AE Monthly

Articles - July - 2008 Issue

<i>In The News:</i> The First Telephone Book, Christie's Scientific Auction, AbeBooks Top 10

Austen

Jane Austen hair memorial, from Dominic Winter.


In a more unusual sale, a lock of hair, believed to come from novelist Jane Austen (though not conclusively so) sold at a Dominic Winter auction on June 18 for £5,640 (roughly $11,000). The hair was fashioned to look like a weeping willow tree, a symbol of death and resurrection, rising over a gravestone with the name "Jane Austen" spelled out in hair. Winter noted that since the provenance of the item can only be traced back 20 years, it can't be said for certain whether this is Ms. Austen's hair, or even whether it is the same Jane Austen, but the age appears right, and the cost of making it implies that the person was of importance, as Ms. Austen certainly was.

Antiquariaat Plantijn of Breda, the Netherlands, recently launched their own website. The firm is hardly new to bookselling, having been formed by Dieter Duncker over 30 years ago. Antiquariaat Plantijn opened its storefront in Breda in 2001, and its growth has now led to the very attractive and well-designed website now available. They feature a large and diverse collection of antique maps, along with decorative prints, illustrated books, books on travel from the 16th through mid-19th century, manuscripts, and more. You may find their new website at www.plantijnmaps.com.

May's top 10 sales on AbeBooks featured multiple collections of etchings, along with works on architecture, chemistry, law, and the Malay Archipelago. Add fairy tales, poetry and more, and here we go.

10. The Malay Archipelago by Alfred Russel Wallace, a presentation copy of the 1869 first edition in which the noted naturalist chronicles the exploration of the area. $4,869.

9. The Collected Poems by D.H. Lawrence, one of 100 copies of a signed, limited edition published in 1928. $4,893.

8. A Room of One's Own, a 1929 signed, limited first edition of Virginia Woolf's essay on feminism. $4,950.

7. The Four Books of Architecture by Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. This is a first French edition from 1640, which includes the woodcuts from the original Italian edition of 1570. Palladio was enormously influential in the field of Western architecture. $5,844.

6. English Etchings, an 8-volume collection of etched works by English artists including William Strang, James McNeill Whistler, Frank Short, Percy Thomas, Herbert Marshall, Robert Currie, Buxton Knight and Oliver Baker. $5,867.

5. The Library or Treasury of French Law, a 1615 compilation of French laws by lawyer Laurent Bouchel. $6,356.

4. Traité élémentaire de Chimie, a second printing of the treatise on elementary chemistry originally printed in 1789 by the "father of modern chemistry," Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier. $7,709.

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