Our 24 July sale contains a selection of rare travel narratives, antiquarian literature, maps and prints, decorative bindings, and literary and historical autographs.
Highlights from the travel section include a set of George Staunton’s Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China (1797), complete with the atlas volume (£3,000-5,000), a tall copy of Anderson’s 1786 Complete Collection of Voyages Round the World (£1,200-1,800), and the first and only edition of Angelo Legrenzi’s Il pellegrino nell’Asia (1705; estimate £700-1,000). Legrenzi (1643-1708) was a Venetian physician who travelled extensively in India, and in his book, which is not previously recorded at auction, describes at length the route to the east via modern-day Iraq, Iran and the Persian Gulf. It is also one of several lots in the sale of relevance to Cyprus. Among the maps and prints are attractive copies of François de Belleforest’s c.1575 woodcut world map, Typus orbis terrarum (£2,000-3,000), Carel Allard’s Planisphaerium terrestre (c. 1696; £1,000-1,500), and a 1642 edition of Christopher Saxton’s Hertfordshire (£700-1,000).
Notable items from the 100-lot section of English and Continental antiquarian books are a 1596 Venice edition of Dante (£700-1,000), a magnificent copy of Baskett’s 1716-17 folio Bible, bound in blue morocco gilt with the arms of George III (£700-1,000), and a set of 18th-century army lists, all large-paper copies in red morocco gilt, with provenance to the personal physician of William, Duke of Clarence, later William IV (£1,500-2,000). These are accompanied by several lots of important autograph letters signed by the Duke of Wellington written in the midst of the Peninsular War (various estimates); other important autograph items range from a Charles II document signed (£700-1,000) to a set of signed letters by Daphne Du Maurier (£200-300).
Our Summer Fine Art & Antiques sale features Old Master paintings, portraits and miniatures, as well as a range of 19th and 20th century works of art. Amongst the early paintings is an attractive early Sienese School tempera on wood panel depicting the Madonna and Child, in a cheek-to-cheek embrace typical of Byzantine painting. This item comes from a Wiltshire private collection and carries an estimate of £2000-3000. Much larger in scale and highly decorative is an imaginary Italianate landscape in oil in the manner of the 18th century English artist Richard Wilson (1714-1782), also from a private collection in the West Country.
Islamic and Far Eastern works of art are also represented in this sale, and include Japanese watercolours and colour woodblock prints, as well as several Mughal School miniatures: a Kota School portrait of the Maharaja Chhatrasal on horseback of the third quarter of the 19th century, showing the colourful figure surrounded by his faithful warriors (estimate £800-1200) and a small, and possibly contemporary, portrait of the Emperor Jahangir who reigned from 1605 to 1627.
An important section of British portraits and miniatures includes several large 18th century portraits of Bristol merchants, and other 17th, 18th century and Regency era oval miniatures. The latter category features three intriguing portraits of the Digweed family of Steventon in Hampshire, who were neighbours and close friends of novelist Jane Austen and her family (lots 221-223, estimates £700-1000 apiece). The portraits are all by George Jackson (active 1810-20s), and they depict James Digweed, his wife Mary, and his brother William Francis. Jane Austen often referred to the Digweeds in her letters, their paths frequently crossing at dinners, balls and other social occasions.
A broad range of 19th century art in this sale includes an original study of French architecture by John Ruskin, datable to the 13th April 1846 while he was on tour in Europe with his parents (estimate £2000-3000), and three watercolours by Queen Victoria (lots 296-298), as well as one by her third child, Princess Alice (lot 299). The latter four works were given by the Queen to Miss Sarah Hildyard ‘Tilla’, treasured governess to the royal children, and have not been on the market since 1968. One of them depicts Edward, Prince of Wales, and his brother Prince Alfred, at Osborne House, and another shows Victoria, Princess Royal, as a water nymph.
As usual, the sale also features a strong section of 20th century art. For example, following recent sales in these rooms of other works by the same artist, we are offering two further oil paintings by the Austrian Tirolean 20th century artist Herbert Gurschner, including an early park scene of 1922 (lot 336, estimate £5000-6000) and another of a French street of the mid-1920s (estimate £2000-3000). Highly decorative and in excellent condition, are the two still lives by Cecil Kennedy (1905-1997), both oil on canvas (lots 339 and 340, estimates £1000-1500 and £1500-2000 respectively).
