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MASTERPIECE 2020

MASTERPIECE 2020

This selection of fine items was conceived especially for Masterpiece 2020, initially for display within the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and now here online. We hope you will enjoy browsing this selection as much as we have enjoyed curating it.

 

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31 Items

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  1. Two-page typed letter signed to the artist Walter Sickert.
    (CHURCHILL, Winston S.) Two-page typed letter signed to the artist Walter Sickert.

    Chartwell Manor : 1927

    A wonderfully characterful pair of letters from Winston and Clementine relating to their long-term friendships with the great British painter Walter Sickert (18601942) and his artist wife, Thérèse (née Lessore, 1884-1945), strongly suggestive of Churchill's very real emotional and intellectual investment in the practice of painting.

    While... Learn More
    £17,500.00

    Stock Code: 135858

  2. The Galley Memento.
    (GALLEY, Edmund.) WHITE, F. Faulkner (illuminator). The Galley Memento.

    [Exeter : 1879]

    Handsomely bound and illuminated presentation album, one of just two copies, presented to honour the work of solicitor and county clerk Ralph Sanders, one of two men instrumental in reversing the miscarriage of justice in the case of Edmund Galley, who became an international cause célèbre after being wrongfully convicted of murder and transported... Learn More
    £15,000.00

    Stock Code: 132619

  3. Collection of 35 documents relating to Captain John McIver and the privateer Swallow.
    (PRIVATEERING; WEST INDIES.) Collection of 35 documents relating to Captain John McIver and the privateer Swallow.

    c. 1796-97

    An outstanding and extraordinarily comprehensive tranche of documents, including impressive original Letters of Marque, relating to the British-built armed brig Swallow, a privateer out of Liverpool operating in the Caribbean under the experienced command of prize-master John McIver. The archive covers in remarkable breadth and detail the purchase,... Learn More
    £25,000.00

    Stock Code: 133528

  4. "So he sat down on the stone in the middle of the stream, and sang another verse of his song, while he wondered what to do".
    (SHEPARD, Ernest H.) "So he sat down on the stone in the middle of the stream, and sang another verse of his song, while he wondered what to do".

    [1927]

    E. H. Shepard's original drawing for the first edition of The House at Pooh Corner, signed by him lower left and with his ownership inscription on the verso, "Ernest H. Shepard Shamley Green Guildford". The drawing was used in the opening scene of chapter 4 on p. 55 "in which it is shown that Tiggers don't climb trees", with Winnie-the-Pooh depicted... Learn More
    £125,000.00

    Stock Code: 140785

  5. [Novum Organum sive indicia vera de interpretatione naturae.] Instauratio Magna.
    BACON, Francis. [Novum Organum sive indicia vera de interpretatione naturae.] Instauratio Magna.

    London : 1620

    First edition of this "monumental work on the philosophy of science, on the systematic organization of knowledge, and on the inductive method" (Grolier/Horblit). Bacon's Novum Organum (a "new instrument" to replace the old Organon of Aristotle) had a revolutionary impact on early modern science by laying the foundation of the inductive method.
    "Bacon's... Learn More
    £65,000.00

    Stock Code: 138351

  6. Autograph letter signed to Ellen Nussey.
    BRONTË, Charlotte. Autograph letter signed to Ellen Nussey.

    [Haworth] : 1835

    The letter written when Charlotte was just short of her 19th birthday is a wonderful harbinger of her mature literary style, beginning with an almost poetic expression of her feelings for Nussey before transitioning to an effective setting of scene and an amusing character study, then moving on to politics, expressing her strong anti-Whig sentiments.... Learn More
    £65,000.00

    Stock Code: 139244

  7. Max und Moritz:
    BUSCH, Wilhelm. Max und Moritz:

    Munich : [1865]

    Rare first edition, first impression, of the book widely regarded as the prototype of the children's comic. The first printing was 4,000 copies, but the nature of the book and the juvenile readership led to a very high attrition rate. This is a remarkably well-preserved copy.
    After Struwwelpeter, Max und Moritz is the best known German children's... Learn More
    £45,000.00

    Stock Code: 138250

  8. The History of Don-Quichote.
    CERVANTES SAAVEDRA, Miguel de. The History of Don-Quichote.

    London : 1620

    First complete edition in English of the hugely influential prose chivalric romance, which found its greatest popularity outside Spain in England: second edition of the first part, first edition of the second, translated by Dublin-born Thomas Shelton.

