Books, Manuscripts and Maps

Science, Medicine and Engineering

Harrison (John, horologist) The Proportion for finding the Miles corresponding to a Degree of Longitude in any Latitude…, c.1762
Sold for £29,800; $45,800; €34,500

Works in these areas attract premium prices as they are becoming increasingly rare. We have handled collections on Charles Darwin (a single leaf from the original manuscript of On the Origin of Species made £40,000) and have also devoted an entire sale to esoteric subjects, covering Alchemy, Witchcraft, Freemasonry, Astrology, Kabbalah and Animal Magnetism. Here works by Athanasius Kircher attracted fierce bidding with his work of the Egyptian mysteries Obeliscus Pamphilius, 1650, making £3,000. We have handled the sale of Ben Weinreb's collection on the history of Computers and Computing where, for example, Turing's Programmers' Handbook for Manchester Electronic Computer Mark II, signed, made £12,000. Our sales have included the earliest book on rhinoplasty and collections on obstetrics, dentistry, psychiatry and astronomy; also rare engineering related items such as periodicals, journals, reference works and folders of ephemera.

In 2012, we sold the impressive Horological Library of Charles Allix with highlights including the John Harrison Manuscript (illustrated above) and Gould (Lt. Commander Rupert T.) The Marine Chronometer: Its History and Development, first edition, the author's copy with his extensive annotations and additions, 1923 (£9,800).