A grand auction of rare books and manuscripts is set to get underway today (July 15), showcasing English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations.
The 214 lot sale is led by one of the classics of detective stories: A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle's lengthy introduction of the eccentric and brilliant Sherlock Holmes.
Here offered is a copy of the first printing of A Study in Scarlet inscribed by the author (one of only two such copies known). The work is estimated at £250,000-400,000. Collectors of more modest means may be interested to know that a handwritten note by Doyle is also currently available.
There are a number of important collections of letters on political and diplomatic subjects, most notably a series of 47 letters by the poet and diplomat Matthew Prior from the court of Louis XIV but also a long series by the First Earl of Jersey about the 1697 Peace of Ryswick, and another series discussing George III's younger brother Prince Edward.
Britain's maritime heritage is represented by a rare 18th century manuscript volume of ship designs, six letters by Nelson, and a deck plan of the Titanic.
The rich children's and illustrated section includes an exceptional collection of chapbooks, a fine E H Shepard drawing of Pooh Bear and Christopher Robin, and a large collection of drawings for Punch by Sir John Tenniel.
The ink drawing is the original version of one which appears on page 35 of Now We Are Six by A A Milne to accompany the poem Us Two:
"So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
'What would I do?' I said to Pooh,
'If it wasn't for you,' and Pooh said: 'True,
It isn't much fun for One, but Two
Can stick together,' says Pooh, says he.
'That's how it is,' says Pooh."
The drawing is estimated at £45,000-55,000, and is the latest in a string of highly-valued Shepard drawings to reach auction. Watch this space for the results of this exciting sale.
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