Henry Sotheran Ltd. Rare Books and Prints 200 Years of Bookselling in London

Welcome to our April Newsletter

We are working on various lists at the moment - Food and Wine (including a C17th Irish manuscript recipe book) and Performing Arts which includes great Cab Calloway and Enrico Caruso items. Please let Oliver know if you would like either the digital or printed copies.

We have also just put together a short list of miniature (or nearly miniature) books. Download here.

Looking forward to the summer, we will be producing a catalogue of curiosities. We find that a wide range of oddities find their way to us from original manuscripts, autograph letters, sculpture & furniture to Cultural Revolution posters and a Captain Scott tea caddy. Again, contact Oliver if you would like to see the catalogue either in print or digital format.

Aston Martin DB5

We were delighted to host a party to celebrate 65 years of the magazine The Book Collector. Launched in 1952 by the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming, the journal has celebrated its anniversary by producing a special issue dedicated to the writer "Ian Fleming & Book Collecting". The issue appears in various formats. A paperback edition is available for £20, a limited edition of 150 numbered copies bound in cloth for £150. Hardback copies are still being printed but we can accept pre-orders and the books will be dispatched as soon as we receive our copies. Do let us know if you would like more details or to place an order.

Please click here to see our Ian Fleming First Editions (with a surprise addendum!)

Also coming in soon is a collection of books from the library of Thomas Yoseloff, the last owner of the Golden Cockerel Press. Contact Oliver for more details.

Finally we are delighted to announce the recruitment of Katie Putt as our new marketing manager. We are always interested in finding new ways to build our client base and forge links with other associated businesses and forums. Feel free to contact Katie at Katie@sotherans.co.uk

Science & Natural History
Contact Chris for more details.


We have just produced an online catalogue of Rare Fishing Books.

Available online, as a PDF download or a Digital Edition. Rarest of all — we have a limited supply of printed catalogues, please ask Chris if you'd like one.

Fishing Catalogue


The Flowering Plants, Grasses, Sedges, and Ferns PRATT, Anne. The Flowering Plants, Grasses, Sedges, and Ferns, of Great Britain, and their allies the Club Mosses, Pepperworts, and Horsetails.

Frederick Warne and Co. [c. 1870]. 8vo. 6 vols.; very good.
Anne Pratt (1806 - 1893) was probably the most successful female botanist of her time and her Flowering Plants was a major work which did much to interest the general public in the British flora. The illustrations are the author's own work. Being a woman and a self-taught artist she was not taken seriously by the botanical establishment but it is impossible now to see her drawings and not be impressed by her picturesque flair and compositional sense. … more …

English Botany SOWERBY, James and James Edward SMITH. English Botany

Printed for the author by J. Davis. 1790-1814. 8vo. 36 parts bound in 18 volumes. Recently rebound in handsome quarter black morocco; 2592 hand-coloured engraved plates; very good.
First edition. This is "“one of the most celebrated of all English floras… English botany is of value even to the present day as a work of reference, and as an illustrated flora of our country it has never been surpassed.” (Henrey II pp. 141- 143). … more …


The Ornithology of Francis Willughby WILLUGHBY, Francis and John RAY. The Ornithology of Francis Willughby…in three books wherein all the birds hitherto known, being reduced into a method sutable to their Natures, are accurately described… to which are added, Three Considerable Discourses, I. Of the art of fowling: with a description of several nets in two large copper plates II. Of the ordering of singing birds III. Of falconry.

Printed by A.C. for John Martyn. 1678, Folio; very good indeed. Provenance: front pastedown with bookplate of Jorge Casares, Argentinian landowner and ornithologist.
First edition. This important early ornithological work revolutionised taxonomy by organising species according to their physical characteristics and overturned many of Aristotle's inaccuracies. … more …


Fleetwood Catalogue


New York: Fleetwood Body Corporation. 1929. 4to; near fine.
A scarce and splendid catalogue in Art Deco style from the Fleetwood company, which designed the bodywork for the luxury end of the Cadillac car range, among others. The first pamphlet describes the history of the company. The other six contain the specifications for the various models and each description is printed in its own set of bold colours and includes different views of the car and a sample of upholstery material. This is a fine representation of the luxury motor industry as the USA teetered on the edge of the Great Depression. … more …

Rolls-Royce Adaptability.

Rolls Royce. Rolls-Royce Adaptability.

Long Island City, N.Y.: Executive Sales Offices. [n.d., c. 1929]. Long quarto. Original plain cream wrapper; title page and 10 pochoir leaves printed on recto only in Art Deco style, with cutout forming a window through three leaves.
A very rare and sumptuous Rolls-Royce catalogue, aimed at the American market, from just before the Depression - references to the 'keen and successful financiers' of Wall Street might not have been approved for publication after the Crash of October 1929. … more …

Prints Department
Contact Richard for more details.

Print of the month
Cambridge's Easy Win: The Boat-Race of 1906
Title: Cambridge's Easy Win: The Boat-Race of 1906
Description: Original half tone illustration after an original drawing by W. Koekkoek, depicting the Cambridge-Oxford rowing race, as published London.
Date: 1906.
Size: 390 x 280 mm.
Price: £40
More Boat Race prints on the website.

