Dominic Winter Auctioneers are delighted to offer one of the finest libraries of natural history books to come to market in recent years, building on the success of the Ladwell ornithology collection sold in 2019.
David Wilson is a former secretary of the British Trust for Ornithology, and his personal library, assembled over more than half a century, contains many of the most desirable titles in natural history collecting, with highlights including a set of John Gould’s Birds of Great Britain (1862-73) in contemporary purple morocco gilt, splendid copies of rare illustrated monographs such as Godman’s Monograph of the Petrels (1907-10) and Shelley’s Monograph of the Nectariniidae (1876-80), and a first edition of Darwin’s On The Origin of Species (1859) in the original cloth, illustrated to the right.
The David Wilson Library of Natural History will be sold across several sales in 2020 and the catalogue for the first installment will be available at the end of March.
This sale will also feature more than 45 lots comprising a remarkable lifetime collection of blues, jazz, rock and classical records, including many rare LPs and singles, as well as a large collection of vintage music magazines and film memorabilia.
For further information please contact Dominic Somerville-Brown
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By tradition, our May book sale focuses on fine and rare travel and exploration, including atlases and colour plate books. Highlights on this occasion will include a fine copy of the atlas to Sir George Staunton’s Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China (1797). The folio engravings illustrate Staunton’s account of Lord Macartney’s voyage and embassy to the Chinese Emperor in 1792-94, and includes views of palaces, temples, harbours and military outposts, engraved after drawings by William Alexander. Also on offer is a handsome copy of Captain Charles Gold’s Oriental Drawings of 1806, a folio bound in contemporary gilt decorated brown calf containing 48 hand-coloured aquatint views of Indian costume, landscape and architecture, drawn by Gold during his period of service with the Royal Artillery in India between 1791 and 1798.
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The spring military and aviation sale will feature the second part of the astonishing military library of Lt. Col. R.J. 'Bob' Wyatt MBE TD, and comprise 150 lots, largely relating to wars and campaigns of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The sale centerpiece looks set to be a collection of artefacts from the family of Sir Barnes Neville Wallis CBE FRS RDI FRAeS (1887-1979), including a small and important collection of Dambusters and other material belonging to the great English scientist, engineer and inventor.
Notable highlights include two oil paintings of airships by Alfred Egerton Cooper (1883-1974). Both relate to the surrendering of the German navy in 1918 and feature the airborne airships NS7 and R26, the latter of which Barnes Wallis co-designed for Vickers with H.B. Pratt (£2,000-3,000 each). Barnes Wallis worked for Vickers from 1913 and was involved in airship design up until the R100, a project that was grounded after the fatal crash of the R101 in France in October 1930.
Barnes Wallis's fame lies most famously with his invention of the bouncing bombs used in Operation Chastise (the "Dambusters" raid), led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, to attack the dams of the Ruhr Valley during World War II. On offer will be a menu signed by Guy Gibson for Barnes Wallis at a celebratory dinner the two had at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey, on 23rd June 1943 (£1,000-1,500). Their shared dinner of cold lobster, grilled chicken and mushrooms, took place the night after the Dambusters dinner celebration organised by A.V. Roe & Co. at the Hungaria Restaurant, Regents Street, London.
The Dam Busters raid was made world-famous by the eponymous best-selling book by Paul Brickhill (1951) and film based on the book (1955). The sale includes a copy of a first edition of Paul Brickhill's book with signed presentation inscription to Barnes Wallis, 'Without whom there would have been no squadron and no book' (£700-1,000); and a photograph of Barnes Wallis standing next to the actor Michael Redgrave in the role of Barnes Wallis for the film, signed by Michael Redgrave (£300-500).
Other highlights are a Barnes Wallis model for testing angles of wings for 'swing wing' aircraft, c. 1960 (£700-1,000); a manuscript calculus, trigonometry and physics course written for his young wife-to-be Molly Bloxam, 1922-24 (£2,000-3,000) and a sensational, emotionally super-charged letter of congratulations written to Barnes Wallis by his 16-year-old schoolgirl daughter Mary on hearing the news of the success of the Dambusters raid and fondly remembering her father's experiments with marbles in their garden which led to the bouncing bomb design:
'Hooray, hooray, hooray!!!!! Wonderful marbles. Up the marbles … As a matter of fact as soon as I read in the paper about the bombing of the dams in Germany I guessed that the kitchen bath tub and that wonderful erection of the garden table and kitchen chairs, and the complicated string-moving-up-and-down business, and the cold, cold water spilt in vain efforts to fill the tub, and the wild shrieks from Lis when the marbles lost themselves in the onion bed, and the impossible task of trying to see whether a minute marble bounced under or over a wobbley piece of string, were not in vain. Really, I have quite a maternal feeling for the little dears after all that…' (£700-1,000).
