Books, Manuscripts and Maps

Travel and Topography

Saint-Non (Jean Claude Richard, Abbé de) Voyage pittoresque ou description des royaumes de Naples et de Sicile, 4 vol. in 5, half-titles, 1781-86. ‘One of the monuments of French eighteenth-century book production’. Blackmer.
Sold for £13,600; $21,000; €15,800

We have an extraordinary number of clients who collect in these areas. Bloomsbury Auctions has become synonymous with Mountaineering books, having sold over the last 10 years the most important collections to come onto the market, including the private collection of Louis Baume as well as his stock in trade as Gaston's Alpine Books; books from the Rucksack Club library; and the unrivalled collection of books on Mont Blanc by its bibliographer Eugene P.Meckly. Polar exploration, particularly relating to Antarctica, continues to command great interest and top prices. The first lot sold in our inaugural sale at Maddox Street was the private hand-written journal of Capt. Albert Armitage, second-in-command to Scott on the 1901–04 Discovery expedition, which welcomed us to Mayfair with a hammer price of £36,000. Africa, Australia and early voyages are also popular. Books on Egypt and Egyptology prove particularly popular and the extremely strong Indian market ensures this is one of the hottest collecting areas.

Closer to home, the demand for works of local British interest continues to grow. Standard county histories are always saleable as are local guides or other works with a provincial imprint; we handle magnificent colour-plate books such as Boydell's History of the River Thames and Kellys directories which are useful for genealogists. In any Bloomsbury Auctions catalogue you might find a first edition of Stows Survey of London, 1598 next to a multiple lot of Pevsners. Whatever area of this country or the world you are interested in, our sales are sure to include it.