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Reading Copy Book Blog - a blog about books from the staff at AbeBooks

AbeBooks Rare Book Room


Francis Seymour Hayden
        1. Etudes à l'Eau-Forte by Francis Seymour Haden - £11,130
          A collection of 25 etchings by Seymour Hayden - 24 of the plates depict the landscape around London, the Thames, Ireland and Wales and the final one is a portrait of Thomas Haden.  The text reproduces an article printed in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts by Philippe Burty and contains a catalogue of the etched work of Seymour Haden.
        2. L'Abou Naddara, Journal Arabe Illustre (1878-1884) by James Sanua - £8,400
          First edition published in 1878 and signed by author.  The complete set of the first eight years of Sahifat Abou Naddara issued in Paris. Sanua was called Ya'qub Rufa'il Sanu in Arabic but was often referred to by his pseudonym, Abu Naddara (‘father of spectacles’).
        3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling - £8,320
          Rare first edition signed by JK with the dust wrapper panels signed by the cover artist Cliff Wright. The first issue has a misaligned block of text which was corrected in the subsequent issues.
        4. Specimens of British minerals selected from the cabinet of Philip Rashleigh by Philip Rashleigh - £8,240
          Cornish landowner Philip Rashleigh formed one of the most outstanding early collections of mineral specimens (housed in the Royal Cornwall Museum at Truro) and this work describes his best specimens.
        5. The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia by David Roberts - £7,990
          First American edition from 1855 including 250 lithographed plates with historical descriptions from George Croly and William Brockedon.
        6. The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid by Elucid - £7,590
          Charles Wittingham of the Chiswick Press published this edition of Euclid’s works on Euclidean geometry in 1847.  Written and designed to simplify Euclid's propositions, this remarkable example of Victorian printing has been described as one of the oddest and most beautiful books of the 19th century.
        7. Autographed Letter by Edward Lear - £7,425
          A two-page illustrated autograph letter by the nonsense poet Edward Lear, most renowned for writing The Owl and the Pussycat, dated 9th September 1867.  The letter contains a detailed self-caricature sketch showing Lear with outstretched limbs, as well as a comedic request to visit the recipient.
        8. Grimms Fairy Tales by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm
        9. Grimms Fairy Tales by Jakob & Wilhelm Grimm - £7,355
          A first edition, first issue copy of these famous fairy tales, including 22 etched plates by George Cruikshank. It is housed in a clamshell box.
        10. Peter Beard Collector's Edition by Peter Beard - £6,980
          Published by Tashen in 2006, this is one of a limited number of collector’s copies signed by the renowned photographer.
        11. Biblia Latina Printed by Johannes Herbort de Seligenstadt - £6,977
          Printed in 1484, these bibles were the first to use the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts to improve the common Latin Vulgate bible text. The first ‘Fontibus Ex Graecis’ Biblia Latina was published 1479 by Amerbach and was named after the first line of three distichs (couplets) that were included in the texts. Johannes Herbort de Seligenstadt used Amerbach’s revised second edition for this Biblia Latina.

         

 

AbeBooks Most Expensive Sales of Children’s & Young Adult Books in 2008

The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
      1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling - £8,320
        Rare first edition signed by JK with the dust wrapper panels signed by the cover artist Cliff Wright. The first issue has a misaligned block of text which was corrected in the subsequent issues.
      2. Grimms Fairy Tales by Jakob & Wilhelm Grimm - £3,786
        A first edition, first issue copy of these famous fairy tales including 22 etched plates by George Cruikshank. It is housed in a clamshell box.
      3. The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell - £3,487
        A complete set of the children’s fantasy series containing Beyond the Deepwoods, Stormchaser, Midnight Over Sanctaphrax, Cloud Wolf, Curse of the Gloamglozer, Last of the Sky Pirates, Vox, and Freeglader.  All titles are first UK editions with signatures of Stewart and Riddell.

