Wind in the Willows sells for £32k in London

A signed copy of the Wind in the Willows dedicated to the daughter of the man who inspired the character of Ratty sold at Bonhams Books, Maps and Manuscript sale, yesterday (March 23).

Fierce bidding pushed its price to an astonishing £32,400 (above its estimate of £3,000-5,000), according to a Bonhams statement.

The inscription reads: "To Foy Felicia Quiller Couch from her affectionate friend Kenneth Grahame, Oct. 1908."

Foy was the daughter of the noted Cornish author, essayist and anthologist Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch at whose home, The Haven at Fowey, Kenneth Grahame often stayed.

It was there that he first found the inspiration for The Wind in the Willows. 

Elsewhere, the private journals of a voyage to Australia detailing the drunken rows and cavorting on board sold for £14,400 (above an estimate of £2,000-4,000). 

The Wind in the Willows, signed and inscribed, sold for £32,400

James Bell wrote the diary to keep a promise to a girl back home in Workington that he would send her a record of the trip.

A signed letter from Adolf Hitler sent to the Daily Express journalist Sefton Delmer, in 1931, turning down an invitation to contribute to the paper but hoping for future cordial relations between Germany and Britain made £9,600 (over its £8,000 lower estimate).

A sketchbook containing what is believed to be the only known picture drawn from life of Horatio Nelson and his lover Emma Hamilton was also sold for £30,000 (over £10,000-15,000).

The painting is one of 37 watercolours by Ellis Cornelia Knight who accompanied Nelson, Sir William Hamilton and his wife Emma on the flagship Foudroyant round the Mediterranean in 1800.

Finally, a cache of papers relating to the English Civil War, including documents signed by Oliver Cromwell, made £20,400 (over £10,000-15,000)

In total the sale realised £567,000 with 94% of lots sold by value.


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