19th & 20th Century Photographs, featuring India, China & the Far East
The October sale features a number of electrifying mid-Victorian photograph albums and photo books of China and Hong Kong. Most importantly are several books and albums with photographs by the great Scottish photographer John Thomson (1837-1921).
Thomson was one of the first to extensively document the Far East, photographing out there between 1862 and 1872, before returning to the UK and producing, in association with Adolphe Smith, the seminal and pioneering documentary photography book, Street Life in London (1876-77). Thomson published many of his images of China, Thailand and Cambodia in a series of books, often using actual photographs in the publications, making them costly small printings, and now all consequently rare. Most well-known is his four-volume work Illustrations of China and Its People. A Series of Two Hundred Photographs, published in 4 volumes (1873-74). The wide body of images in that work are reproduced as photogravures and so these fine images and the books are generally found in good condition.
More difficult to find in fine condition are the books published with mounted original photographs, of which the earliest, The Antiquities of Cambodia (1867), with 16 albumen prints, is the most familiar. Of Thomson's China books with real photographs, Foochow and the River Min (1873) with 80 carbon prints is the best known, even though only published in limited edition of 46 copies; the last complete copy at auction fetched £350,000 at Sotheby's, London, in 2012. But even rarer than that is Thomson's first China photography book, Views on the North River (1870), with 14 mounted albumen prints. On this expedition into the Guangdong province the weather was poor and Thomson was disappointed with his photographs. There are only four copies of this book known: at Hong Kong University, the National Library of Scotland, Cornell University, and one privately owned in North America. No copies have ever been offered for sale by auction, nor by catalogue, that we have found.
It is a great privilege therefore to announce for sale a newly discovered fifth copy, held for 150 years in a private British family's possession, alongside four further related photograph albums of the 1860s/70s: views of Hong Kong by John Thomson, circa 1868; view of Hong Kong by William Floyd Pryor, circa 1870; and two albums of views of Hong Kong, China, India and Burma. The sale will also comprise further 19th-century Asian and other travel photography, both as individual prints and albums from various sources.
On view below are a selection of images from the album of Hong Kong views by John Thomson.
To consign and for further information please contact Chris Albury
+44 (0)1285 860006
Dominic Winter Auctioneers are delighted to offer for sale the library of the noted Anglo-German economist, author and librarian Eduard Rosenbaum (1887-1979).
Born in Hamburg, Rosenbaum was from 1919 syndic of the Hamburg chamber of commerce (Handelskammer) and director of its famous Commerzbibliothek. In the same year he was part of the German delegation at Versailles, and published an account of the negotiations shortly after (Der Vertrag von Versailles, 1921). He was removed from his position by the Nazi Party in April 1933, and in 1934 emigrated to England through the offices of John Maynard Keynes, whom he had met at Versailles, and whose papers he had helped publish through the Hamburg journal Wirtschaftsdienst: Wirtschafltiche Nachrichten.
In 1935 he became the first holder of the newly-created position of acquisitions librarian at the London School of Economics, remaining in post until his retirement in 1952. His internment on the Isle of Man in 1940 provided an introduction to Italian economist Piero Sraffa, whom he went on to assist in compiling the Royal Economic Society’s edition of the works of David Ricardo (1951); later in life he wrote a history of the Hamburg merchant bank M. M. Warburg & Co. (1976).
The library of Eduard Rosenbaum comes to the market direct from the family, and the sale coincides with an exhibition at the Hamburg Handelskammer to commemorate the centenary of Rosenbaum’s appointment as director, to be held from 26 July until 4 October 2019, which is to be followed by a special lecture on 17 October at the LSE. His collection provides an engrossing snapshot of the cultural milieu which the Nazi Party set out to destroy. Highlights include rare livres d’artiste by Conrad Felixmüller, the expressionist painter pronounced degenerate by the Nazi regime, limited editions of works by symbolist poet Stefan George, and a complete set of Robert Musil’s Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften (1930-43) in the dust jackets.
For further information please contact Dominic Somerville-Brown
+44 (0)1285 860006