The sale also includes the usual array of aviation and military artefacts, medals and memorabilia with further entries invited.
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Following the highly memorable Asia and John Thomson themed photography sale in October plans for the spring 2020 photography sale are fast taking shape. Continuing the Far Eastern theme the sale includes an album of photographs of Ootacamund and the Nilgiri Hills by A.T.W. Penn, c. 1875-1905 (£300-500), an album of platinum print photographs of India by talented amateur Victor Pont (£1,000-1,500), a rare copy of C.J. Kleingrothe's Malay Peninsula, 1907 (£2,000-3,000), albums relating to Tientsin, southwest China and Indochina, Japan and China, and an Asian voyage to include China and Hong Kong (various dates and estimates); plus four lots of photographs of Nepalese royalty and nobility including an unusual finely hand-coloured official coronation photograph of Maharaja Dev Shamsher, of Nepal, in 1901 (£1,000-1,500).
Major name photographers include Roger Fenton and Julia Margaret Cameron with four photographs from an unidentified album, 1864-66, comprising two portraits of Julia Jackson, one of Mary Hillier with the young Keown sisters and one of Connor of the Royal Artillery (£15,000-20,000). Also being researched are two Pre-Raphaelite portraits of female sitters by Frederick Hollyer, a fine Oscar Rejlander album and a newly discovered hand-coloured ambrotype of a seated young woman, tentatively attributed to be the sitter Julia Margaret Cameron herself.
Fashion makes an appearance again with a 3-volume work, Les Actualités de L’Elégance, c.1914-25 (£4,000-6,000) with over 700 original photographs of European ladies' fashions of the day. Jumping forward in time there will be a second selection of fashion contact prints by legendary LIFE photographer Martin Munkacsi, large format theatrical portraits by Angus McBean and a Robert Self limited edition Man Ray double exposure photograph of Kiki de Montparnasse titled Demain (£1,500-2,000).
The 1960s feature in a never-before-seen collection of negatives of the Beatles taken in April 1964 during the filming of their first feature film A Hard Day's Night. Just back from their first American tour, the film was a rushed project to capture the Beatlemania fad before their 'five-minute' fame passed! Largely taken at Marylebone Station and in the Garrison Room and gardens at Les Ambassadeurs club, London, the photographs also feature shots with co-star Wilfrid 'Steptoe' Brambell, schoolgirl Pattie Boyd (to become the wife of George Harrison) and inspired director Richard Lester. The collection, split into twelve lots carries a total estimate of £10,000-15,000 and the medium format and 35mm negatives come with full copyright.
The sale will also include a private collection of cartes-de-visite albums sold as multiple lots, a very rare book on the Lancashire cotton industry in Italian, Scarti di Cotone, 1920, with fourteen tipped-in photogravures by Alvin Langdon Coburn (£500-800), assorted albums and folders, individual prints, military cased images, cameras and accessories.
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Highlights consigned for the original art section so far are 4 Christmas cards and 3 fine drawings by the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh artist Ernest Shepard. Somewhat surprisingly, these drawings come from the estate of Shepard's family friends Marie Stopes (1880-1958), the birth control pioneer and women's rights campaigner, and her son Harry Stopes-Roe (1924-2014). Two of the pencil drawings, signed and dated July 1929, show the five-year-old Christopher Robin lookalike Harry climbing a tree and riding a pony. Each of these drawings is estimated at £1,500-2,000, while the third pen and ink drawing from March 1935 portrays a tearful Pooh and Piglet drawn on Shepard's embossed letterhead paper.
It forms part of a one-page letter written by Shepard in the guise of Pooh with misspellings, apologising for not being able to come to 'Buffkins' birthday party on 30th March (£4,000-6,000). This collection also includes copies of books inscribed by and to Marie Stopes, plus a small archive of scripts, correspondence and contracts for Buckie's Bears, a children's Christmas pageant co-written by Marie and Harry and produced by Marie for the London stage annually between 1931 and 1936.
For further information please contact Chris Albury
+44 (0)1285 860006
Included in our Fine Art & Antiques sale is the Jack Webb collection (Part 1).
Jack Webb (1923-2019) was a passionate collector of antiques and amassed his collection over the majority of his lifetime. The sale will include a broad range of antiquities and antiques from the Roman period until the 20th century including Egyptian bronze shabti (one of them with a letter from the British Museum dated 1947), an Elizabeth I nightcap purchased from Christies in 1961, a late 18th century silver marrow scoop, an 18th century Italian cane finely engraved with Apostles and their Churches, a 19th century Alfred jewel pendant, Indian miniature portraits, snuff boxes, 18th century door keys, a George III shagreen etui and many other objet d’art.
Jack’s collection of British Military cased photographs will also be offered in our forthcoming Vintage Photography sale.