    "The signs of haste in the translation, which took Shelton only forty days, do not hide his... Learn More
    £120,000.00

    Stock Code: 139220

  9. Six of his major titles, each one inscribed to his friend and fellow author H. G. Wells.
    CONRAD, Joseph. Six of his major titles, each one inscribed to his friend and fellow author H. G. Wells.

    Various places : 1900-11

    First editions, presentation copies, each inscribed by the author to his friend and fellow author H. G. Wells; an exceptional association set, a run of books from the major phase of his career showing Conrad at the peak of his powers, and spanning the years of their mutual friendship.

    The individual titles are:
    i) CONRAD, Joseph. Lord Jim.... Learn More
    £275,000.00

    Stock Code: 136918

  10. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection,
    DARWIN, Charles. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection,

    London : 1859

    First edition of "the most influential scientific work of the 19th century" (Horblit) and "certainly the most important biological book ever written" (Freeman), in which Darwin explained his concept of evolutionary adaptation through natural selection, which would become the foundation of modern evolutionary theory; 1,250 copies were printed.

    "The... Learn More
    £225,000.00

    Stock Code: 138146

  11. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
    DOYLE, Arthur Conan. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

    London : 1892

    First edition, first issue, of the first collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, inscribed by the author on the title page: "Given by A. Conan Doyle March 16/15". Signed first editions are a great rarity in commerce, and are noticeably absent from most of the great collections of detective fiction and English literature.
    In 1915 Doyle embarked on... Learn More
    £85,000.00

    Stock Code: 137488

  12. Complete set of the Bond novels and stories, each lifetime edition a presentation copy inscribed by the author.
    FLEMING, Ian. Complete set of the Bond novels and stories, each lifetime edition a presentation copy inscribed by the author.

    London : 1953-66

    First editions, first impressions, of the complete series of James Bond books, each lifetime edition a presentation copy inscribed by the author. This is a thrilling sequence of inscriptions, showcasing Fleming's wit and flair. Casino Royale is simply inscribed "To M, these pages from my memoirs! Ian" the ideal presentation inscription for any Bond... Learn More
    £500,000.00

    Stock Code: 141010

  13. Herland.
    GILMAN, Charlotte Perkins. Herland.

    New York : January - December 1915

    First edition, the first appearance of Gilman's feminist utopian novel Herland, complete in 12 issues of Gilman's magazine The Forerunner; this copy warmly inscribed by the author to the American suffragist Alice Locke Park, "Charlotte Perkins Gilman with love and honor for her friend Alice Park", on the front free endpaper.
    Park (1861-1961) was... Learn More
    £15,000.00

    Stock Code: 130959

  14. The Basement Room and other stories.
    GREENE, Graham. The Basement Room and other stories.

    London : 1935

    First edition, first impression, a superb association: Greene's personal copy, with his ownership inscription and manuscript annotations towards his screenplay for The Fallen Idol (1948), the Carol Reed-directed adaptation of the lead story in this, Greene's first short story collection. Particularly significant here is his introduction of a device... Learn More
    £35,000.00

    Stock Code: 139241

  15. Complete set of first editions of the novels and short story collections.
    HARDY, Thomas. Complete set of first editions of the novels and short story collections.

    London : 1871-97

    A complete set of first editions, finely bound, of Hardy's novels and short story collections.
    The entire collection, with all half-titles and illustrations present as called for, comprises the following: Desperate Remedies, 1871; Under the Greenwood Tree, 1872; A Pair of Blue Eyes, 1873; Far From the Madding Crowd,... Learn More
    £37,500.00

    Stock Code: 126114

  16. The Principles of Mr. Harrison's Time-Keeper, with plates of the same.
    HARRISON, John. The Principles of Mr. Harrison's Time-Keeper, with plates of the same.

