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 & Documents, Early Printed & Manuscript Music

Printed Books, Maps & Documents, Early Printed & Manuscript Music

19th Jun, 2024 10:00