Jane Austen on the Block! ~ The RING and the Books…

An exciting day in Austen-Land! The much-touted Ring is up for auction!, as well as first editions of five of Austen’s novels [wherever did the Sense and Sensibility end up?] – here are the details from Sotheby’s Sale No. L12404 English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations – London | 10 July 2012  – I will report later today the results… See the results in red below – to include buyer’s premium…..

Lot 59: Austen, Jane. GOLD AND GEM SET RING

ESTIMATE: 20,000 – 30,000 GBP Sold for £152,450  (about $236,298.)- also learned that the ring is actually natural turquoise not the odontalite as noted in the catalogue.  The bidding was quite fun to watch – all quite dramatic as the auctioneer baited the bidders in room, on the telephone and the internet  to keep the bidding going…  [update 2: “a battle between eight bidders … was eventually bought by an anonymous private collector over the phone, the auction house said” (from Reuters.com)]

set with a cabochon blue stone, natural turquoise, size K½ with sizing band, once belonging to Jane Austen, in a contemporary jeweller’s box (“T. West | Goldsmith | Ludgate Street | near St Paul’s”)

[with:] autograph note signed by Eleanor Austen, to her niece Caroline Austen, “My dear Caroline. The enclosed Ring once belonged to your Aunt Jane. It was given to me by your Aunt Cassandra as soon as she knew that I was engaged to your Uncle. I bequeath it to you. God bless you!”, 1 page, November 1863, with address panel on verso and remains of black wax seal impression, fold tears; also with three further notes by Mary Dorothy Austen-Leigh detailing the ring’s later provenance, 5 pages, 1935-1962

[more detailed provenance here: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2012/english-literature-history-childrens-books-and-illustrations/lot.59.html – click on “catalogue notes”]
Lot 55: Austen, Jane. MANSFIELD PARK: A NOVEL. EGERTON, 1814

ESTIMATE: 3,000 – 5,000 GBP  Sold for £5250 (about $8,138.)

12mo (174 x 102mm.), first edition, 3 volumes, without half-titles, nineteenth-century half calf, marbled boards,  some spotting and browning, some gatherings proud,  recent expert repairs to binding and joints.

Lot 56: Austen Jane.  NORTHANGER ABBEY: AND PERSUASIAN…WITH A BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF THE AUTHOR, JOHN MURRAY 1818

ESTIMATE: 2,500 – 3,500 GBP  Sold for £4000 (about $6200.)

12mo (175 x 102mm.), 4 volumes, first edition, watermarks, without half-titles, nineteenth-century half calf, marbled boards,, some slight staining to edges of some leaves, browning and spotting, recent expert repairs to joints and spines, some edge-wear. Northanger Abbey was completed in 1798 or 1799, and then substantially revised over time. Persuasion, a more gentle satire of manners, was written between 1815 and 1816. The novels were published posthumously in this tandem edition of 1,750 copies.

Lot 57:  Austen, Jane.  PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: A NOVEL. LONDON:G. SIDNEY FOR T. EGERTON, 1813.

ESTIMATE: 20,000 – 30,000 GBP  Sold for £22,500 (about $34,875.)

12mo (174 x 102mm.), 3 volumes, first edition, watermarks, without half-titles and advertisements, nineteenth-century half calf, marbled boards, B12 of volume 1 crudely opened and slightly creased, some gatherings proud, some spotting, staining and browning to text, volumes 1 and 3 re-backed, some recent expert repairs to binding and joints, some edge-wear.

Lot 58: Austen, Jane. EMMA: A NOVEL. C. ROWORTH FOR JOHN MURRAY, 1816.

ESTIMATE: 10,000 – 15,000 GBP  UNSOLD – bidding went to £7500

12mo (172 x 103mm.), first edition, without half-titles, nineteenth-century half calf, marbled boards, some creases at edges of some leaves, some spotting and browning, some gatherings proud, volume 1 re-backed, recent expert repairs to binding and joints, some edge-wear.

[All titles have the bookplate of Bridget Mary McEwen.]

