£70k legendary cricket annuals at rare books auction

At New Bond Street, London, Bonhams is selling some fantastic rare books.

As we've reported, the sale will include an play written by Edward Herbert, 1st Baron of Cherbury for up to £90,000 - the Lord's formerly undiscovering only foray in playwriting.

However there are other highlights for fans of sport, fiction and travel.

There are a number of maps and travel pieces on offer, but two pieces in particular stand out.

Legendary Egyptologist Carl Richard Lepsius produced 901 lithographed plates detailing his findings from a three year expedition into the country.

The Prussian investigation of 1842-45 sent back 15,000 antiquities from Egypt and excavated the Fayûm Labyrinth.

Carl Richard Lepsius Egypt Egyptian Lithograph
Plate from Carl Richard Lepsius's works

Despite some spotting and the occasional crease and tear, this remains a work of beauty, valued at £20,000-30,000.

A 19th century notebook detailing the state of Western Australia - or rather the expedition attempting to create Western Australia in the area then inhabited by Aborigines - is listed at £30,000-50,000.

The 138 pages, written in pencil and including a number of maps, details John Septimus Roe's journey as he finds Perth and Fremantle, and explores the surrounding area. It is a genuinely unique piece of Australia's history.

Those interested in poetry should look out for first editions of Shelley's Queen Mab (estimated at £6,000-8,000), and Keats's Endymion (£3,000-5,000).

For Bond memorabilia enthusiasts, this is an unmissable opportunity to acquire Ian Fleming's final typescript of Diamonds are Forever, with many handwritten alterations. It is valued at £20-30,000. A presentation first edition is also in the sale, estimated at £3,000-5,000.

Diamonds are Forever Ian Fleming James Bond
The Diamonds are Forever typescript, with pen alterations

Some are important to the plot, while others, such as the change of "in front of an elderly woman" to "before a hatchet-faced woman with a bosom like a sandbag" are definitely not.

Original Fleming typescripts are extremely rare and this, apart from typescripts of Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, is the only one in private hands.

Valued still higher than any of these, however, is a near complete collection of Wisden Cricketers' Almanacks from its first date of issue in 1864 until 1984. The 'Bible of Cricket' was created by cricketer John Wisden as a rival to Fred Lillywhite's Guide to Cricketers.

Wisden cricketers' cricket almanack almanac
John Wisden Cricketers' Almanack for 1916

The almanack, created by the great Kent all-rounder, has legendary status amongst cricketers which explains why this set of 121 volumes in good condition is estimated at £50,000-70,000.

The auction, which surely holds something for every book lover, takes place on November 10.

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