$71k travelogue and Karl Marx lead Hong Kong book sale

The Third Antiquarian Bookfair in Hong Kong on December 4-6 is heavily anticipated among book lovers, and likely to build on great success the auction has experienced in the past two years.

Among the best lots is China, Ergebnisse eigener Reisen (The results of My Travels and the Studies Based Thereon) by the Prussian scientist and explorer Ferdinand Von Richthofen. It is estimated at US$71,000.

Meanwhile, a large coloured map of the heavens by Ambrosius Schevenhuysen is valued at $58,000. The fascinating piece, dating from 1600, gives a valuable insight into the knowledge of astronomy at the time.

A copy of the first known Chinese-to-English dictionary, by Robert Morrison, is expected to sell for $32,250. And a set of six pastel Art Deco paintings by Marie Laurencin of "Alice" from Alice in Wonderland is listed at $45,150.

The sale is expected to bring bidders from all around the world as well as China and Japan, including Europe, Australia and the United States.

One lot unlikely to be bagged by an American bidder is a notebook filled with the communist revolutionary Karl Marx's handwriting, dating back to the autumn of 1950. It is valued at $47,750.

Other highlights will include a set of first edition books by A A Milne (illustrated by E H Shepard): When We Were Very Young, Winnie-the-Pooh, Now We Are Six and The House at Pooh Corner.

The last is signed by both author and illustrator. The set is valued at $21,500. Another collection of memorabilia related to Milne smashed its estimate at a recent auction.

The Antiquarian Bookfair will be the latest event in Hong Kong's continuing growth as a crucial centre for gobal collectibles auctions, following highly successful wine and stamps sales earlier this year.

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