Further Reading about The Ring:

The Guardian, 6 July 2012: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jul/06/jane-austen-ring-for-auction

Diana B. at Austen Authors: http://austenauthors.net/jane-austens-ring

Julie W. at Austenonly: http://austenonly.com/2012/06/21/first-editions-and-jane-austens-ring-a-bumper-austen-sale-at-sothebys-on-july-10th/

[and please note at the end of this post wherein Deirdre Le Faye weighs in on the ring’s provenance – the date of the note from Eleanor Austen as noted in the printed catalogue is incorrect … and now corrected in the online version]

[Text and image from the Sotheby’s catalogue]

@2012 by Jane Austen in Vermont

Austen on the Block! ~ The Watsons Sells!

Update: the manuscript sold for £990,000 to the Bodleian Libraries of Oxford University [with a little help from The National Heritage Memorial Fund] – thanks to Tony Grant for this information in his comment below – here is the latest news from the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-14152092 [though they could have spelled Bodleian correctly!]

******************

I am still on the road with little access – so thanks to Julie at Austenonly for the news that Jane Austen’s The Watson’s sold for over £850,000 this morning in London! – read Julie’s post here: http://austenonly.com/2011/07/14/the-watsons-sells-at-sothebys-in-london/ – stay tuned for the announcement of who bought it – apparently an institution – I would hazard a guess it is the Pierpont Morgan in New York City –  where the first pages of the manuscript are now housed – and though nothing against the Morgan, I guess I would prefer to see it at Chawton House Library, close to where it laid on a shelf somewhere in Chawton Cottage for a good number of years.

More later.  You can read my original post here:  https://janeausteninvermont.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/on-the-block-jane-austens-the-watsons/

On the Block! ~ Austen at Auction ~ Sotheby’s June 17, 2011 ~ P&P $35,000!

UPDATE:  Results in red = Hammer price with Buyer’s Premium.

The results of today’s New York  Sotheby’s Sale No. NO8755: Fine Books and Manuscripts are in:  note the unsold items!

LOT 5

 

Pride and Prejudice: A Novel. London: T. Egerton, 1813
 SOLD for $35,000.  [estimate: 25,000—35,000 USD]

 LOT 50


Sense and Sensibility. London: Printed for the Author and published by T. Egerton, 1811  SOLD for $28,125.   [ est: 15,000—25,000 USD]

LOT 51

Pride and Prejudice: A Novel. London: T. Egerton, 1813
SOLD for $20,000.  [est: 10,000—15,000 USD]

 LOT 52

Mansfield Park.London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1814
SOLD for $5,625.  [ est: 6,000—8,000 USD]

 LOT 53

Emma: A Novel. London: Printed for John Murray, 1816
 UNSOLD [high bid $7,500] [est. 10,000—15,000 USD]

LOT 54

Northanger Abbey: and Persuasion. London, John Murray, 1818
 UNSOLD [high bid $4,250]  [est.  6,000—8,000 USD]

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The Brontes fared well today:  there were two lots of books by all three : Lot 55 sold for $80,500 [Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey]; Lot 56 sold for $33,750. [leather bound 1st editions of Emily, Charlotte and Anne, 17 volumes total]. 

Visit the Sotheby’s website for more details: browse the online catalogue here.

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

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

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

LOT 5

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 

On the Block! ~ Jane Austen’s The Watson’s

Breaking news from The Guardian:  [and now all over the blogsphere!]

Jane Austen rare manuscript
up for sale

A rare, handwritten manuscript of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel The Watsons is to be sold at auction at Sotheby’s in London.

by Mark Brown, The Guardian, May 20, 2011

An incredibly rare handwritten manuscript of an unfinished novel by Jane Austen – the only one that is still in private hands – is to appear at auction inLondon.

The neatly written but heavily corrected pages are for her unfinished work The Watsons, a novel which many believe could easily have been as good as her six completed works.

Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s senior specialist in books and manuscripts, said it was “a thrill and privilege” to be selling it: “It is very exciting. This is the most significant Austen material to come on the market since the late 1980s.”

It is unquestionably rare. Original manuscripts of her published novels do not exist, aside from two cancelled chapters of Persuasion in the British Library.

The novel is considered around a quarter completed and the manuscript has 68 pages – hand-trimmed by Austen – which have been split up into 11 booklets.