Poster of the month
Artist: EIDEM, Paul Lock (1902-1992).
Title: Norge.
Description: Original lithograph with colour, linen backed, as published by Norges Stasbaner (NSB), printed by Norsk Lith. Officin, Oslo, Norway. Eidem was a Norwegian writer and illustrator. The poster must surely be inspired by the famous "Preikestolen" cliff, known as "Pulpit Rock" in English. This is a rock face which is over 600 metres high and descends into Lysefjorden. The addition of the railway tunnel is the artist's own imagination.
Has been restored for some damages.
Size: 1000 x 620 mm.
Price: £1,650

Map of the month
Battle of Maestricht
Artist: James Basire
Title: Battle of Maestricht.
Description: Original engraving for Mr Tindal's continuation of Mr Rapin's "History of England."
Date: 1740.
Size: 390 x 490 mm.
Price: £125
Travel Department
Contact Georg for more details.

A Complete View of the Chinese Empire [CAWTHORN, George, editor]. A Complete View of the Chinese Empire. Exhibited in a Geographical Description on its Antiquity, and a Genuine and Copius Account of the Earl Macartney's Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China.

London, printed and published by G. Cawthorn, British Library, No. 132, Strand, 1798. 8vo. Contemporary full tree calf; a clean and fresh copy.
First edition, an issue on light green paper, complete with half-title and final advertisement leaf in a contemporary binding. This is the accurate and highly legible account of the first British embassy to China, led by George Macartney, Great Britain's first envoy to China. The aim was to establish a permanenet mission in Beijing and gain access to a few trading places. The embassy did not gain any concessions; however, this book is a fascinating report on how the British delegation experienced the Chinese Empire, as a well-oiled machine. … more …

lettre Au Général Bonaparte

NAPOLEON. Counter-signed letter, in a secretarial hand and signed by Étienne Michaux, ... addressed Au Général Bonaparte and Général-Consul

26 messidor an 11 [June 30, 1803]. One page (295 x 198 mm) on printed stationery produced for the Commissaire Ordonnateur de l'Armée, Armée d'Hanovre, mounted and framed, next to a near contemporary engraved portrait of Napoleon.
Étienne Michaux (1771-1850) had been a career soldier from the year of the French Revolution onwards and by 1804, had risen to Ordonnateur en Chef des troupes françaises au Hanovre under Édouard Mortier, duc de Trévise et maréchal d'Empire (1804). In this letter, he lobbies for further promotion. … more …

Cast copper relief map of Palestine PALESTINE EXPLORATION FUND. Palestine. Founded on the Survey of the Palestine Exploration Fund.

[Dated and signed in the cast], M. Parsons, 1913. Cast copper relief map of Palestine and parts of Lebanon and Syria, stretching from Beirut in the north, to Gaza in the south, and Hauran via Bashan to the east. 20 x 37 x 1cm, a key, and place names.
Based on a map by the Palestine Exploration Fund. Two sets of nuts and bolts to the back suggest this was intended to be affixed to a wall as a plaque.
A unique and intriguing item. The Palestine Exploration Fund was established in 1865 by Arthur Stanley and George Grove under the patronage of Queen Victoria. … more …

Les colonies Portugaises PENHA-GARCIA, José Capelo Franco Frazào, Conde. Les colonies Portugaises ... Vol. I [all published].

Lisbon, Commissariat Portugais de l'Exposition Coloniale Internationale de Paris, 1931. 4to; wrappers a little spotted and with light browning due to paper stock.
First edition, very rare. This is the Portugese contribution to the International Colonial Exhibition in Paris and deals with the period of discoveries from 1385-1580. … more …

Photographs – Geneva, Leipzig, Prague

POST-VERSAILLES DIPLOMACY AND THE RISE OF HITLER. Geneva - Leipzig - Prague [manuscript title on spine].

[Locarno, Geneva, and other places, 1925-33]. Square 4to. Patterned cloth, 34 original photos (various formats measuring 54 x 60 up to 132 x 82 mm), all neatly mounted on one side of stiff carton leaves with tissue guards, captioned by hand; in very good and clean condition.
This unique and privately produced photo album with unpublished photos of diplomatic negotiations and politicians was privately compiled, probably by a Geneva doctor, on 'diplomatic duty'. The photographer had remarkable access to a wide spectrum of diplomats and politicians.
The album seems to be constructed to show the failure of inter-war peace initiatives … more …

The Arctic Regions SIMMONDS, Peter Lund. The Arctic Regions and Polar Discoveries During the Nineteenth Century: With the Discoveries Made by Captain McClintock as to the Fate of the Franklin Expedition.

London, Routledge, Warne, and Routledge. 1860. Small 8vo. a very good copy.
The first edition of this popular history of Arctic exploration to report on McClintock's expedition and discovery of the remains of Franklin's expedition.
Simmonds was a well-connected journalist, who managed to get news of importance almost immediately. … more …

Children's Department
Contact Rosie for more details.

The Children's Department has just acquired two interesting collections. The first comprises works by Edward Ardizzone, many signed.

The second is an interesting group of illustrated editions of Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass, including an edition of each signed by the real Alice (Hargreaves, née Liddell). Please contact Rosie for further information.

Alice's signature

8vo. 2 volumes bound in original leather, preserved in original blue and red cloth slipcases, Wonderland with the remains of the original glassine dustwrapper; with engraved illustrations throughout after Tenniel's original woodblocks; both copies in lovely bright condition and internally immaculate; scarce as a pair signed by Alice.

First editions thus. Both volumes are limited to only 1500 numbered copies. Only about 500 copies of the first title and about 1,000 of the second were signed by Alice, a few years before her death. She refused to sign other editions of this famous book in her lifetime.

Henry Sotheran Ltd
2 Sackville Street
London W1S 3DP
Telephone: 020 7439 6151
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