    London : 1767

    First edition of the primary account of the invention of the marine chronometer, which revolutionized the science of navigation. "There was no comparable advance in navigational aids until the development of radar in the twentieth century" (Norman).

    In 1714, the Board of Longitude offered a substantial reward of 20,000 to anyone who could find... Learn More
    £100,000.00

    Stock Code: 138402

  17. The English Struwwelpeter.
    HOFFMANN, Heinrich. The English Struwwelpeter.

    Leipzig : 1848

    Scarce first edition in English of the children's picture book Der Struwwelpeter, among the rarest of all children's books due to the fragility of the publication.
    A publishing phenomenon that is still in print today, The English Struwwelpeter first appeared as a German children's Christmas picture book, Dr Heinrich Hoffmann's Lustige... Learn More
    £18,500.00

    Stock Code: 137787

  18. Pomes Penyeach.
    JOYCE, James. Pomes Penyeach.

    Paris : 1932

    First English edition (printed in France), number 13 of 25 copies signed by the author, which, together with 6 hors de commerce copies, not for sale and inscribed by Joyce with the name of the recipient, comprised the total edition; this is one of a handful of copies still in private hands. Joyce's daughter designed the illuminations as artistic therapy.
    Pomes... Learn More
    £95,000.00

    Stock Code: 139014

  19. A portion of the original manuscript of Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa,
    LIVINGSTONE, David. A portion of the original manuscript of Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa,

    London : 1857

    A remarkable fragment, the only portion of the original manuscript of Missionary Travels known to remain in private hands. We understand that all other manuscript material is held in the John Murray Archive at the National Library of Scotland. Together with an autograph letter signed from Livingstone's sister, sending the manuscript fragment, and a... Learn More
    £65,000.00

    Stock Code: 139047

  20. Jardin de las nobles donzellas.
    MARTÍN DE CÓRDOBA, Fray. Jardin de las nobles donzellas.

    Medina del Campo : 1542

    Rare second edition, effectively the only obtainable printing, of this book of advice for Queen Isabel of Spain, a pro-feminist treatise in the "mirror for princes" tradition, which instructed and entertained "with references to the popular contemporary controversy of the battle between the sexes" (Goldberg, p. 126).
    Fray Martín taught at the University... Learn More
    £30,000.00

    Stock Code: 139886

  21. Six Signed Proofs of Original Etchings for Ulysses.
    MATISSE, Henri. Six Signed Proofs of Original Etchings for Ulysses.

    New York : 1935

    Signed limited portfolio, number 61 of 150 sets of six plates, each of which are signed by Matisse, for the first illustrated edition. The plates comprise the artist's illustrations for the Limited Edition's Club edition of James Joyce's Ulysses, published that year.
    "Homeric in mood and compositions, these etchings were made to serve as... Learn More
    £50,000.00

    Stock Code: 137308

  22. Regimiento de navegacion.
    MEDINA, Pedro de. Regimiento de navegacion.

    Seville : 1552

    Very rare first edition of Medina's great navigational treatise, an appealing copy in contemporary vellum. Praised for its fine woodcuts, which are among the earliest to depict man's use of astrolabes, the Regimiento offers the essentials of seamanship in a practical format, and was intended for ship-born pilots; Francis Drake carried a copy during... Learn More
    £225,000.00

    Stock Code: 139149

  23. White Jacket; or, the World in a Man-of-War.
    MELVILLE, Herman. White Jacket; or, the World in a Man-of-War.

    London : 1850

    First edition, first issue, of Melville's emblematic fifth novel, which did much to influence the congressional prohibition of naval flogging in September 1850. Copies of the first issue are notably rare in any state, and exceptionally so with the original cloth in such a fine state of preservation.
    The British edition, preceding its American counterpart... Learn More
    £60,000.00

