Latest news of rare and antiquarian books & prints

Dear  Customer

Welcome to our July Newsletter.


With Wimbledon and the World Cup going on we thought we would put together a Sports and Pastimes catalogue.  Please let Chris know if you would like a printed or digital copy.

We are also putting together a Performing Arts catalogue. Please let Oliver know if you would like this.

To help enjoy the warm weather  here's a short list of cocktail books.  Cheers!


Science & Natural History

 The Aurelian 

HARRIS, Moses. The Aurelian: Or, Natural History of English Insects; Namely, Moths and Butterflies. Together with the Pnats on which they Feed; A faithful Account of their respective Changes;their usual Haunts when in the winged State; and their standard Names, as given and established by the worthy and ingenious Society of Aurelians.

Printed for the author. 1766. Folio. 41 hand-coloured plates very clean and bright. Provenance, previous owner's signature dated 1814 to title page and 19th century bookplate of the Lighton Baronetcy to front pastedown. This book came to us directly from the Lighton family and is offered for sale for the first time in around 150 years.
First edition, first issue. The 'most celebrated of all the early books about butterflies and moths … in the unsurpassed plates of The Aurelian he left a timeless classic to future generations' (Salmon).
Moses Harris (1730 - c. 1788) was a remarkable man, a self-educated lepidopterist of obscure origin who became "one of the most outstanding authors of entomological literature during the eighteenth century … more …

 Memoir of the Rev. John Stevens Henslow 

JENYNS, Rev. Leonard. Memoir of the Rev. John Stevens Henslow M.A., F.L.S., F.G.S., F.C.P.S., late Rector of Hitcham and Professor of Botany in the University of Cambridge.

John Van Voorst. 1862. 8vo. Original green cloth, very good.
First and only edition, in a variant binding unnoted by Freeman. Henslow was an important figure in Darwin's life. He was Darwin's mentor at Cambridge and was entrusted with the material from the Beagle when it reached England. Darwin's Letters on geology were written from the Beagle to Henslow. 
Henslow (1796-1861) was a renowned naturalist in his own right. He founded the Cambridge University Botanic Garden in 1831, which he developed into a world class site, and published a number of useful botanical books including A Catalogue of British Plants (1829). … more …

 Monograph on the Aye-Aye 

OWEN, Richard Monograph on the Aye-Aye (Chiromys madagascariensis, Cuvier).

Taylor and Francis. 1863. 4to. Original green cloth; 14 lithograph plates of which 3 folding; very good. Provenance: ffep inscribed by Owen to the Duke of Argyll. This is a very nice association with the 8th Duke (1823-1900) who was a stalwart member of Gladstone's cabinet and a prominent amateur scientist. Also with the bookplate of Desmond Morris , the British zoologist best known for his 1967 book The Naked Ape.
First edition. Scarce. Owen was fascinated by the aye-aye, a peculiar lemur-like creature found only on Madagascar. It was first brought to Britain in the 1780s and was an immediate puzzle to naturalists: "The root of this confusion lay in the aye-aye’s odd collection of behavioral and morphological traits that make it appear to be composed of spare parts of other animals. The text is greatly complemented by the charming and dynamic plates by Joesph Wolf, one of the leading wildlife artists of the time, who had to sketch this nocturnal animal by candlelight at London Zoo … more …


Prints Department


Richenda Court
Linocuts and Etchings

Exhibition: 26th July – 16th August

 Ocean Swell by Richenda Court 

The Directors of Henry Sotheran Ltd.
request the pleasure of your company

to a private view
and talk by the artist 

at 6pm – 8pm, 

Wednesday 25th July 2018

RSVP : Richard Shepherd
telephone : 020 7439 6151
email :

 Lawn Tennis Championship Meeting at Wimbledon 

Print of the month

Artist: The Graphic.
Title: The Lawn Tennis Championship Meeting at Wimbledon - the fifth round of the all comers' match.
Description: Original woodcut engraving with later hand-colouring.
Date: 1881. 
Size: 300 x 400 mm.
Price: £120