It is most but not all of Austen’s unfinished novel. The first 12 pages were sold by an Austen descendent during the first world war to help the Red Cross and are now in New York’s Pierpont Morgan Library, while the next few pages were inexplicably lost by Queen Mary, University of London which has been looking after the manuscript.

The college’s director of library services Emma Bull said it happened six years ago, before she arrived, and had resulted in a full investigation which, alas, “did not really come to any firm conclusions about what specifically happened.” There had been a hope that they would turn up, but clearly that is now highly unlikely.

The Watsons manuscript shows how Austen’s other manuscripts must have looked. It also shines an interesting light on how she worked. Austen took a piece of paper, cut it in two and then folded over each half to make eight-page booklets. Then she would write, small neat handwriting leaving little room for corrections – of which there are many. “You can really see the mind at work with all the corrections and revisions,” said Heaton.

Scene from Pride & Prejudice, by Isabel Bishop - Morgan Library

At one stage she crosses so much out that she starts a page again and pins it in. It seems, in Austen’s mind, her manuscript had to look like a book. “Writers often fall into two categories,” said Heaton. “The ones who fall into a moment of great inspiration and that’s it and then you have others who endlessly go back and write and tinker. Austen is clearly of the latter variety. It really is a wonderful, evocative document.”

The Watsons was written in 1804, not a hugely happy time for Austen professionally – she had one novel rejected and another bought by a publisher who failed to print it.

It was also a difficult time personally and one reason it was not finished may be because fact came too close to the fiction. The Watsons heroine is Emma, one of four sisters who are daughters of a sick and widowed clergyman. The novel would have had the father die leaving Emma in a precarious financial position. In real life, Austen’s clergyman father died leaving her in a similar pickle to her fictional heroine.

Had Austen completed The Watsons there are many who believe it would have been a classic. Margaret Drabble described it as “a tantalising, delightful and highly accomplished fragment, which must surely have proved the equal of her other six novels, had she finished it.”

The manuscript was bought by the present owner in 1988 when it was sold by the British Rail Pension Fund. It had been bought from Austen descendents in the 1970s when manuscripts, rare books and fine art seemed like perfectly sensible things for nationalised pension funds to buy.

The manuscript has been valued at £200,000 to £300,000 and will be sold at Sotheby’s in London on 14 July.

You can see this page from The Watsons at the Pierpont Morgan Library’s online exhibition A Woman’s Wit: Jane Austen’s Life and Legacy:

[Image:  The Watsons,  Pierpont Morgan Library Online Exhibition]

The Sotheby’s auction page is here, English Literature & History, Sale No. L11404, though there are no details yet online.  I will keep you posted! – and more on The Watsons in the coming weeks… you can read it online here at The Republic of Pemberley or a PDF version here,  or learn more about it here at Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts where you can also read along with the digitized copy.

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

Austen on the Block ~ Auction Results!

Well, I have been immersed in the long 18th century these past several days [and will shortly post on the fabulous AGM in Portland in the next few days] – but while there, the October 28 Sotheby’s auction that I posted about last month, The Library of an English Bibliophile Part I, took place and here are the results

and the winner? Pride and Prejudice at £139,250! – whatever would Jane say?!

 

 
LOT 1

[AUSTEN, JANE.]
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY: A NOVEL… BY A LADY. LONDON: PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR BY C. ROWORTH AND PUBLISHED BY T. EGERTON, 1811

40,000—60,000 GBP
Lot Sold.  Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium:  49,250 GBPLOT 2

[AUSTEN, JANE.]
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: A NOVEL. LONDON: G. SIDNEY FOR T. EGERTON, 1813

75,000—100,000 GBP
Lot Sold.  Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium:  139,250 GBP

LOT 3

[AUSTEN, JANE.]
EMMA: A NOVEL. LONDON: C. ROWORTH FOR JOHN MURRAY, 1816

20,000—30,000 GBP
Lot Sold.  Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium:  30,000 GBP

LOT 4

[AUSTEN, JANE.]
MANSFIELD PARK: A NOVEL. LONDON: FOR  J. MURRAY, 1816

1,500—2,000 GBP
Lot Sold.  Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium:  1,875 GBP

LOT 5

[AUSTEN, JANE.]
NORTHANGER ABBEY: AND PERSUASION…WITH A BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF THE AUTHOR. LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, 1818

20,000—30,000 GBP
Lot Sold.  Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium:  43,250 GBP

 Further reading and other results in this auction at Sotheby’s website

MORE Austen on the Block!

