'Volume of tragedies...' stars in National Book Auctions' sale of unique works


National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, New York, hosted auctions in early and late-June featuring a wide assortment of Ireland-related material, incunabulum, children's books and signed first editions.

Among the featured items was an 1819 First Edition of Constitutional Law: Comprising The Declaration of Independence; The Articles of Confederation; The Constitution of the United States; And the Constitutions of the Several States Composing the Union, which made $1,500.


George Barbier's rare 1913 illustrative work sold for of $2,280

Also sold at the gallery in June was a 1493 printing of Tragoediae, by Lucius Annaeus Seneca. This Latin piece of incunabulum is a collection of tragedies from the acclaimed Roman philosopher and dramatist, Lucius Annaeus Seneca.

This volume contains ten tragedies, including: Hercules Furens, Thyestes, Thebais, Hippolytus, Oedipus, Troas, Medea, Agamenon, Octavia and Hercules Oetheus and reached a final price of $1,620.

Among the hundreds of other lots was a 1913 Limited Edition printing of Designs on the Dances of Vaslav Nijinsky, by George Barbier.

Bound in large cream thin-card wrappers with blue and black lettering and a pictorial design on the upper cover, this antique volume is a scarce and unique limited edition of acclaimed artist George Barbier's collection of illustrations, translated into English by C. W. Beaumont and containing a foreword by Francis de Miomandre.

This work is from a limited edition printing, number 99 of 400, and was the sole edition printed in English. The hand-coloured volume sold for $2,280, with the book's rarity proving crucial to its value.


This humourous French children's book made $1,260

Accompanied by numerous other antique and vintage children's books was a 1912 copy of Grosses Betes & Petites Betes, by Andre Helle. This large pictorial features paper-covered boards with grey cloth backing and is a very rare first edition of this French children's book.

This work features illustrations by the author of animals from Noah's Ark and is gorgeously illustrated with twenty tipped-in pochoir illustrations surrounded by text and black outline drawings. The plates are signed with the artist's monogram, lower case initials 'ah' inside a circle. This fun book made a final price of $1,260.




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