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

Welcome to our May Newsletter

Changes at Sackville Street

Sotheran's moved into its Sackville Street shop in 1936 - the first tenants in the new building. We have recently renewed our lease on the shop with our landlords and so we will be staying here for at least the next ten years. With the new lease however came an eye-watering increase in our rent. For us to accommodate this increase we have decided that we must sublet some of the space on the ground floor of the shop, necessitating some building work.

Sackville Street 1936 The exact dates of the re-modelling have not been set but we anticipate the work starting towards the end of May and lasting for approximate 4 - 5 weeks. For a portion of this time we will be vacating the premises - but business will still be going on. The book stock will be accessible from off-site storage and we will be fulfilling orders throughout this time. We might just ask a little patience in getting things sent out.

The work on the shop includes a refit of our downstairs Print Gallery. Part of this will now house the Travel Book department. The room that is presently our packing department is being transformed into a dedicated Illustrated Book and Print Department, combining our already thriving Children's and Illustrated Department with our Private Press and Fine Printing section, original artwork and wood-engravings.

We will also be developing a Club Room and Gallery available for private shows and pop-up exhibitions. Please contact Katie if you are interested in using this facility.

These are the bare bones of the project ahead. Please feel free to contact Andrew if you have any further questions.

In other matters:

The Cockerel has landed — please have a look at our recent list of Golden Cockerel Press books. Although without ownership markings, these came from the library of the last owner of the Press, Thomas Yoseloff.

Our catalogue of curiosities is coming on apace. Please contact Oliver if you would like a copy.

The Fire Next Time
We are about to receive copies of Tachen's new edition of James Baldwin's "The Fire Next Time" illustrated with more than 100 photographs by Steve Schapiro who travelled with Baldwin for Life Magazine. The Collector's Edition of 1,833 numbered copies each signed by Steve Schapiro. Price £175.00. Please contact Oliver if you would like to order a copy.

Science & Natural History
Contact Chris for more details.

In addition to specific items below, this month we have produced a (download only) catalogue of a selection of Motoring Items


Space: The Final Frontier.

A selection of books on stars, extraterrestrial life and warp drives.

Charts of the Constellations,

COTTAM, Arthur. Charts of the Constellations, from the North Pole to between 35 & 40 degrees of south declination.

Edward Stanford. 1891. Folio. Recent black half morocco, prospectus for first edition bound in at rear; a little spotting, very good. Provenance: signed by the author using his full name, Arthur Basil Cottam, to title page.
Third, 'popular' edition. The book was first published in a limited edition of 200 copies in 1889, followed shortly by a second edition. Both of these editions were on a larger scale, but this edition has the advantage of the three key charts and 32 extra pages of text … more …

The Stars. A new way to see them. REY, H.A. The Stars. A new way to see them.

Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1962. 4to. including 17 constellation charts, 16 calendar charts and numerous other illustrations all printed in blue, white and black; very good.
Sixth printing, revised. A quirky, popular and attractive book of its time that aimed to simplify star-gazing. The dustwrapper unfolds into a map of the sky measuring 22 x 26 inches … more …

Sidereal Chromatics SMYTH, William Henry Sidereal Chromatics; being a re-print, with additions, from the "Bedford Cycle of Celestial Objects" and its "Hartwell Continuation" on the colours of multiple stars.

Printed for private circulation. 1864. 8vo. very good. Provenance: presentation inscription to front pastedown "Presented to/ George Bulcher Esq. of Aylesbury/ with the respects of Dr. Lee/ Hartwell 21 April 1865". John Lee (1783-1866) of Hartwell was an astronomer and philanthropist, and is the dedicatee of the introductory letter printed in this book by Smyth, his near neighbour.
First edition. Scarce. W.H. Smyth (1788 - 1865) was a respected naval officer who became known for his hydrographic surveys of Italy and Sicily and as an astronomer. The observatory that he built at Bedford was reconstructed at John Lee's Hartwell estate, and it was here that Smyth made the observations that led to this, his last published work. … more …

Star Fleet Technical Manual. STAR TREK. Star Fleet Technical Manual.

New York: Ballantine Books. 1975. 4to. Original plastic binding containing glossy red paper-covered book; illustrated throughout with plans, uniform designs, diagrams, one colour plate with key for uniform designs; very good.
Frist edition. Specifically for the use of 'Star Fleet Academy cadets', all the detailed technical specifications you could ever need for an entirely imaginary universe. … more …

Is Mars Habitable? WALLACE, Alfred Russel Is Mars Habitable?

Macmillan. 1907. 8vo. near fine.
First edition. Scarce. In this book, the multi-faceted Wallace weighs into the arguments about the red planet's habitability brought about by Percival Lowell's 1903 book Mars and its Canals. In this book, a clearly riled Wallace takes Lowell's arguments apart one by one … more …

The Right Stuff. WOLFE, Tom. The Right Stuff.

New York: Farrar Straus Giroux. 1979. 8bo. Original grey cloth, Wolfe's signature embossed in silver to upper board, in dustwrapper; very good.
First edition, first issue. Wolfe's classic account of the early American astronauts … more …

An Important and Rare Botanical Work

Plantes rare du jardin de Genève. CANDOLLE, Augustin Pyramus de. Plantes rare du jardin de Genève.