       

 

AbeBooks’ Most Expensive Sales of Art Books in 2008

  1. Etudes à l'Eau-Forte by Francis Seymour Haden - £11,130
    A Corpus of Rembrandt paintingsA collection of 25 etchings by Seymour Hayden - 24 of the plates depict the landscape around London, the Thames, Ireland and Wales and the final one is a portrait of Thomas Haden.  The text reproduces an article printed in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts by Philippe Burty and contains a catalogue of the etched work of Seymour Haden.
  2. English Etchings - A Collection of Original Etchings - £3,786
    An eight-volume set of the English Etchings series of prints.  A thorough survey of the etched work of English artists such as William Strang, James McNeill Whistler, Frank Short, Percy Thomas, Herbert Marshall, Robert Currie, Buxton Knight and Oliver Baker among others.
  3. A Corpus of Rembrandt paintings - £3,487
    Published in 1982 in three volumes

 

AbeBooks’ Most Expensive Sales of Photography Books in 2008

Les Americans by Robert Frank
        1. Peter Beard Collector's Edition by Peter Beard - £6,980
          Published by Tashen in 2006, this is one of a limited number of collector’s copies signed by the renowned photographer.
        2. Les Americans by Robert Frank - £2,812
          First edition published in 1959, this book of iconic US imagery is worshiped by photography enthusiasts.
        3. Les Americans by Robert Frank - £2,042
          Another first edition from 1959 of this famous collection of photos

 

AbeBooks’ Most Expensive Sales of Poetry Books in 2008

Poems (1909 - 1925) by TS Eliot
        1. Poems (1909-1925) by TS Eliot - £5,486
          Containing many of Eliot’s canonical works including “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “The Hollow Men,” and “The Waste Land,” this is a first edition - one of 85 numbered copies signed by the poet.
        2. The Collected Poems by DH Lawrence -£3,158
          A limited first edition, one of 100 numbered copies that were signed by Lawrence.  This 1928 two-volume collection comes with a cream dust jacket.
        3. Poems by Frank O’Hara with lithographs by Willem De Kooning - £2,907
          One of 550 first edition numbered copies signed by De Kooning (1904-1997).  Illustrated with 17 original lithographs, bound in black goat-skin, stamped in gold and encased in a linen clamshell box.

 

AbeBooks’ Most Expensive Sales of Science Fiction & Fantasy Books in 2008

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  1. Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis - £5,136
    First edition of Lewis's earliest and rarest works from 1938.
  2. Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell - £4,522
    A complete set of the children’s fantasy series containing Beyond the Deepwoods, Stormchaser, Midnight Over Sanctaphrax, Cloud Wolf, Curse of the Gloamglozer, Last of the Sky Pirates, Vox, and Freeglader.  All titles are first UK editions with signatures of Stewart and Riddell.
  3. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell - £4,383
    First edition, first printing, of Orwell’s 1949 dystopian classic featuring the red dust jacket.

 

AbeBooks’ Most Expensive Sales of Religious & Theology Books in 2008

  1. Goslar Gospels -£4,829 
    Limited facsimile edition of 300 copies published in 1990.  A replica of one of the most exquisite books from the 13th century.  Bound in leather with 30 biblical scenes.
  2. Sefarad: Revista del Instituto Arias Montano de Estudios Hebraicos y Oriente Próximo by Consejo Superior de Investigaciones - £4,700
    This journal deals with theology and textual criticism of the bible and its ancient versions, with the history and culture of the Jews in Spain.  Vols. 1-63. Madrid, 1941-2003. Vols. 1-15 (1941-1955).
  3. Memories on the Affairs of the Jesuits by C.P. Platel - £3,686
    Entirely reworked and much enlarged edition of the crushing attack on the Jesuits by Abbot CP Platel, pseudonym of Norbert Parisot, or Father Norbert (1697-1769). Published 1766, Signed by P. Yver, 5 volumes.

 

AbeBooks’ Most Expensive Sales of Science Books in 2008

  1. Specimens of British minerals selected from the cabinet of Philip Rashleigh by Philip Rashleigh - £8,240
    Specimens of British Minerals, selected from the cabinet of Philip Rashleigh Cornish landowner Philip Rashleigh formed one of the most outstanding early collections of mineral specimens (housed in the Royal Cornwall Museum at Truro) and this work describes his best specimens.
  2. Atlas der Krystallformen by Victor Goldschmidt - £5,500
    A complete 18-volume treatise on modern mineralogy by the man considered to be the founder of modern geochemistry and crystal chemistry, developer of the Goldschmidt Classification of elements.  
  3. Traité élémentaire de Chimie by Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier - £4,987
    Second printing of Traité élémentaire de Chimie which is considered to be the first modern chemistry textbook.  Lavoisier has been called the father of chemistry and is credited with the introduction of the metric system and the law of conservation of mass. 

