th June 1813, lamenting that she had not been able to visit him, “but some Giant comes always in the way. Twice I have expected Charles [Charles Burney (1757-1817), schoolmaster and book collector; brother of Fanny], to convey me: but his other engagements have made him arrive too late”, social activities, “Yesterday I dined with Lady Lansdowne, & found her remarkably amiable. She is niece to a person with whom I was particularly acquainted of old, at the Queen’s house, Mr. Digby, who was vice Chamberlain; & that made a little opening to converse… Lady Anne was in high spirits, & full of sportive talk & exhilarating smiles. We had no sort of political talk. All was elegant, pleasing, & literary”, and Sir Joshua Reynolds portrait of Dr Burney, “Every body talks of your portrait at Sir Joshua’s exhibition, & concurs in saying it is one of the best that greatest of English Masters ever painted. I have not yet, to my infinite regret, found time for going thither. Mrs. Waddington will positively take me once to Chelsea, to pay her respects to you; but she is prepared for being denied your sight, if you should be ill-disposed for company. Sally must see her at all events: besides she is a great admirer of Traits of Nature”, ink postal stamp, remains of red wax seal, folds, slightly browned.

*** Unpublished; not in The Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney (Madame D’Arblay), edited by Joyce Hemlow & others, Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1972-75.

Estimate: £3,000-4,000

[Images and text from the respective auction sites]

c2013, Jane Austen in Vermont

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The Leslie Hindman Auctioneers sale on April 10, 2013 in Chicago: Sale 239 – Fine Books and Manuscripts  [preview starts April 6] has three items of interest to collectors and readers of Jane Austen, and this time a pleasant surprise to see them in a more affordable range…

1.  Lot 319:

MP-2ded

* JANE AUSTEN.  Mansfield Park. London: J. Murray, 1816.

3 vols. 12mo, modern quarter morocco, renewed endpapers. Second edition. Lacks half-titles; 2-inch tear to title page vol. 2 restored; spines deteriorating and hinges cracked; otherwise the interior is in near fine condition with very little brownspotting.

Estimate $ 1,000-2,000.

 

2.  Lot 320:

Fragment

* JANE AUSTEN.  Fragment of a Novel, written January-March 1817. Now First Printed from the Manuscript [Sandition]. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1925.

8vo, publisher’s cloth-backed blue boards, printed spine label, facsimile frontispiece. Limited edition facsimile, one of 250 copies on handmade paper. Boards lightly soiled with some loss to spine label; otherwise very good.

Estimate $ 100-200.

 

3. Lot 434A:

works-1882

JANE AUSTEN.  Works (COLLECTED WORKS). London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1882.

6 vols. 8vo, 3/4 maroon morocco over decorative boards, title in gilt to black leather spine labels, t.e.g. Light edgewear; otherwise fine.

Estimate $ 100-200.

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My note:  this last item does not offer a very comprehensive description, so I would suggest an inquiry to the auction house for more information.  This is likely the Steventon Edition that Bentley published in 1882, limited to 375 sets; size is 20.5 cm, or a small octavo (8vo), obviously rebound here; there are illustrations (those that appeared in Bentley’s original Standard Novels of 1833, and a few additional woodcuts and a facsimile of Austen’s letter to Anna Lefroy (29 Nov 1814)) – full information on the edition can be found in Gilson at D13; but again, please check with the auction house to verify that it is this edition (there was a reissue in 1886).  The interest in the Steventon Edition is that it was the last complete edition of Jane Austen’s works to be published by Bentley, her major publisher in England from 1833 to 1882, and holder of the copyrights until their various successive expiry dates.

[Images from the Leslie Hindman Auctioneers website.]

c2013 Jane Austen in Vermont

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The first edition Emma that I wrote about here, the one with the interesting John Hawkshaw bookplate, sold yesterday (March 19, 2013) at Bonham’s London for £8,125 (inc. premium) or about $12,312. –  about in line with the original estimate at the November 2012 auction of £6,000 – 8,000  (€7,400 – 9,900;  US$ 9,500 – 13,000), and substanitally higher than the estimate for this auction: £4,000 – 5,000 (€4,600 – 5,800;  US$ 6,100 – 7,700).

