This December’s English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations sale will include rare and collectable books, manuscripts and artwork across the categories. Property from a number of important private collections includes a significant group of Darwin first editions, exceptional copies of twentieth century literature, and a remarkable group of fine books and numerous highly important miscellanies and tract volumes formerly in the library at Fettercairn House, Aberdeenshire.
Alongside these highlights, the sale will also include a significant group of Jane Austen material, including a vividly descriptive letter to her sister Cassandra, describing the details of her daily life. Marking 200 years since its first publication, the sale will also include a first edition copy of Emma, Austen’s cup-and-ball game, and Anna Lefroy’s manuscript continuation of her aunt’s final unfinished novel, Sanditon.
Leading the selection of children’s books, Sotheby's will offer one of the six handwritten manuscript copies of J.K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard, originally given to a person “most closely connected to the Harry Potter books”. Following the sale in 2007 of a copy on behalf of the charity Lumos for £1.95 million, the auction of this significant association copy is an opportunity to acquire a major piece of Harry Potter history.
The book will be on view at Sotheby’s in New York from 9–11 November and in London from 9–13 December.