 Imperial Airways 

Poster of the month

Artist: GARDNER, James.
Title: Imperial Airways, An Ensign Air Liner for European Services. 2 decks, 40 Passengers, 200 M.P.H, 20 Tons.
Description: Original lithograph with colours, as printed by Ben Johnson & Co. Ltd, published by Imperial Airways, London. Some pin holes visible in margins and vertical tear to centre which has been contained.
Date: 1937.
Size: 640 x 1020 mm.
Price: £2,500

 Map of Piccadilly 

Map of the Month

Artist: ROCQUE, John.
Title: Map of Piccadilly and Surrounding Area.
Description: Collotype after the original for Rocque's "Map of London," 1746, as published by the London Topographical Society, 17 Baker Street, London W.1.
Date: 1917. 
Size: 430 x 575 mm.
Price: £75


Travel & Exploration  Contact Georg for more details


Our new Travel Catalogue is  now available online or ask us for a printed copy.

The travel department's contribution to this mid-summer newsletter takes us with Italian Royalty to the Arctic, with a Borghese in a motor car all the way through Asia and Europe, and to the Wild Flowers of Kuwait, a country we shall return to with an important and very rare book on the Gulf, before having joined more Royalty, this time the English one, on a world tour.

Travel Catalogue
On the "Polar Star" in the Arctic Sea

AMEDEO, Luigi of Savoy On the "Polar Star" in the Arctic Sea.

London, Hutchinson & Co., 1903. Two volumes, 4to. Original green cloth, image of Polar Star blocked in gilt to upper cover; an exceptionally handsome set.
First edition. The Polar Star expedition, comprising a crew from Italy and Norway, aimed to reach the North Pole by sailing as far north as possible and then continuing by sledge. The Pole was not actually attained but the expedition pushed on to a new highest latitude … more …

 Pekin To Paris 

BARZINI, Luigi. Pekin To Paris. An Account of Prince Borghese's Journey across two Continents in a Motor-Car.

New York, Mitchell Kennerley, 1908. 8vo. Highly illustrated with plates after the author's photographs, folding colour-printed map at rear, a good copy in the decorative original binding.
First US edition. In the summer of 1907 the Italian journalist accompanied Prince Scipione Borghese who won the famous Peking to Paris motor race after a journey of two months across China and Siberia. The 1907 Itala motor car is now in the Museo dell'Automobile in Turin … more …

 The Wild Flowers of Kuwait and Bahrain 

DICKSON, Violet. The Wild Flowers of Kuwait and Bahrain.

London, George Allen & Unwin, [1955]. 8vo. Original red cloth, spine lettered in gilt, with the rarely seen dust-wrapper; pp. 144, highly illustrated with maps, plates and in the text; a very good copy.
Very rare first edition of one of the first botanical monographs on the two Gulf countries  … more …

The Persian Problem

WHIGHAM, Heny James. The Persian Problem. An Examination of the Rival Positions of Russia and Great Britain in Persia with some Account of the Persian Gulf and the Bagdad Railway.

London, Isbister and Company, 1903. 8vo. Original oatmeal buckram; a good and clean copy of a great rarity.
First edition. Based on his extensive travels in the region, at the instigation of Lord Curzon, this is one of the best assessments of the situation, life and geopolitics on the shores of the Persian Gulf … more …

 The Web of Empire 

WALLACE, Sir Donald Mackenzie. The Web of Empire: A Diary of the Imperial Tour of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall & York in 1901.

London, Macmillan and Company, 1902. Royal 8vo.; one slight indenture to spine, foxing to endpapers, otherwise very good.
First edition, presentation copy inscribed and signed by the author to the Countess of Portsmouth. Wallace was the Assistant Private Secretary to the Duke of Cornwall - the future George V - during the tour … more …