Dreweatts & Bloomsbury: Books and Works on Paper Auction

I was unable to attend this auction so I watched and bid via the theauctionroom.com If you are unfamiliar with this website familiarize yourself with it right now. It puts you right at the heart of the action and is really straightforward to use.

There was a huge amount of extremely interesting lots in the Books and Works on Paper Event including literature, children’s and illustrated.  I had a mark next to 25 of them but came away with 3.  There was healthy competition at this popular and distinguished auction house.


The archive of the auction including details of all 326 lots can be accessed by clicking here

Top dollar went to Agatha Christie.  3 lots of signed tomes by the ‘world’s best-selling author of all time’ went for £7,000, £5,500 and £4,500, all far exceeding their estimates.  A first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets inscribed by J.K. Rowling was also notable at £2,200.  Many first and rare editions by leading literary figures such as A. A. Milne, Ian Fleming, Oscar Wilde and Herman Melville were also on offer.  This was an exciting sale to follow.

I was lucky enough to secure 3 Milnes within a small collection of books.  I was actually bidding for the Claude Flight book on Linocuts which I am really glad to add to my collection.  The 3 Winnie-the-Poohs are a welcome bonus.


They are a first, second and third edition respectively.  Their covers aren’t in mint condition but the inside pages are flat and clean.  The all-too-familiar illustrations by Ernest Howard Shepard still hold their appeal. I’ll enjoy them for a while but will probably put them back into auction where they will easily reach what I bid for them, meaning my Linocut book is free 🙂

The favourite lot I won was a bound folder of  25 issues of La Vie Parisienne from 1929.  I’ve published some cards before using the fashion illustrations found in this iconic French Fashion publication.  I’m really pleased with these issues and shall go through it soon to see if I can use any of the images within.  I will do a blog soon focussing on La Vie Parisienne, until then here are a few pics…

I also won a bid for a folio of Fin De Sieclés but was surprised when I went to pick them up. It turns out I had actually bid on 4 folios also including copies of Gil Blas and Le Pierrot.  The illustrations from these turn-of-the-century magazines were fun and risqué.  There is a lot going on between these pages!

I certainly got more than I bargained for.  There is a wealth of illustration history here for me to enjoy. It’s  going to keep me busy over these demoralizing dark winter evenings.

This was an interesting and exciting sale.  Also, the service from the people at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury is exemplary.  Familiarise yourself with their upcoming calendar.

Richard Fry


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