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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 ;)

Lot 150 is a uniformly bound set of Jane Austen’s novels and is included in Christie’s sale of Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books, to be held on 21st November at their King Street premises in London.

©Christies

©Christies

The set includes  the 1813 second edition of edition of Sense and Sensibility, published by Egerton:

©Christies

©Christies

A first edition of Pride and Prejudice dating from 1813, again published by Egerton:

©Christies

©Christies

A first edition of Mansfield Park,published by Egerton:

©Christies

©Christies

A first edition of Emma published by John Murray:

©Christies

©Christies

and  a first  edition of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion:

©Christies

©Christies

The sale estimate is £30,000-£50,000. And would, I am sure you would agree,  make the perfect Christmas gift ! I’ll keep an eye on the sale and will report back to you with the results. I doubt they will make their way into my Christmas stocking but a girl can dream…

I thought you would all be very interested in Sotheby’s English Literature,History,Children’s Books and Illustrations sale which will be held in London on the 10th July. The reason? There are quite a few items related to Jane Austen..so, get your cheque books ready…

There is almost a complete set of  first editions for sale, all from the collection of Bridget Mary Owen:

Lot 57, Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice, First Edition, ©Sotheby’s


has a pre-sale estimate of £20,000-30,000

Lot 55, Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park First Edition ©Sotheby’s

has a pre-sale estimate of £3,000 – 5,000

Lot 58, Emma

Emma, First Edition, ©Sotheby’s

has a pre-sale estimate of £10,000-15,000, and Lot 56,  Northanger Abbey and Persuasion

Northanger Abbey and Persuasion First Edition ©Sotheby’s

Has a pre-sale estimate of £2,500-3,500.

Continuing the navel themes of Persuasion, Lot 20, is a sea chest owned by George Lewis Browne who served on H.M.S. Victory, Nelson’s flagship, during the Battle of Trafalgar:

Battle of Trafalgar Sea Chest ©Sotheby’s

This has a pre-sale estimate of £15,000-20,000 And finally, Lot 59: a piece to make every Janeite’s heart leap, Jane Austen’s Ring:

Jane Austen’s Ring, and Note from Eleanor Austen née Jackson to Caroline Austen ©Sotheby’s

This has a pre-sale estimate of £20,000-30,000. It has a rather touching history, which is contained in the note that accompanies the ring, shown below:

Note written by Eleanor Austen, Née Jackson to Caroline Austen in 1863 ©Sotheby’s

The ring was Jane Austen’s and on her death it became to property of her sister, Cassandra. Three years after Jane died, in 1820,  Henry Austen, her brother, married for the second time, Eleanor Jackson. She was well known to the Austen family, and was a niece of Mr. Papillon, the Rector of Chawton(who was in turn the subject of a joke: Mrs Knight the adoptive mother of Edward Austen, often wished Jane Austen had married him).

Deirdre Le Faye in the Jane Austen Society’s Report  of 1989 wrote about Eleanor and Henry:

The last of the nine sisters-in-law was Eleanor Jackson, Henry’s second wife. Jane had always expected that Henry would marry again, and before his bankruptcy in 1816 there had been several ladies in his circle of wealthy London friends to whom he seemed equally attracted and on whom he sought Jane’s sisterly opinions. However, his sudden reduction to near-poverty meant that any thoughts of re-marriage had to be indefinitely postponed, and it was only his succession to the Steventon living in 1819,  following James’ (Austen’s jfw) death, which enabled him to support a wife once more. Not much is known about Eleanor, save that she was the niece of the Reverend John Papillon, Rector of Chawton at the time the Austens were living there; her home was in Chelsea, so Henry could have met her in either place. It is not certain whether Jane ever knew her, but it seems probable she is the “Eleanor” mentioned in Letter no. 75 in January 1813.  In 1819 she was referred to in family correspondence as having ‘a very good pair of Eyes”  but no other description or picture of her is known. Persumably she was intelligent- one cannot imagine Henry choosing a dull, stupid woman-and they were married in 1820. Despite her ill-health, (by the 1830s she had developed a semi-crippling ailment, probably something rheumatic,) Henry was devoted to Eleanor:”one dearer to me than life and for whose comfort I am solicitous beyond my own existence “. Cassandra was happy to think that he had found such an excellent wife to support him in his last role in life and an impoverished country clergyman. It is thanks to Eleanor that the miniature of Mrs Hancock, now on display at the Cottage survives; after Henry’s death in 1850 one of Frank’s granddaughters came to live with Eleanor and was in turn bequeathed the little picture( see below- jaw). It descended in that branch of the family until Mr Edward Carptenter was able to acquire  it  on behalf of the Jane Austen Society.

(pp.161-162)

Miniature of Philadelphia Hancock by John Smart

According to the note in Eleanor’s hand, when Cassandra learnt that Henry was to marry Eleanor, she gave her Jane’s ring. Eleanor in turn gave it to Caroline Austen, Jane’s niece, as the note explains. It has since descended through the family: Caroline left it to her niece, James Edward Austen Leigh’s daughter, Mary, who gave it in turn to her sister, Winifred Jenkyns,and it has since descended though that branch of the family .

The ring looks as if it’s stone is of turquoise, but in fact it is odontolite, which was commonly known as Bone Turquoise.It is, in fact a fossilised tooth, that was heat-treated  to turn blue, so that it could be used in imitation of the more expensive semi precious stone, fashionable in the Regency period.

I have then feeling that this ring will make far more than its estimate: I will, of course, watch out for the results of the sale for you, and report back. I confess, this is one item I would love to own.

UPDATE: Deirdre Le Faye has contacted me to correct the information given by Sotheby’s in their catalogue about the date in Eleanor Jackson’s note which accompanies Jane Austen’s Ring:

Eleanor Jackson’s note CANNOT be dated November 1869 (NINE), because she died on 3rd May 1864 (FOUR) and probate of her Will was granted 27th June 1864 (FOUR) – no doubt about that, therefore. The note must be ‘November 1863 (THREE) – with the final figure being written in a very tight, cramped fashion. I have written to Sotheboys to tell them this – too late now that the catalogue is printed, but I trust they will make an announcement in the room when the lot comes up. Best wishes to all interested readers, Deirdre Le Faye

 

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