Latest news of rare and antiquarian books & prints

Dear  Customer

Welcome to our August Newsletter.


The main news in this summer’s hot weather is that we have a new air conditioner!

And we have a lovely summery display at the front of the shop.

An ideal time to drop in for a browse. 

Summer shop window

Farewell …

After over 26 years of working at Sotheran's I have decided to move to pastures new to be the Head of Rare Books at Heywood Hill Booksellers.  My time at Sotheran's has been educative and varied but above all, enjoyable.  I would like to thank all our customers and colleagues for their part in making this a very happy place to have worked.  
My colleague Chris Saunders will be taking the role of Managing Director.  I am sure that you will support him and Sotheran's in the same generous spirit.  
Andrew McGeachin
Sports & Pastimes

New catalogue now available: 

Sports & Pastimes

view the digital edition
download PDF
or view online

or request a printed catalogue



Henry Sotheran Ltd, the world’s longest established antiquarian bookseller, has a vacancy for a bookdealer in the Literature and General Antiquarian Department at our friendly, recently refurbished premises in central London.
The ideal candidate will need the knowledge and expertise to specialise in classic and modern literature, while also handling miscellaneous books on any number of fascinating subjects. They should have a flair for cataloguing. They will also need experience of buying stock and a track record of sales, preferably in a shop environment. Confidence with information technology, the internet and social media is also desirable. We need someone who can build relationships with our clients, so a friendly disposition and a real interest in people are essential.
We are open Monday to Friday and staff work Saturdays on a rota, with occasional evening events and book fairs. We offer a competitive salary, plus 20 days holiday, pension and private medical insurance after the probation period.

Please apply with covering letter and CV to Chris Saunders


Children’s & Illustrated
Contact Rosie for more details

 Van Sandwyk 

Every couple of years or so a large white parcel, surprisingly light in weight, hovers into the shop in the outstretched hands of a Federal Express courier - a Van Sandwyk consignment, fresh from the artist's workshop at Brandwine Cottage, Vancouver.

Charles is one of the company's best friends, and a meticulous illustrator and craftsman, who works alongside his tiny band of helpers to produce privately printed and hand-assembled fairy books for a select group of customers worldwide.

The process is slow, and I would say painstaking, if there was any pain to be felt, because every step of the process in printing and assembling these fine books is entered into with such love.

We have eight separate titles coming into stock, all signed by the artist. If you are interested in receiving the details, and images, please contact Rosie.

 Van Sandwyk 

Science & Natural History

 The Papilios of Great Britain 

LEWIN, William. The Papilios of Great Britain …

For J. Johnson, in St. Paul's Church Yard, 1795.

4to. Later half brown calf, marbled boards, all edges marbled; pp. 100, with 46 fine hand-coloured engraved plates of butterflies, text in English and French; very good. 

First edition, second issue. This work was issued earlier the same year, using the same sheets, under the title The Insects of Great Britain. Lewin intended to published a comprehensive survey of the insects of Britain but died having completed only this volume, resulting in the new title. Nevertheless it contains "significantly more species of butterflies, together with their early stages, than works by previous authors… Lewin was also the first author to follow the strict order of families, and to use Linnaean names consistently." (M.A. Salmon, The Aurelian Legacy, p.122). The illustrations, by Lewin himself. "are exceedingly accurate… indeed the plates compare very favourably with many modern productions. Several species are described and figured for the first time in this work," (Lisney p. 287).


Prints Department

Please come and view our current exhibition of linocuts and etchings by Richenda Court held in the Print Department .

 Richenda Court Exhibition 

Richenda will be holding a print workshop in the Print Department on Saturday 4th August between 10.00am - 12.00am. 

There are just a few spaces left at £25. If you're in London this Saturday, make sure to come by and learn about printmaking!

Click here for more details and booking, or contact Richard if you would like to attend. 

Aquarius Pass

Print of the month

Artist: COURT, Richenda.
Title: Aquarius Pass.
Description: Original Linocut signed by the artist, edition 2 of 20.
Date: September 2017. 
Size: 830 x 830 mm.
Price: £1,500

See all of Richenda's exhibition prints online, or download catalogue.

Marilyn, 1967

Poster of the month

Artist: WARHOL, Andy (1928-1987). 
Title: Marilyn, 1967, Musee des Beaux-Arts de Montreal, 23 Octobre 1992 - 24 Janvier 1993.
Description: Original lithograph with colour as published by the Neues publishing company, New York and Achenbach Art edition, Dusseldorf, Germany. 
Date: 1992
Size: 810 x 680 mm.
Price: £125

North West Coast of Ireland

Map of the Month

Artist: SELLER, John.
Title: A Chart of the North West Coast of Ireland from Lough Swilly to Slyne Head.
Description: An original engraving, printed c.1690, this example was published in Mount & Page's reissue of Seller's 'The English Pilot,' W. & J. Mount and T. Page, 1748. A sea chart of the coasts of Donegal, Sligo and Mayo, orientated with north to the left.
Date: c.1690 
Size: 450 x 560 mm.
Price: £595


Travel Department Contact Georg for more details

Town planning in Kuwait – Travelling from Alexandria to Jerusalem 2200 years ago – The winged bulls of Nineveh (and the British Museum) – Persian poetry published during WWII – In the Arctic with Inuit help. 


