Austen on the Block! ~ Sotheby’s June 17, 2011

The exciting news this past week on the impending sale of the manuscript pages of Jane  Austen’s The Watsons certainly sent most us into a mild depression about how unattainable such a piece is for most of us. But today, Sotheby’s has made its New York June 17th auction of Fine Books and Manuscripts available online, and I see there are several Austen titles up for sale, still perhaps unattainable for most of us, but a little more reasonable just the same… again, one can only lament how Austen struggled to earn a pittance for her labors, and how Cassandra sold all the copyrights believing that her sister’s popularity had crested as she sank rather rapidly into obscurity!  Aah! Hindsight!

Here are the six lots for sale ~ you can go to the Sotheby’s website for more information on these lots and how to bid online:   

 Sotheby’s Sale No. NO8755: Fine Books and Manuscripts


Pride and Prejudice: A Novel. London: T. Egerton, 1813

3 volumes, 12mo (6 3/4 x 4 in.; 170 x 100 mm). Half-titles; light, scattered staining in all 3 vols. but withal a clean copy, a few short marginal tears in vol. 1, oxidized catchword in 1:O8, paper creased in lower right corner of 2:F1 and so printed. Contemporary mottled calf, smooth spines with gilt rules resembling chained links; spine labels lacking on vols. 1–2, vol. 1 boards detached, joints starting on vols. 2–3, craquelure on spines, minor loss to head of spine of vol. 3.   25,000—35,000 USD

 LOT 50

Sense and Sensibility. London: Printed for the Author and published by T. Egerton, 1811 

3 volumes, 12mo (6 3/8 x 3 7/8 in.; 161 x 98 mm). Lacks half-title in vol. 1 and terminal blanks in all 3 vols., half-title guarded in vol. 3, strong offsetting from morocco library label in vol. 1 to title-page, washed and pressed with residual foxing and staining throughout vol. 1, quires A–F in vol. 2, and quire B in vol. 3. Sympathetically bound in half mottled calf antique over marbled boards, spines in 6 compartments, russet and black lettering and numbering pieces, plain endpapers, edges uniformly marbled with boards.  15,000—25,000 USD

LOT 51

Pride and Prejudice: A Novel. London: T. Egerton, 1813

3 volumes, 12mo (6 3/4 x 4 1/16 in.; 170 x 104 mm). Lacks all half-titles, washed and pressed with residual staining and browning but less pronounced in vols. 2–3, strong offsetting from morocco label and binding to title-page and B1 in vol. 1, offsetting from binding to title-pages and terminal leaves in vols 2–3, short tears to inside lower left corners in vol. 1, quire B. Modern half black calf over marbled boards, spines in 6 compartments, red morocco labels, endpapers and edges plain.  10,000—15,000 USD

 LOT 52

Mansfield Park.London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1814

3 volumes, 12mo (7 x 4 in.; 175 x 100 mm). Lacking final blanks in vols. 2–3 and all 3 half-titles, long tears at 1:P12 costing at least 4 words, quire 1:Q loose, long tear in 2:C1 touching 5 lines, small perforations in gutters of 3:C3–6, title-page tipped in vol. 3, occasional light staining, chiefly marginal, a few short tears. Modern brown buckram, black morocco spine labels, plain endpapers and edges.  6,000—8,000 USD

 LOT 53

Emma: A Novel. London: Printed for John Murray, 1816

3 volumes, 12mo (6 3/4 x 4 1/8 in.; 170 x 104 mm). Half-titles; washed and pressed with some residual foxing and staining, particularly to half-titles, short split to vol. 1 half-title near gutter. Half mottled calf, marbled boards, spines in 6 compartments (2 reserved for lettering pieces), the others ornamented with gilt marguerites and floral cornerpieces, plain endpapers, top edges gilt; joints and spine ends a trifle rubbed, endpapers renewed. Blue holland paper slipcase; faded and stained.  10,000—15,000 USD

LOT 54

Northanger Abbey: and Persuasion. London, John Murray, 1818

4 volumes, 12mo (6 3/4 x 4 1/8 in.; 170 x 104 mm). Lacking half-titles in vols. 2–4 and blanks P7,8 in vol. 4 called for by Gilson, marginal offsetting to title-pages from bindings, washed and pressed with some residual toning and foxing. Uniformly bound with Emma (see previous lot); joints rubbed. Blue holland paper slipcase; faded and stained.   6,000—8,000 USD

Go in and browse the online catalogue – there are amazing items in this sale: Dickens, Bronte, Dickinson, Beatrix Potter and Arthur Rackham, Steinbeck letters,  Mark Twain, and so much more !

[Images and description text from the Sotheby’s catalogue]

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum, of Jane Austen in Vermont