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Yes, more sale news to tempt you. The Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs sale to be held at Bonhams at their Knightsbridge premises on the 13th November,2012 looks set to be a fantastic sale.

If I could I would buy it all lock, stock and barrel, so tempting are the contents of the catalogue. That’s not likely to happen, but perhaps you might like to see what I think are the highlights. First , Lot 13,  a first edition of Emma, written by Jane Austen and published by John Murray, dated 1816.

©Bonhams

©Bonhams

The catalogue notes that the lot comprises:

Emma, 3 vol, FIRST EDITION, half-titles in vol. 2 and 3, spotting, one gathering working loose and blank lower margin torn away from advertisement leaf at end of volume 3, one front free endpaper near detached, bookplate of “John Hawkshaw, Esq., Hollycombe”, contemporary half calf, gilt lettering on spines, headbands frayed (volume 2 with small loss at head and foot of backstrip) [Gilson A8; Keynes 8], 8vo, John Murray, 1816

and the sale estimate is between £6000-8000.

Also on offer is a series of three lots of books published by that doyen of Regency publishers, Rudolph Ackermann. First, Lot 1

A History of the University of Cambridge, its Colleges, Halls, and Public Buildings, 2 vol.

©Bonhams

©Bonhams

half-titles, engraved portrait, 95 hand-coloured aquatint or engraved plates after Pugin, Westall, Mackenzie, Unwins and Pyne, tissue guards, some offsetting onto text, bookplate of George Burnham Wells, contemporary calf gilt, upper covers with central coroneted monogram “MM” (identified in pencil as Maria Miquel of Portugal), g.e. [Abbey, Scenery 80; Tooley 4], 4to (335 x 270mm.), R. Ackermann, 1815.

The sale estimate is between £2000-3000 for this set. Ackermann employed some of the foremost illustrators of his age, and some of you know that I collect his books and illustrations. They give us a unique glimpse of what Jane Austen’s world looked  like, and in this case, we get to see the Cambridge that was the alma mater of Geroge Wickham,  for as Darcy tells us in his later to Eliabeth in Chapter 35 of Pride and Prejudice, his father financed his education there:

Mr. Wickham is the son of a very respectable man, who had for many years the management of all the Pemberley estates, and whose good conduct in the discharge of his trust naturally inclined my father to be of service to him; and on George Wickham, who was his godson, his kindness was therefore liberally bestowed. My father supported him at school, and afterwards at Cambridge; — most important assistance, as his own father, always poor from the extravagance of his wife, would have been unable to give him a gentleman’s education.

I have some loose leaves from this publication,but I don’t own the whole set. 

Lot 2, The Microcosm of London, 3 vol.,first edition, is a wonderful publication, of which I am lucky to possess a set. These books allow you gain some impression of what London was like when Jane Austen visited it in the early part of the 19th century. They are totally fascinating, and the plates, originally created by Pugin and Rowlandson, are lively and always full of detail and interest.

©Bonhams

©Bonhams

The sale catalogue description is as follows:

half-titles, wood-engraved pictorial titles, engraved dedication leaves, 104 hand-coloured aquatint plates after Rowlandson and Pugin (watermarked 1806-1808, 2 small tears repaired to blank margin of plate 65), some offsetting from plates to text, occasional light spotting (mostly to titles), contemporary russia gilt, sides with wide decorative borders, skilfully rebacked with gilt panelled spines[Abbey, Scenery 212; Adams 99; Tooley 7], 4to (340 x 275mm.), R. Ackermann, [1808-1810]

and it has a sale estimate of between £2500-3500

Lot 3 is also by Ackermann, The History of the Abbey Church of St. Peter’s Westminster,its Antiquities and Monuments, 2 vol., first edition (Westminster Abbey-jfw)

©Bonhams

©Bonhams, 

Perusing its pages would allow you to see what it was like when Dr Grant of Mansfield Park spent his last days on earth there:

Dr. Grant, through an interest on which he had almost ceased to form hopes, succeeded to a stall in Westminster, which, as affording an occasion for leaving Mansfield, an excuse for residence in London, and an increase of income to answer the expenses of the change, was highly acceptable to those who went and those who staid.

Chapter 48.

These books have a sale estimate of between £500-700.

There are other tempting lots but  the last one I would like to share with you  is Lot 68, a collection of mementos presented to the wet-nurse employed by George III and Queen Charlotte:

©Bonhams

©Bonhams

Presented in a display case the mementos include: George III’s Garter Sash in blue silk, the Duke of Cumberland’s white kidskin gloves, presented on 30 April 1771, the Prince of Wales’s Garter Sash in blue silk, presented on 12 May 1769, the Princess Royal’s cambric and lace mittens, presented on 12 May 1769, Prince William’s brown kid child-sized gloves, presented on the same day, the lace cap worn by the infant Prince Edward, and Prince Frederick, Duke of York’s Bath Sash in crimson silk; also framed with a piece of the christening bonnet of Prince Edward, embroidered in red silk with silver thread, labelled as given by Elizabeth Meade, daughter of Anne Percy, to Lady Cremorne; and a pair of tweezers given by the Prince of Wales to Anne Cleveland Percy.

Anne Percy, in addition to being the Royal Wet-Nurse was also the wife of the literary scholar Thomas Percy, future Bishop of Dromore. What a fascinating relict of the intimate life of the Royal Household.

There is much, MUCH, more of interest in this sale- a letter from Nelson to Emma Hamilton, wonderful topographical books etc from our era amongst many others- so I am sure you will enjoy looking at the on-line catalogue. I will keep an eye out for the results ;)

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