Rare and unique book collections set to sell at September Collectors’ Sale
Monday, 24 August, 2020
Books are set to make up a significant part of the catalogue of our Specialist Collectors’ Sale on Friday, 11th September, including the contents of three impressive private collections…
Books from the estate of Harry and Mary Stopes-Roe
This important collection features the childhood books of Harry Stopes-Roe (son of the famous birth control campaigner and author Marie Stopes) and of his wife Mary Stopes-Roe (whose father, Barnes Wallis, invented the WWII bouncing bomb). The collection includes books gifted to the couple and originally owned by their famous parents, many with inscriptions and annotations.
It features numerous works by and about Marie Stopes - including first editions of her famous works and proof editions with her own annotations and corrections, many with inscriptions from her to her children and others. For example a first edition copy, in dust jacket, of ‘Married Love A New Contribution to the Solution of Sex Difficulties’ (London 1918) is dedicated “To the Winged One on his 40th Birthday from The Author 18 April 1918”, and carries an estimate of £300 – 500. Also, a book written by her under the pseudonym Erica Fay, ‘A Road to Fairyland’ carries the inscription “To H. V. Roe with love from Erica Fay” (H. V. Roe was Marie Stopes’ husband Humphrey Verdon Roe), while another set of three books were signed by Marie Stopes as a child as presents to her father.
There are also books belonging to Mary Stopes-Roe (neé Wallis) and her mother Molly F. Wallis, some with inscriptions from Molly’s husband Barnes Wallis. A number contain the initials B. N. W., marking them as his own personal copies, as well as inscriptions written by him in books gifted to other family members. The collection also includes more modern publications that the family had provided information for and later received complimentary copies, with dedications from authors and publishers.
A single-owner collection of Heraldry books…
This collection of over 450 books spans the entire field of Heraldry. To many a complicated subject with its own indecipherable language, Heraldry is very much a part of our history going back to the Knights Templar and The Merchant Guilds. Originally solely a means of identification, Coats of Arms evolved to tell a family story – weaving noble deeds, honours, generations and occupations into their imagery.
Books in this collection range from standard academic works to the more unusual - such as ‘The Bearing of Coat-Armour by Ladies’, published in 1923 and “The Heraldic Elephant”, published in 2015. There are a number of tomes in French and Spanish as well as English, and the collection is expected to attract the interest of historians, academics and genealogists.
Highlights include a four-volume set by Michael Powell Siddons – ‘The Development of Welsh Heraldry’, published in 1993 and 2006 and estimated at £80-120, a Spanish volume by Marti de Riquer (1983) – ‘Heraldica Catalana des L’Any 1150 al 1550’ expected to fetch £60 – 100 and the oldest work in the collection - Joseph Edmondson’s ‘A Complete Body of Heraldry’, published in two volumes in 1790, which could see the hammer fall at £180 – 220.
Impressive collection of Folio Society books and Tolkein collection from the same source…
Books amassed by another private collector make up two distinct collections. One, a fine collection of books by The Folio Society and similar publishers includes a full set of 48 volumes by Anthony Trollope (£80 – 120), a copy of Henry James’ ‘The Aspern Papers’, illustrated with lithographs by Edward Piper (£100 – 150), and a special edition of Wilfred Owen’s ‘Poems of War’, published in 1989 (£60 – 100).
The star lot, however, looks set to be a very impressive 21-volume set of Charles Dickens books published by The Franklin Library. Selected by Oxford University Press, the edition was limited to 7,500 sets and every volume is fully bound in deep scarlet hand-cut leathers, panelled in classic mosaic style with 22-carat inlays and page edges. It is expected to achieve in the region of £500 - 800.
The Tolkein collection, meanwhile may not contain first editions but it does have some interesting items - including a deluxe edition of ‘Lord of The Rings’ published in 1978, together with a similar deluxe edition of ‘The Hobbit’, published in 1979, both boxed and presented as a single lot, they should fetch £60 - 100.
In addition to an exceptional books section, the sale also features a very large collection of boxed cars and buses - including Corgi Vanguard, Lledo, Cararama etc, alongside the usual mix of military items, coins, postcards, vintage toys and other memorabilia.
The online auction will take place on Friday 11th September, with viewing strictly by appointment the day prior to the sale. The fully illustrated catalogue will be available to view online from Friday, 4th September at www.cuttlestones.co.uk