Al-Khiran New Town

[AL-MARZOUK, Salem, and ABI-HANNA, Sabah]. Al-Khiran New Town. Final Report.

[No place or printer, most likely Kuwait], August, 1988. Small folio; near-fine.
Extremely rare first edition, privately printed for the government, a couple of town planners and architects.

'Khiran Resort is a famous facility located in Khiran District near the borders of Saudi Arabia about 110Km away from Kuwait city. It is … under the umbrella of Touristic Enterprises Company conglomerate inaugurated in 1987. The facility was re-opened after the invasion on 1st January 1993 and has been with constant developments' (Khiran Resort website) … more …

 The Auncient History of the Septuagint 

ARISTEAS [ascribed to]. The Auncient History of the Septuagint. VVritten in Greeke, by Aristeus 1900 Yeares since … Newly done into English by I. Done.

London, N. Okes, 1633. 12mo. Early 20th-century full polished tan calf, spine with raised bands and with two red morocco lettering-pieces; a little worming and light spotting.
Very rare first edition in English of this Hellenistic text of the 2nd century BCE describing how the Septuagint was produced. The most famous library of the ancient world - described here for the first time - was to have this influential text corpus in its collection. This work relates how the Egyptian chief librarian urges his king to have Hebrew legal tests translated. He chooses 72 men (sometimes 70 - hence the name Septuagint) to translate independently the entire corpus and they arrive at almost identical Greek texts … more …

Alexandria - Damietta - Giza - Cairo

WAR OFFICE, GEOGRAPHICAL SECTION, GENERAL STAFF. Alexandria - Damietta - Giza - Cairo. Map on four sheets.

[Southampton, Ordnance Survey Office, 1918. Colour lithographic folding map (each sheet 48 x 62 cm), each dissected into 18 segments; in good overall conditon.
If joined, the huge map shows the Nile delta from just south of Cairo including the coast. A military map, however, very decorative and accurate … 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; 8 tinted lithographs, one uncoloured lithographic plate of Assyrian script, 2 folding engraved plates, 2 large folding maps and 3 folding plans, numerous wood-engravings; a very good and clean copy.
First edition. The British Museum funded Layard's second expedition, of which he gives an account in the present work. This enabled Layard to return innumerable cuneiform documents from the 'King's Library' at the Kuyunijk Mound near Mosul, the eventual decipherment of which proved conclusively that ancient Nineveh had been located there. 

The binding is a three-dimensional representation of a colossal statue of a winged bull (lamassu), similar to the ones kept in the British Museum. It was produced by Remnant & Edmonds, who employed Owen Jones as designer  … more …

 Makhzanol Asrār 

NEZAMI of Ganjeh [NIZAMI GANJAVI]. Makhzanol Asrār. The Treasury of Mysteries of Nezāmi of Ganjeh, translated for the First Time from the Persian, with an Introductory Essay on the Life and Times of Nezāmi, by Gholam Hosein Dārab.

London, Arthur Probsthain, 1945. 8vo. Original brown morocco, lettered and ornamented in gilt, all edges gilt; near fine. 
Extremely rare first edition. The translator wanted to furnish the work with many more reproductions of Persian miniatures inspired by this 12th-century Persian poet, the greatest romantic epic poet in Persian literature, but due to the war they 'were buried deep down in the earth somewhere safe from bombing' (preface) … more …

n Search of a North-West Passage

ROSS, Sir John. Narrative of a Second Voyage in Search of a North-West Passage, and of a Residence in the Arctic Regions during the Years 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833 ... Including the Reports of ... James Clark Ross ... and the Discovery of the Northern Magnetic Pole.

London, A.W. Webster, 1835. Large 4to; engraved and lithographed plates and maps; extremities slightly rubbed; large map with repaired tears, otherwise a very good copy in the original cloth.
First edition. Following the failure of his first expedition to discover the Northwest Passage in 1818, the Admiralty refused to sponsor Ross' second expedition; therefore, Ross undertook it as a private venture in the small paddle-steamer Victory, sponsored by Felix Booth (the Sheriff of London) and accompanied by his nephew James Clark Ross. The expedition's purpose was to discover a Northwest Passage by way of Baffin Bay, Lancaster Sound, and Prince Regent Inlet, and it achieved several firsts: it was the first expedition to use a steam engine in polar exploration; the first to explore the region of the Gulf of Boothia; and James Clark Ross was the first person to reach the Magnetic North Pole. 

Ross was knighted on his return by William IV, to whom this account is dedicated … more …

 Photo album 

SWITZERLAND. Private photoalbum of over 200 original photos, printed in sepia.

Switzerland, c. 1934. Oblong folio; cord-bound stylish cloth covered album; neatly captioned in white ink; well-preserved.
The tourist couple, with a little daughter started their mountain journey in Zermatt with some climbing tours and taking photos of the Matterhorn from various poisitions and angles. The caption sometimes give the precise altitudes, up to 3000 meters. The second half of the album is titled Montreux and Clarens, from where they ramble in the Bernese Alps … more …