A ‘Lockdown’ Sale in Review

Printed Books, Maps & Documents, 27 & 28 May 2020

A bumper sale held over two days, with viewing by appointment and no room-bidding in accordance with government instructions, proved one of Dominic Winter Auctioneers’ best-ever performances and a bravura demonstration of the resilience and buoyancy of the market for rare books, maps and works on paper.

The sale contained a number of single-owner collections including the Leon Paul Library of Fencing, the David Wilson Library of Natural History Part I (Part II to be sold on 9 September 2020), the Military Library of Lt. Col. R.J. Wyatt MBE TD (1931-2019) Part II (Part III to be sold on 29 July 2020), and a superb group of prime ministerial autographs which received national media attention in The Times and elsewhere.

A few days before the sale (21 May) the same newspaper dedicated its entire third page to lot 618, a collection of autograph letters from Fred Astaire to British film director Lionel Jeffries (1926-2010), which was fiercely contested up to £3,000 on an estimate of £700-£1,000.



27 & 28 May 2020 in numbers


Lots offered: 876

Estimate range: £245,390 - £364,550

Total hammer price: £487,699

Percentage of lots sold: 95.55%



Top 10 Hammer Prices:


Darwin (Charles). On the Origin of Species, 1st edition, 1859, lot 230, estimate £15,000-£25,000,

hammer price £21,000

Washington (John). Eskimaux and English Vocabulary, 1st edition, 1850, lot 178, estimate £3,000-£5,000,

hammer price £8,000

Gentleman’s Magazine, 276 volumes, 1731-1894, lot 562, estimate £5,000-£7,000, 

hammer price £7,500

House of Grimaldi; Branch of Antibes. Four vellum documents, 1381-1431, lot 647, estimate £700-£1,000,

hammer price £5,600

Gold (Thomas). Oriental Drawings, 1st edition, 1806, lot 151, estimate £3,000-£5,000,

hammer price £5,600

Churchill (Winston S.). Ian Hamilton’s March [and] London to Ladysmith, 1st editions, 1900, signed, lot 143, estimate £3,000-£4,000,

hammer price, £5,400

Staunton (George). An Authentic Account of an Embassy to the Emperor of China [atlas volume only], 1st edition, 1797, lot 173, estimate £3,000-£4,000,

hammer price £4,800

Byrne (Oliver). The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid, 1st edition, 1847, lot 496, estimate £2,000-£3,000,

hammer price £4,800

Godman (Frederick Du Cane). A Monograph of the Petrels, 1st edition, 1907-10, lot 234, estimate £1,500-£2,500,

hammer price £4,500

Landi (Alfonso, active c.1655). ‘Racconto di pitture, sculture, e architetture eccellenti, che si trovano nel duomo di Siena, con i loro autori’, 1655, rare manuscript copy, lot 363, estimate £300-£500,

hammer price £4,200


The catalogue for our 24-25 June sale is available online here and our specialist staff are ready to assist with all enquiries. We are also welcoming consignments for all our future sales: please contact one of our specialists for advice or use the valuation form on our website.


Upcoming Auctions


Printed Books, Maps & Original Art, Modern First Editions & Illustrated Books, Games & Playing Cards

Printed Books, Maps & Original Art, Modern First Editions & Illustrated Books, Games & Playing Cards

13th Dec, 2023 - 14th Dec, 2023

To see a page-turning version of our catalogue, please see the Virtual Catalogue.

Live bidding is available on our website on sale day, a BID LIVE button will appear 60 minutes before the sale starts. Please register at least 24 hours before the sale starts. Commission bids can be left on our website up to 1 hour before the sale. For telephone bids, please call the office on 01285 860006.

We would like to wish all our customers a peaceful and joyous Christmas & New Year and to cordially invite those who can make it to join us in South Cerney for a complimentary glass of wine and mince pie (from midday on both sale days)