Emma bonhams 3-2013

c2013 Jane Austen in Vermont

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Janeite Deb:

A big thank you to Julie at Austenonly for blogging about this. And do visit the link to Harrington’s other Austen materials – a treasure-trove for the Austen-collector…

Originally posted on Austenonly:

Peter Harrington, the fabulous Chelsea-based book dealer, who has been my downfall many a day, currently has for sale some of C. E. Brock’s original watercolours for the 1907 edition of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.(They also have many other wonderful Austen related items:click here to see)

The 13 original signed illustration for the “Pride and Prejudice” were published in 1907 as part of the “Series of English Idylls” books by J. M. Dent & Co. The illustrations Brock created were a full and original revision of his previous illustrations for the edition of “Pride and Prejudice” published by Macmillan in 1895.

Charles Edmund Brock, above, was elected as a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in the year following the publication of these illustrations. Seen by some as too impossibly pretty, and presenting, perhaps, a chocolate-box image of Jane Austen’s…

View original 95 more words

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I begin today a run through the next 12 days of the Christmas Season with some thoughts on gifts for your favorite Austen fan or gifts to add to your own “Want-List” – if you have been “nice” and not naughty all year [please do check Henry Tilney’s dispute over the meaning of the word in Vol. I, ch. 14 of Northanger Abbey], you might find some of these under your tree!

Day 1. A miniature edition of Emma, from Plum Park Press  [see update on a second printing below!]

(more…)

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UPDATE: Prices realized noted in red as they become available

There are a number of Jane Austen materials coming up for auction in the next few weeks, some actually affordable! – and then some, not so much…  here are brief synopses – visit the auction house websites for more information.

This one is a bit different and an interesting addition to anyone’s Pride and Prejudice collection!

November 18, 2012. Heritage Auctions, Lot 54353. Pride and Prejudice 1939 Movie photographs:

Pride and Prejudice (MGM, 1939). Photos (16) (8″ X 10″). Drama.

Vintage gelatin silver, single weight, glossy photos. Starring Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier, Mary Boland, Edna May Oliver, Maureen O’Sullivan, Ann Rutherford, Frieda Inescort, Edmund Gwenn, Karen Morley, Heather Angel, Marsha Hunt, Bruce Lester, Edward Ashley, Melville Cooper, Marten Lamont, E.E. Clive, May Beatty, Marjorie Wood, Gia Kent. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard.

There are 14 different photos with a duplicate each of 1136-190, and 1136-149; unrestored photos with bright color and a clean overall appearance. They may have general signs of use, such as slight edge wear, pinholes, surface creases and crinkles, and missing paper. All photos have a slight curl. Please see full-color, enlargeable image below for more details. Fine.

SOLD $179.25 (incl buyer’s premium)

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November 18, 2012.  Skinner, Inc. – Fine Books and Manuscripts, Boston. Sale 2621B

Lot 208:  Austen, Jane (1775-1817). Letters. London: Richard Bentley & Son, 1884. 

Octavo, in two volumes, first edition, edited by Edward Knatchbull-Hugessen, first Baron Brabourne (1829-1893), in publisher’s green cloth, ex libris Henry Cabot Lodge, with his bookplate; preliminaries in volume one a bit cockled, with some discoloration.

Jane Austen’s letters speak for themselves: “Dr. Gardiner was married yesterday to Mrs. Percy and her three daughters.” “I cannot help thinking that it is more natural to have flowers grow out of the head than fruit? What do you think on the subject?”

Estimate $300-500. SOLD $250. (incl buyer’s premium)

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Lot 4 : AUSTEN, JANE. Northanger Abbey. Volume 1 (only, of 2). 12mo, original publisher’s drab boards backed in purple cloth (faded to brown), lacking paper spine label, edgewear; text block almost entirely loose from spine, few binding threads and signatures loose, several leaves in first third heavily creased, few other margins creased; else quite clean overall. Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1833

FIRST AMERICAN EDITION AND ONE OF 1250 COPIES. In need of some repair, but complete and in original cloth. All First American Editions of Austen are difficult to find. Later printings of this title did not occur until 1838, as a one-volume collected edition and, as a single volume in 1845. Gilson B5.

Estimate $500-750. SOLD: $600. [incl buyer’s premium]

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This is the big one!