    Stock Code: 138349

  24. Moby-Dick;
    MELVILLE, Herman. Moby-Dick;

    New York : 1851

    First US edition of Melville's greatest work, in the first issue binding (BAL's "A" state). The US edition was the first to appear under the familiar title, and contains some 35 passages and the epilogue omitted from the English edition.
    Now universally acclaimed, at the time the novel was a "complete practical failure, misunderstood by the critics... Learn More
    £65,000.00

    Stock Code: 137462

  25. The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, & Nubia.
    ROBERTS, David. The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, & Nubia.

    London : 1842-5

    First edition, with the plates in the proof state, of "one of the most important and elaborate ventures of 19th-century publishing... the apotheosis of the tinted lithograph" (Abbey Travel); no publication before this astonishing work had presented so comprehensive a series of views of the monuments, landscape, and people of the region.
    The proof... Learn More
    £57,500.00

    Stock Code: 132530

  26. Pilote de guerre.
    SAINT-EXUPÉRY, Antoine de. Pilote de guerre.

    New York : 1942

    First edition, first printing, number 10 of 50 large-paper copies on papier Texte, presentation copy to his closest American friend and partial inspiration for The Little Prince, inscribed by the author "Pour Sylvia Hamilton, Avec la profonde et tendre amitié de son vieil ami, Antoine".

    Silvia Hamilton - later Reinhardt - was the inspiration... Learn More
    £35,000.00

    Stock Code: 139246

  27. An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China...
    STAUNTON, George. An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China...

    London : 1798

    Second, corrected edition of the official account of the first official British Embassy to China, headed by George, Earl Macartney; the first edition was published the previous year. The failed embassy marked a historic missed opportunity in the relationship between China and the Western powers.
    Macartney was dispatched to Peking in 1792 by a British... Learn More
    £18,500.00

    Stock Code: 129560

  28. Collection of 16 photographic albums; [together with:] typescript diary.
    VERNAY, Arthur Stannard. Collection of 16 photographic albums; [together with:] typescript diary.

    [1920s-30s]

    An extraordinary personal archive of over 3,000 original photographs assembled by one of the most renowned naturalists and big-game hunters of the inter-war years. Spanning Africa, the Middle East, India, and East Asia, these albums offer an unrivalled insight into some of the most significant scientific expeditions of the period, many undertaken at... Learn More
    £125,000.00

    Stock Code: 133409

  29. Principia Mathematica.
    WHITEHEAD, Alfred North, & Bertrand Russell. Principia Mathematica.

    Cambridge : 1910-12-13

    First editions, a rare complete set of Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathematica. The first volume was printed in 750 copies and, due to the disappointing sales, the publishers reduced the printings of volumes II and III to 500 copies each, so that only 500 complete sets in first edition are possible.
    Principia Mathematica... Learn More
    £100,000.00

    Stock Code: 139071

  30. Autograph letter signed, in English, to Alice Ambrose,
    WITTGENSTEIN, Ludwig. Autograph letter signed, in English, to Alice Ambrose,

    Trinity College, Cambridge, : 1936

    An unpublished autograph letter by Ludwig Wittgenstein to his student Alice Ambrose, written after her return to America following completion of her second PhD at Cambridge, thanking her for a gift and attempting to offer an explanation in response to a letter of hers, in which he confesses to a lack of modesty.
    An American philosophy student, Alice... Learn More
    £17,500.00

    Stock Code: 132705

  31. The Fable of the Bees:
    [MANDEVILLE, Bernard.] The Fable of the Bees:

    London : 1714

    Rare first edition, first issue, of this "celebrated work, which through Adam Smith, had an immense influence on political economy" (Foxwell). The work originated in 1705 as a poem titled The Grumbling Hive (essentially unobtainable in the market); this is the first edition to contain the 20 "Remarks" which annotate and explain various lines in the... Learn More
    £17,500.00

    Stock Code: 138116

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