The Books Are Back In Town

11th January 2016

The December relaunch of the Bourne book sale proved to be a pre-Christmas cracker. An exceedingly rare 1827 first edition of Jane Louden’s The Mummy!: Or a Tale of the Twenty-Second Century (one of the earliest works of ‘modern’ science fiction) was the star lot, making £1900.

3001 Loudon (Jane ). The Mummy

A collection of first editions by George Henty, with their famous ‘Boys Own’ tales of Empire, made £1275.

A price of £440 proved a pleasant surprise for a copy of Blinds and Shutters by photographer-to-the-rock-stars Michael Cooper. Each copy of this work is unique and contains a different selection of autographs.

The market for children’s books in good condition continues to be strong, with a first edition of Lewis Carroll’s A Tangled Tale fetching £85 and two lots containing illustrations by artists including Kate Greenaway, Louis Wain and Arthur Rackham making £300 between them.

A defective copy of Holbeach-born antiquarian William Stukeley’s Itinerarium Curiosum, lacking five engraved plates, nonetheless made an excellent £400 and a very good hand-coloured copy of John Cary’s 1810 Traveller’s Companion made a top-of-estimate £120.

Closer to home, two large private libraries of Lincolnshire history and topography saw some good prices, including Marrat Boston’s four volume History of Lincolnshire, making £280, a copy of Greenwood’s Map of Lincolnshire at £420 and Browne Willis’ 1730 Survey of the Cathedrals of Lincoln, Ely, Oxford and Peterborough in a wonderful leather binding selling for £180.

The Spalding Gentlemen’s Society and the drainage of the Fens are subjects which always attract strong interest at home and further afield; a copy of William Dugdale’s wonderfully illustrated History of the Inbanking and Drainage of the Fens of 1772 made £280 and a manuscript document relating to land held in Lincolnshire by Sir Joseph Banks (a founding member of the Gentlemen’s Society) made £150.

Other highlights included several lots of Kelly’s Directories and regimental histories; always a strong seller in a county with such a strong military history.

Future book sales will be held three times a year; in May, September and December. They are open to consignments of all kinds, from antiquarian books and manuscripts to modern first editions and everything in between, whether of local, national or international interest.

For further information or to consign please contact Michael Elston at The Bourne Auction Rooms on 01778 422686 or email

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