Geneva: Librairie de J. Barbezat. 1829. Folio. 4 parts in one volume, very good.
First edition, second issue ("consolidated"), one of only 250 copies. Text in French. A rare botanical work prized for the delicate detail of the illustrations and the descriptions written according to Candolle's own system of taxonomy (a word that he coined). … more …

Two Beautiful Manuscript Works

Illuminated photo album of the English Lake District.

BELL, Faith. Illuminated photo album of the English Lake District.

No publisher. 1904. Large 4to (10 x 12 inches). Original half black morocco; elaborate hand-painted photo album with hand illuminated calligraphy, illuminated borders and margins framing 34 gelatin silver or albumen photographs.
A unique album, richly illuminated in gilt and coloured inks with charming watercolour vignettes surrounding atmospheric photographic views of the Lake District. The illumination covers different styles from the medieval to the Art Deco. This was clearly a labour of love that remained unfinished … more …

Elizabeth Pike's Receipt Book [MANUSCRIPT COOKERY BOOK] PIKE, Elizabeth. Elizabeth Pike's Receipt Book. Anno Domini June 20 1759.

No publisher. 1759 - 1842. 4to. Original vellum; binding a little rubbed and stained, very good.
Unique household receipt manuscript, started on 20th June 1759, the last entry c. 1842, containing recipes for food, drink, medicines, make-up and furniture polishes. Written in various hands.
The book includes a mixture of recipes for popular eighteenth centry dishes such as calves' heads, ginger bread and preserved Siberian crabs, and remedies for complaints such as dropsy and rheumatism. There are at least two cures for cancer and different treatments for animal bites, which gives a good indication of the health problems suffered by the Pike family, while the number of recipes of cakes and biscuits indicates the growing popularity of sugar in eighteenth century Britain
Many of the recipes in the book reflect a prosperous household. "To make Persico" requires "the peelings of 60 lemon & 60 oranges, put them into 10 gallons of brandy" … more …

*Special New Naturalist sale*

New Naturalists

We have unearthed a large stash of multiple copies of some of the later volumes in the New Naturalist series. These are unopened copies, mostly still in their cellophane wrappers, and are all as new. We are very happy to sell them at the bargain price of £25 per copy. As New Naturalists retail at £50 this represents a great saving on these lovely volumes.

We have the following titles:

  • 99 – Gower
  • 100 – Woodlands
  • 102 – Garden Natural History
  • 103 – Isles of Scilly
  • 104 – A History of Ornithology
  • 105 - Wye Valley
  • 106 – Dragonflies
  • 107 – Grouse
  • 108 - Southern England
  • 109 – Islands
  • 111 – Dartmoor
  • 112 – Books and Naturalists
  • 113 – Bird Migration

Please contact Chris at cs@sotherans.co.uk

Children's Department
Contact Rosie for more details.

“In an old house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines … the smallest one was Madeline”: with this rhythmically rhyming sentence Ludwig Bemelmans opens each of the seven titles he penned in his adored Madeline series.

The books were first published in America between 1939 and 1999 with the final one, ‘Madeline in America’, appearing a long time after the others, and posthumously, when the manuscript was discovered after his death. Each tells a story in verse about Madeline and her friends in their convent school in Paris, with their teacher Miss Clavell.

We now have in stock first English editions in dustwrapper of “Madeline And The Gypsies” (1961) and “Madeline In London” (1962) at £128 and £138 respectively. Please email Rosie for full details on rh@sotherans.co.uk

Madeline And The Gypsies Madeline In London

We now have available a wonderful collection of Kate Greenaway’s original almanacks; some with their scarce original printed mailing wrappers. They range in date from 1883 to 1925 and include a few examples in de luxe edition with corresponding publisher’s bindings. Each is prettily printed throughout with tiny little illustrations in glorious xylographed colours. They are all in fabulous condition. Prices range from £88 to £398. Please email Rosie for details on rh@sotherans.co.uk

Kate Greenaway
Prints Department
Contact Richard for more details.

Print of the month
Fontana di Trevi
Artist: PIRANESI, Giovanni Battista.
Title: Veduta della vasta Fontana di Trevi anticamente della L'Acqua Vergine. [The Fontana di Trevi. H19].
Description: Original etching for Vedute di Roma, 1st Paris edition V/VII.
Date: 1800-1807.
Size: 515 x 715 mm.
Price: £1,500

Please click here to see all Piranesi prints available for sale

Poster of the month
New England, United Air Lines
Artist: GALLI, Stan.
Title: New England, United Air Lines.
Description: Original lithograph with colour, linen backed, printed in U.S.A.
Date: c.1960.
Size: 1020 x 630 mm.
Price: £1,000

Map of the month
A Map of the Empire of China
Artist: CARY, John.
Title: A Map of the Empire of China.
Description: Original engraved map, with hand-colouring.
Date: c.1780.
Size: 193 x 250 mm.
Price: £150

Travel Department
Contact Georg for more details.

