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.
CHURCHILL, Winston S. Two-page typed letter signed to the artist Walter Sickert.
Chartwell Manor : 1927A 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
GALILEI, Galileo. Difesa... Contro alle Calunnie & imposture di Baldessar Capra Milanese,
Venice : 1607Rare first edition of the second published work of this most famous of 17th-century scientists, in which Galileo glories in his defeat of Baldassar Capra, who had plagiarized his work. He also describes the applications of his compass, his first significant scientific invention.
Galileo's first published work, Le Operazioni del compasso geometrico... Learn More£175,000.00
Stock Code: 138789
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
GILL, Eric. The Four Gospels of Lord Jesus Christ according to the Authorized Version of King James I.
Waltham St Lawrence : 1931Limited edition, number 412 of 500 copies on paper (12 copies were also issued on vellum), of one of the great private press books of the century, and perhaps Gill's greatest achievement.
"Conceived in the fruitful mind of Robert Gibbings, this is the Golden Cockerel book usually compared with the Doves Bible and the Kelmscott Chaucer. A flower... Learn More£17,500.00
Stock Code: 138545
HARDY, Thomas. Complete set of first editions of the novels and short story collections.
London : 1871-97A 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, 1874; The Hand of Ethelberta,... Learn More£37,500.00
Stock Code: 126114
HARRISON, John. The Principles of Mr. Harrison's Time-Keeper, with plates of the same.
London : 1767First 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
HOFFMANN, Heinrich. The English Struwwelpeter.
Leipzig : 1848Scarce 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 Geschichten... Learn More£18,500.00
Stock Code: 137787
LIVINGSTONE, David. A portion of the original manuscript of Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa,
London : 1857A 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
MARTÍN DE CÓRDOBA, Fray. Jardín de las nobles donzellas.
Medina del Campo : 1542Rare 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... Learn More£30,000.00
Stock Code: 139886
MATISSE, Henri. Six Signed Proofs of Original Etchings for Ulysses.
New York : 1935Signed limited portfolio, number 61 of 150 sets of six plates, each of which are signed numbered and titled 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... Learn More£50,000.00
Stock Code: 137308
MEDINA, Pedro de. Regimiento de navegacion.
Seville : 1552Very 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
NEWTON, Isaac. Opticks: or, A Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions, and Colours of Light.
London : 1704First edition, first issue, without Newton's name on the title. Newton's Opticks expounds his corpuscular or emission theory of light, and first contains his important optical discoveries in collected form. It also prints two important mathematical treatises (omitted in later editions) describing his invention of the fluxional calculus, which are the... Learn More£85,000.00
Stock Code: 137818
PRIVATEERING; WEST INDIES. Collection of 35 documents relating to Captain John McIver and the privateer Swallow.
c.1796-97An 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
REPTON, Humphry. Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening.
London : First edition of Repton's first book and the work in which he laid out "his claim to the position of a national authority" on landscape gardening (Rogger, p. 12). Handsomely printed by the finest London printer of the age, William Bulmer, the delightful aquatints employ clever overslips to show the transformation of the landscape under Repton's guiding... Learn More£19,500.00
Stock Code: 138558
ROBERTS, David. The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, & Nubia.
London : 1842-5First 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... Learn More£57,500.00
Stock Code: 132530
SAINT-EXUPÉRY, Antoine de. Pilote de guerre.
New York : 1942First edition, first printing, number 10 of 50 large-paper copies on papier Texte, presentation copy from the author to his closest American friend and partial inspiration for The Little Prince, inscribed warmly by the author on the half-title, "Pour Sylvia Hamilton, Avec la profonde et tendre amitié de son vieil ami, Antoine".
Silvia Hamilton... Learn More£35,000.00
Stock Code: 139246
STAUNTON, George. An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China...
London : 1798Second, 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... Learn More£18,500.00
Stock Code: 129560
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
WHITEHEAD, Alfred North, & Bertrand Russell. Principia Mathematica.
Cambridge : 1910-12-13First 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 is the authors'... Learn More£100,000.00
Stock Code: 139071
WITTGENSTEIN, Ludwig. Autograph letter signed, in English, to Alice Ambrose,
Trinity College, Cambridge, : 1936An 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,... Learn More£17,500.00
Stock Code: 132705