Sotheby’s  has just announced the following October 28th  auction in London:

 

The Library of  an English Bibliophile, Part I.    Jane Austen is duly represented and is among the great company of the Brontes, Burney, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Gaskell, Eliot (George and T. S.), Darwin, Fielding, Hardy, James, Joyce, Keats, Mary Shelley, Wollstonecraft, and many more, and interesting in only having ONE Dickens [Lot 40, A Christmas Carol, est. 150,000 – 200,000 GBP]

Here are the five Austen lots: [# 1-5]

SENSE AND SENSIBILITY: A NOVEL… BY A LADY. AND PUBLISHED BY T. EGERTON, 1811.  LONDON: PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR BY C. ROWORTH 

12mo (187 x 114mm.), 3 volumes, first edition, half-titles, watermarks, uncut in the original publisher’s boards, original pink paper labels on spines, preserved in folding brown cloth chemises and quarter brown morocco slipcase, rebacked preserving most of the original spines, occasional spotting and foxing, some slight marginal stains on D10-D11 in volume 1, minor discolouration and staining of a few gatherings in volumes 2 and 3, short tears on B11 and H5 in volume 2 (affecting three lines and two lines respectively), tiny paper flaw on I2 in volume 2, some slight wear to boards.

ESTIMATE 40,000 – 60,000 GBP 

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: A NOVEL. LONDON: G. SIDNEY FOR T. EGERTON, 1813

12mo (182 x 110mm.), 3 volumes, first edition, watermarks, uncut in the original publisher’s drab boards, half-titles, advertisements dated November 1812 inserted at the beginning of volume 1, preserved in folding blue cloth chemises and quarter blue morocco folding box by Zaehnsdorf, spines repaired (some cracks and slight tears present), upper joint of volume 3 slightly split, without spine labels (volume numbers stamped on spine), skilful repairs to inner margin of half-title, title-page and first text leaf of volume 1.

ESTIMATE 75,000 – 100,000 GBP 

EMMA: A NOVEL. LONDON: C. ROWORTH FOR JOHN MURRAY, 1816

12mo (186 x 110mm.), first edition, half-titles, uncut in the original publisher’s blue-grey boards with grey-brown spines, preserved in quarter brown morocco folding box, rebacked preserving significant portions of the spines, original spine labels, tear to lower corner of P1 in volume 1 (not affecting text), occasional spotting, some slight further wear to binding.

ESTIMATE 20,000 – 30,000 GBP 

MANSFIELD PARK: A NOVEL. LONDON: FOR J. MURRAY, 1816

12mo (176 x 104mm.), 3 volumes, second edition, half-titles, contemporary or near contemporary blue half morocco, marbled boards, speckled edges, leaves C6-7 in volume 1 partially loose, some slight foxing and spotting, one gathering in volume 3 crudely opened, some slight wear to edges of binding.

ESTIMATE 1,500 – 2,000 GBP 

NORTHANGER ABBEY: AND PERSUASION…WITH A BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF THE AUTHOR.  LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, 1818

12mo (189 x 112mm.), 4 volumes, first edition, watermarks, half-titles as called for by Gilson, uncut in the original grey-brown boards, original spine labels, preserved in red quarter morocco folding box, some spotting and foxing, neat repairs to a few minor tears on spines, some wear to labels and edges and extremities of binding, boards slightly spotted, corners very slightly bumped.

ESTIMATE 20,000 – 30,000 GBP

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You can view the entire catalogue with pictures and fuller description online at the Sotheby’s website.  An Exhibition is to be held in Paris, then London prior to the auction on October 28th [see site for details]; a catalogue can be purchased for $53.

Can’t wait to see Part II!

[Image of  Thomas Rowlandson’s “Doctor Syntax at an Auction” from The Private Library]
[Posted by Deb]