Rare Hans Christian Andersen Headlines Summer Book Sale

Hans Christian Andersen Fairy TalesThe Rare First Collected Edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s
Fairy Tales headline Bloomsbury Auction’s

Bloomsbury Auctions’ London two day Summer Book Sale will appeal to all collecting interests. Day one features a rare first collected edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘Fairy Tales’ and an impressive collection of important Incunabula, including work by Aristotle. Day two has a different appeal as all lots will be offered without reserve.

Hans Christian Andersen’s Eventyr foralte for børn, or ‘Fairy Tales told for children’, was originally issued in Danish as three small, separate pamphlets between 1835 & 1837 before in 1837 being combined as a collected edition. Unlike most copies to have appeared on the market, this copy comprises the first printing of each part.

In the new preface for this edition, Andersen writes: “With this third pamphlet the Fairy Tales are now gathered in one little volume. It will depend on the impression it makes on the public if this is to be the only one. A poet is always a poor man in his own little country. Fame is therefore the golden bird he has to catch! Time will tell if I catch it by telling Fairy Tales.”

The collection of Incunabula features many rare and impressive books printed in Europe before 1501, including the first volume of the magnificent Aldine five volume folio edition of Aristotle’s works, issued between 1495 and 1498. This was the first major Greek prose text to be re-introduced in its original form to the western world by the intervention of the printing press and it is estimated at £8,000-10,000.

One of the earliest and most important vehicles for transmitting Aristotelian concepts to the west is also offered in the sale. Albumasar’s De magnis coniunctionibus, 1489, presents the philosophical and historical justifications for astrology. This first edition of a scarce and significant work is estimated at £6,000-8,000.

A good selection of natural history works includes a number on conchology, with Philippi’s Abbildungen und Beschreibungen neuer oder wenig gekannter Conchylien, 1845-51, one of the rarest German iconographies of shells with 144 fine hand-coloured lithographed plates, a stand-out lot, carrying an estimate of £800-1,200.

The sale will be held on Thursday 28th and Friday 29th August 2014 at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, Mayfair saleroom in London.

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