November 21, 2012. Christie’s. Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books. London.  Sale 5690.

Lot 150:  AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817). Sense and Sensibility … second edition. London: for the author by C. Roworth and published by T. Egerton, 1813. 3 volumes. (Lacks half-titles and final blanks, some browning and staining.) Gilson A2; Keynes 2.

Lot Description

AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817). Sense and Sensibility … second edition. London: for the author by C. Roworth and published by T. Egerton, 1813. 3 volumes. (Lacks half-titles and final blanks, some browning and staining.) Gilson A2; Keynes 2.

Pride and Prejudice. London: T. Egerton, 1813. 3 volumes. (Lacks half-titles, lightly browned, a few leaves slightly torn along inner margin or with fragments torn from outer margin, margin of B10 in vol. I a little soiled, title of vol. III with slight stain at bottom margin, quires I and M in same vol. somewhat stained.) FIRST EDITION. Gilson A3; Keynes 3.

Mansfield Park. London: T. Egerton, 1814. 3 volumes. (Lacks half-titles, without blank O4 in vol. II or final advertisement leaf in vol. III, weak printing impression affecting 3 lines on Q10r.) FIRST EDITION. Gilson A6; Keynes 6.

Emma. London: John Murray, 1816. 3 volumes. (Lacks half-titles, E12 of vol. I misbound before E1, tear to bottom margin of E7 in vol. II, other marginal tears, L7-8 of vol. II remargined at bottom, title of vol. III with closed internal tear, some spotting, staining and light soiling.) FIRST EDITION. Gilson A8; Keynes 8.

Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. London: John Murray, 1818. 4 volumes. (Lacks half-titles and blanks P7-8 at end of vol. IV, some browning and spotting.) FIRST EDITION. Gilson A9; Keynes 9.

Together 6 works in 16 volumes, 12° (177 x 100mm). Uniformly bound in later 19th-century black half morocco over comb-marbled boards, marbled endpapers and edges (vol. I of Mansfield Park with scuffing at joints and upper corner of front cover).

Second edition of Sense and Sensibility, ALL OTHER TITLES IN FIRST EDITION. A rare opportunity to purchase the six most admired novels in the English language as a uniformly bound set. (16)

Estimate: £30,000 – £50,000 ($47,610 – $79,350) SOLD: £39,650 ( $63,004) (incl buyer’s premium)

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November 27, 2012. Bonham’s. Printed Books and Maps. Oxford. 19851.

Lot 26:  AUSTEN (JANE) The Novels…Based on Collation of the Early Editions by R.W. Chapman. 5 vol., second edition, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1926; together with The Letters of Jane Austen, 2 vol., frontispieces, uniform half calf by Hatchards, gilt panelled spines, faded, 8vo, Richard Bentley, 1884 (7)

Estimate: £300 – 500 ( US$ 480 – 810); (€380 – 630) – SOLD: £525  ($844.) (incl. buyer’s premium)

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December 7, 2012. Christies. Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana. New York. Sale 2607.

 Lot 140: [AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817)]. Pride and Prejudice. London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1813.

Lot Description:

[AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817)]. Pride and Prejudice. London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1813.

Three volumes, 8o (171 x 101 mm). Contemporary half calf and marbled boards, spines gilt-ruled, black morocco lettering pieces (a few stains and some rubbing); cloth folding case. Provenance: H. Bradley Martin (bookplate; his sale Sotheby’s New York, 30 April 1990, lot 2571).

FIRST EDITION. Originally titled First Impressions, Pride and Prejudice was written between October 1796 and August 1797 when Jane Austen was not yet twenty-one, the same age, in fact, as her fictional heroine Elizabeth Bennet. After an early rejection by the publisher Cadell who had not even read it, Austen’s novel was finally bought by Egerton in 1812 for £110. It was published in late January 1813 in a small edition of approximately 1500 copies and sold for 18 shillings in boards. In a letter to her sister Cassandra on 29 January 1813, Austen writes of receiving her copy of the newly publishing novel (her “own darling child”), and while acknowledging its few errors, she expresses her feelings toward its heroine as such: “I must confess that I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print, & how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know.” Gilson A3; Grolier English 69; Keynes 3; Sadleir 62b. (3)

Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000 –  SOLD:  $68,500  (incl buyer’s premium)

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Lot 86: Presentation copy of Emma. Provenance: Anne Sharp (1776-1853) “Anne Sharp” in vol. 1 and “A. Sharp” in vol. 2 and 3.

