Next Auction Announced

Sydney Rare Book Auctions is excited to announce that we are moving into permanent premises in 33 Nelson St Annandale and our next auction will be held here on Saturday June 15th at 1pm. Full details will be announced on May 15th

Among the many items we have for sale is the rarest and perhaps most desirable reptile book ever produced and whats more it’s the special hand coloured copy. Copies of this book are scarce and it rarely comes on the market.

The book is Tortoises, Terrapins, and Turtles Drawn From Life, By James De Carle Sowerby and Edward Lear. Published in London, Paris and Frankfort by Henry Sotheran, Joseph Baer & Co in 1872.

It is bound in a very attractive binding of recent half leather and marbled boards. There are  60 lithographic plates of which 57 are handcoloured and  all drawn on stome by Edward Lear after J D C Sowerby. It is a very clean, bright and crisp copy. The production of this book was supervised by Thomas Bell. J E Gray wrote the text. Sowerby was the artist with Edward Lear being the lithographer. This is the rarest and perhaps best reptile book and coloured copies are extremely scarce

Other unusual items in the sale are three original albumen photographs by Henry King taken in the 1880s in Sydney. There is a view of Manly, another of Coogee Bay and a third of Hyde Park. Of course we have a number of fine bindings including a beautiful set of Shakespeare in German, a first edition in half leather of Macquoid’s History of Furniture, a large number in one lot of Easton Press bindings all in full leather with gilt edges and richly ornate, two antique books in full leather which were prizes given by the Presbyterian Ladies College in Sydney. Also are a few antiquarian books from the sixteenth century through to the nineteenth century all bound in full vellum.

There is more Norman Lindsay books including two Henry Lawson books published in 1914 with Norman Lindsay covers. Although not uncommon, it is highly unusual to find these books in such good condition. There are six books signed by Norman Lindsay in the sale including Paintings in Oil and Shipwreck.

There are some Aboriginal books including the very desirable Bradshaw’s Art of the Kimberley. Also, Australia’s own Nobel Prize winner in Patrick White is well represented with a good run of his novels including fine copies of The Living and The Dead and The Aunts Story.

There is also good collection of books on Agriculture with an emphasis on sheep as well as a great run of cattle herd stud books.


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