A Book of Elephant and Elk Sport. CAPPER, John. The Duke of Edinburgh in Ceylon. A Book of Elephant and Elk Sport.

Provost & Co., 1871. 4to. with 8 superb high-tone chromo­lithographed plates.
First edition. "With the exception of one or two who presented some of the symptoms of incipient asphyxia, induced by an overdose of soda-water and corned beef on the previous evening, all were ready for the muster-call as the sun rose and shot its first rays on the tall summit of Kirigalpota. The day's proceedings were initiated by the presentation of a handsome hunting-knife to the Prince, by the gentlemen of the Dick Oya Hunt, headied by Messrs. Fetherstonehaugh and Kelly. No sooner was this done than hte entire camp moved forward towards the hunting-ground, the Prince and his party leading the way ... " … more …

Seven Pillars Of Wisdom LAWRENCE, T. E. Seven Pillars Of Wisdom.

London, Jonathan Cape, 1935. 4to. Original brown buckram, spine lettered in gilt, upper board blocked in gilt, top edges brown, others uncut; printed dust-wrapper present, not price-clipped.
First impression of the first trade edition. Seven Pillars of Wisdom was first printed in 1922 in an edition of eight copies intended for Lawrence's use; the 'Subscribers' or 'Cranwell' edition then followed in 1926, published privately in an edition of circa 211 copies and, as Lawrence wrote to Sotheran's on 24 April 1925, 'this thing is being given only to my friends and their friends. No copies are for sale'; and finally, after Lawrence's death in May 1935, the text was published in a trade edition by Jonathan Cape in July 1935. … more …

Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon LAYARD, Austen Henry. Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon; with Travels in Armenia, Kurdistan and the Desert: being the result of a Second Expedition undertaken for the British Museum.

John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1853. 8vo; a very good copy; loosely inserted a one-page letter signed by Layard, sending congratulations to "Seymour" for his election to Parliament; provenance: Bookplate of Philip Lyttelton Gell, the son of Eleanor Isabella Franklin (daughter of the Arctic explorer John Franklin).
First edition. Layard's discoveries, made on his first expedition to Mesopotamia, met with popular acclaim back in Britain. In consequence, the British Museum funded a second expedition, of which Layard gives an account in the present work … more …

quiet corners of Old Moscow PAVLOV, Ivan. Ugolki staroi Moskvy.

Moscow, Government printers MTKH, [1945]. 4to. Original flexible portfolio, 10 hand-numbered woodcuts in up to four colours; spine of portfolio repaired, otherwise very good.
~b~First edition, one of 500 copies printed. Here the Moscov artist Ivan Pavlov (1872-1951) evokes quiet corners of Old Moscow, looking back at the old city after the ravages of the Second World War … more …

Recent Arab City Growth

SHIBER, Saba George. Recent Arab City Growth. Being primarily an arranged Selection of the Writer's Articles appearing in the Kuwaiti and Lebanese Press during 1959-1967.

Kuwait, Kuwait Government Printing Press, [1968]. Folio. Original printed wrappers; highly illustrated with plans, drawings by the author and after photographs (several in colour); a vey good copy.
Very rare first edition, with printed authorial inscription on initial blank, of this impressive collection of urbanistic studies of the Middle East. The last page of the book informs the reader of the untimely death of the author in 1968 and gives a good biography of Saba George Shiber … more …

On Ancient Central-Asian Tracks STEIN, Sir Mark Aurel On Ancient Central-Asian Tracks. Brief Narrative of Three Expeditions in Innermost Asia and North-Western China.

Macmillan and Co., Limited. 1933. 8vo.; top edges gilt, a few leaves still unopened; a very good and tight copy of this classic of Central Asian travel.
First edition. Aurel Stein remains one the great figures of Central Asian exploration. Stunningly illustrated with photographic shots of the land and with colour plates of some of the Buddhist cave paintings which Stein (controversially) sent back to India and Britain … more …

Tenzing Autobiography TENZING NORGAY. After Everest. An Autobiography.

London, George Allen & Unwin, [1977]. 8vo; a very clean and fresh copy.
First edition, signed - in both Tibetan and English - presentation copy, inscribed on the second of January 1977 and presented to Alfred Gregory (who inscribed his own name), member of the 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition, then presented by Gregory to the British Moutaineer Nat Allen with the inscription 'A nice book about a friend of mine'. … more …

Through China with a Camera THOMSON, John. Through China with a Camera ... Second edition.

New York, Harper & Brothers, 1899. 8vo. Original blue cloth, lettered in gilt.
A photographic tour of China in the 1870s, and a good description of the country and society. Thomson is an early street photographer and anticipates the photojournalism of the twentieth century. At the same time, his photographs formed the Victorian image of the Far East. … more …

Up from Slavery. An Autobiography. WASHINGTON, Booker T. Up from Slavery. An Autobiography.

New York, Doubleday, Page & Co., 1904. 8vo. Original red cloth, lettered in gilt; presentation copy, signed by the author.
Booker Taliaferro Washington was a slave child during the Civil War, worked his way up as an Afro-American educator, and established vocational schools, most notably the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to help black people, Native Americans and other disadvantaged minorities learn useful, marketable skills and fight for their equality. … more …

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