 

AbeBooks’ Most Expensive Sales of Novels in 2008 (Adult)

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
            1. Lord of the Flies by William Golding - £5,992
              A first edition, proof copy of Golding’s 1954 classic
            2. Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway - £5,177
              First US edition printed in 1927 including first state dust jacket without review blurbs on front flap.  Slip of paper inscribed by Hemingway laid in reads "To Marian Spies/ wishing her much luck/ Ernest Hemingway."
            3. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell - £4,387
              First edition, first printing, of Orwell’s 1949 dystopian classic featuring the red dust jacket

 

AbeBooks’ Most Expensive Sales of Ephemera in 2008 (non-book items)

George Bernard Shaw's Typewriter

        1. George Bernard Shaw’s typewriter £5,162
          Along the top edge of the machine’s guarantee in faded ink, Shaw had written the words "Bernard Shaw, Ayot St Lawrence, Welwyn Herts". He had also written the date, 9th Feb 1935.
        2. Signed letter by Katherine Mansfield - £3,500
          An autographed letter to her father by Katherine Mansfield - written four months before her death from tuberculosis.
        3. Letter from Sir Joshua Reynolds - £2,434
          A rare letter from the 18th century portrait painter.

 

 

 

AbeBooks' Most Expensive Sales of Exploration Books in 2008

  1. The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia by David Roberts - £7,990
    First American edition from 1855, including 250 lithographed plates with historical descriptions from George Croly and William Brockedon.
  2. Viaggio Negle Stati Uniti Dell`America Settentrio by Luigi Castiglioni - £4,850
    Account of the travels of the young count Castiglioni (1757-1832), who was the first Italian to travel the American South. His narrative is an important overview of the United States for the time, especially for agricultural and botanical information. Two volumes.
  3. Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Arctic Ocean, in 1833, 1834, and 1835; Under the Command of Capt. Back, R. N. by Richard King - £3,876
    Published in 1836 in full leather, this first edition describes the George Black Arctic expedition. Written by the chief surgeon and naturalist on board the vessel, this is an important companion work to Black’s account of the journey.

 

AbeBooks’ Most Expensive Sales of Harry Potter Books in 2008

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling -£8,320
    Rare first edition signed by JK with the dust wrapper panels signed by the cover artist Cliff Wright. The first issue has a misaligned block of text which was corrected in the subsequent issues.
  2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling - £4,500
    First deluxe edition that was signed by Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival in August 2004.
  3. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling -£3,370
    First printing first issue of the deluxe edition signed by the author.

 

AbeBooks’ Most Expensive Sales of Architecture Books in 2008

  1. An Historical and Descriptive Account of the Suspension Bridge Constructed over the Menai Straight in North Wales with a brief Notice of Conway Bridge from Designs by and Under the Direction of Thomas Telford by Thomas Telford - £4,922
    Account of one of the world’s first modern suspension bridges linking mainland Wales with the island of Anglesey.  An 1828 first edition elephant folio printed in London with 17 engraved plates.
  2. The Four Books of Architecture by Andrea Palladio - £3,778
    A treatise by the Italian Renaissance architect widely considered to be one of the most influential people in the history of Western architecture.  This was the first French edition (1640), which included woodcuts from the original Italian edition of 1570.
  3. Sketches in Architecture by John Soane - £2,543
    Written by the Bank of England’s architect and Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy in 1798.  Second edition copy with plates from the first.

 

AbeBooks’ Most Expensive Sales of Books by People in the Headlines in 2008

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
        1. Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama - £3,555
          Signed first edition of the 2004 reissue of the President-elect’s first book.
        2. Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer - £2,586
          A complete set of all four books from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. All books are first editions, first printings in fine condition.  All copies are signed by the author.
        3. Space Odyssey Series by Arthur C Clarke - £2,424
          First editions of the Space Odyssey Series – all signed by Arthur C. Clarke, who died in 2008.