Lot Description:

One of twelve presentation copies recorded in the publisher’s archives and presented to Jane Austen’s “excellent kind friend”: the only presentation copy given to a personal friend of the author.

In a letter to the publisher John Murray dated 11 December 1815, Austen noted that she would “subjoin a list of those persons, to whom I must trouble you to forward a Set each, when the Work is out; – all unbound, with From the Authoress, in the first page”. Most of these copies were for members of Austen’s family. David Gilson in his bibliography of Austen lists these presentation copies, based on information in John Murray’s records, as follows:

  • two to Hans Place, London (presumably for Jane Austen and Henry Austen)
  • Countess of Morley
  • Rev. J.S. Clarke (the Prince Regent’s librarian)
  • J. Leigh Perrot (the author’s uncle)
  • two for Mrs Austen
  • Captain Austen (presumed to be Charles Austen)
  • Rev. J. Austen
  • H.F. Austen (presumed to be Francis)
  • Miss Knight (the author’s favourite niece Fanny Knight)
  • Miss Sharpe [sic]

Anne Sharp (1776-1853) was Fanny-Catherine Knight’s governess at Godmersham in Kent from 1804 to 1806. She resigned due to ill-health and then held a number of subsequent positions as governess and lady’s companion. Deirdre Le Faye notes that by 1823 she was running her own boarding-school for girls in Liverpool (see Jane Austen’s Letters, third edition, 1995, p. 572). She retired in 1841 and died in 1853.

In 1809 Austen wrote to her sister Cassandra Austen that “Miss Sharpe… is born, poor thing! to struggle with Evil…” Four years later Jane wrote to Cassandra that “…I have more of such sweet flattery from Miss Sharp! – She is an excellent kind friend” (which may refer to Anne Sharp’s opinion of Pride and Prejudice). It is known that Anne Sharp thought Mansfield Park “excellent” but she preferred Pride and Prejudice and rated Emma “between the two” (see Jane Austen’s Letters, third edition, 1995, p. 573).

There is one known extant letter from Jane Austen to Anne Sharp, dated 22 May 1817. She is addressed as “my dearest Anne”. After Jane Austen’s death, Cassandra Austen wrote to Anne Sharp on 28 July 1817 sending a “lock of hair you wish for, and I add a pair of clasps which she sometimes wore and a small bodkin which she had had in constant use for more than twenty years”.

“In Miss Sharp she found a truly compatible spirit… Jane took to her at once, and formed a lasting relationship with her… [she occupied] a unique position as the necessary, intelligent friend” (Claire Tomalin, Jane Austen: A Life, 2000).

Anne Sharp is known to have visited Chawton on at least two occasions: in June 1815 and in August-September 1820. Deirdre Le Faye notes that James-Edward Austen-Leigh described her as “horridly affected but rather amusing” (see Jane Austen’s Letters, third edition, 1995, p.573)

Estimate: 150,000-200,000 GBP* UPDATE: UNSOLD

[*Now this confuses me: this copy of Anne Sharp’s Emma sold at Bonhams for a record £180,000 in 2008, and was subsequently sold to an undisclosed buyer for £325,000. in 2010 [see my post here and here on these sales] – I have got to hit the calculator to see what’s up with this…]

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Also in this sale:

Lot 87:  Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. John Murray, 1818.

Lot Description:

A set of Austen’s posthumously published novels in an attractive binding to a contemporary design. It appears that this set was the property of the Revd Fulwar-Craven Fowle (1764-1840). He was a pupil of Rev. George Austen at Steventon between 1778 and 1781. He is occasionally mentioned in Austen’s letters; it appears he participated in a game of vingt-un in 1801 and sent a brace of pheasants in 1815. Fulwar-Craven Fowle’s brother, Thomas (1765-1797) had been engaged to Cassandra Austen in 1792.

Deirdre Le Faye notes that he had “an impatient and rather irascible nature” and “did not bother to read anything of Emma except the first and last chapters, because he had heard it was not interesting” (see Jane Austen’s Letters, 1995, p. 525).

 Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 GBP UPDATE: UNSOLD

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And a few from Austen’s Circle I could not resist reporting on: these are all in the Swann Auction on November 20th - lots of other finds, so take a look:

Swann Sale 2295 Lot 40

BYRON, LORD GEORGE GORDON NOEL. Works. 13 volumes. Titles in red and black. Illustrated throughout with full page plate engravings. 4to, contemporary 1/4 brown crushed morocco, spines handsomely tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, shelfwear to board extremities with some exposure, corners bumped; top edges gilt, others uncut. London, 1898-1904
Estimate $1,000-1,500   SOLD: $1200. (incl buyer’s premium)

limited edition, number 97 of 250 sets initialed by the publisher. This set includes a tipped-in ALS (8vo, one folded sheet. April 7, 1892) by the editor of this edition, Ernest Hartley Coleridge, the grandson of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, to a Mr. Tours[?], recounting a lecture he had recently given in Minneapolis.

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Swann  Sale 2295 Lot 204:

(ROWLANDSON, THOMAS.) The English Dance of Death. 2 volumes. * The Dance of Life. Together, 3 volumes. Engraved colored title-page and 37 hand-colored engraved plates in each volume of the Dance of Death, 25 hand-colored plates in the Dance of Life, by Rowlandson. Tall 8vo, later full tree calf gilt, spines tooled in gilt in 6 compartments with morocco lettering pieces in 2, rebacked; top edges gilt; occasional offsetting to text from plates and spotting to preliminaries; leather bookplates of Stephen M. Dryfoos mounted to front pastedown of 2 volumes; the whole slipcased together. London: R. Ackerman, 1815-16; 1817
Estimate $1,000-1,500 – SOLD: $3600. (incl buyer’s premium)

first editions in fine condition. “Indispensable to any Rowlandson collection, one of the essential pivots of any colour plate library, being one of the main works of Rowlandson”–(Tooley 410-411); Hardie 172; Abbey Life, 263-264; Prideaux 332; Grolier, Rowlandson 32.

 

Swann Sale 2295 Lot 205:

ROWLANDSON, THOMAS.) [Combe, William.] The Tour of Doctor Syntax, in Search of the Picturesque * In Search of Consolation * In Search of a Wife. Together, 3 volumes. Colored aquatint frontispiece in each volume, volumes 1 and 3 with additional aquatint title-page, and 75 colored plates by Rowlandson, colored vignette at end of vol. 3. Large 8vo, uniform full crimson crushed morocco blocked in gilt with corner floral ornaments, spines richly gilt in 4 compartments, titles in 2; turn-ins; by Root & Son, top edges gilt; bookplates of Edward B. Krumbhaar (vol. 1 only) and Christopher Heublein Perot (with his autograph). first edition in book form, second state, handsomely bound. London: R. Ackerman, 1812-20-(21)
Estimate $600-900 – SOLD: $960. (incl buyer’s premium)

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And despite my love of Austen, I do periodically enter the 20th century [sometimes the 21st!] and I still harbor my great admiration and love of John Steinbeck, so this I share because it is so rare and lovely to behold:

Swann Sale 2295 Lot 234 John Steinbeck. Cup of Gold.

STEINBECK, JOHN. Cup of Gold. 8vo, original yellow cloth lettered in black; pictorial dust jacket, spine panel evenly faded with minor chipping to ends with slight loss of a few letters, light rubbing along folds, small rubber inkstamp on front flap; bookplate with name obscured in black pen on front pastedown. New York: Robert M. McBride & Co., 1929
Estimate $8,000-12,000 – SOLD: $14,400 (incl buyer’s premium)

scarce first edition, first issue of steinbeck’s first book with the McBride publisher imprint and “First Published, August 1929″ on copyright page. Jacket flap corners evenly clipped as issued with “$2.50″ printed price present. The publisher printed only 2476 copies, 939 of which were remaindered as unbound sheets and evidently sold to Covici-Friede who issued them with new preliminaries, preface, binding, and jacket in 1936. Variant copy (no priority) with the top edges unstained. Goldstone-Payne A1.a.

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All images are from the respective auction houses with thanks.

Have fun browsing, and bidding if you wish!

 c2012 Jane Austen in Vermont

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