Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013 12:19 am by M. in ,    No comments
A first edition of Jane Eyre will go under the hammer next Wednesday, June 19 at Bonhams 1793:
Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs
Auction 20752
London, Knightsbridge
19 Jun 2013, starting at 14:00 BST.

Lot 147:
Charlotte Brontë - Jane Eyre. An Autobiography, 3 vol., first edition, with all but two of the printing flaws listed by Smith, half-titles in each volume (but without the additional fly-leaf and advertisements), volume 2 with additional 8-page 'Ready Money Price List of Drawing & Painting Materials... Alexander Hill' tipped-in on front free endpaper (seemingly removed from other volumes), original price of "31/6" marked in pencil on front paste-down of volume 1, a few leaves slightly creased, some light foxing and occasional soiling in margins, UNTRIMMED IN PUBLISHER'S GREY BOARDS with grey/brown diaper half cloth spine, rubbed, spine label to volume 1 chipped with loss of 2 or 3 letters, split to lower joint of volume 2, crease to upper cover of volume 3, [Sadleir 346; Smith 2; Grolier, English 83], 8vo (199 x 122mm.), Smith, Elder, and Co., 1847
Estimate: £30,000 - 50,000

FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BRONTË SISTERS NOVEL: AN EXTREMELY RARE VARIANT IN ORIGINAL BOARDS, ENTIRELY UNTRIMMED AND WITH THE ORIGINAL PRICE OF '31/6' MARKED IN PENCIL. The binding seems to correspond with Smith's variant B (allowing for some fading of the cloth over the years), but with white rather than yellow endpapers and a further slight variation in the printed spine labels, those on the present set having no semi-colon after "Eyre" and the words "In Three Volumes" inserted above the volume number. We can find no trace of any other copy in original boards having sold at auction.

Provenance: the tipped-in small price list of drawing and painting materials suggests an Edinburgh connection at or soon after the time of publication. Alexander Hill (of Princes Street, Edinburgh, younger brother of the painter David Octavius Hill) was publisher, artists' colourman and printer to the Royal Scottish Academy from 1830 until his death in 1866. In 1847 he was also appointed printseller and publisher in Edinburgh to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (see National Archives, LC 5/243 p.61). The price list tipped-in to this copy gives Hill's address as 67 Princes Street, where he had a shop from 1839 until his death, and mentions the royal appointment, reference to which he seems to have dropped by 1853.
And a 1848 issue of the original Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell:
Lot 148:
Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë - Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, first edition, second issue, with cancel title, advertisement leaf and errata slip, without publisher's catalogue, bookplate of Richard Bagley, publisher's olive blindstamped cloth [Carter B], gilt lettering on spine, binder's ticket ("Bound by Westleys & Co., Friar Street"), short tear and loss at foot of spine, preserved in purpose-made book box [Smith 1, pp.6-14], 8vo, Smith, Elder and Co., 1846 [i.e. 1848]
Estimate: £600 - 900

FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BOOK BY THE BRONTË SISTERS. Poems was published in an edition of 1000 copies on May 26, 1846. Smith and Elder purchased the unsold stock in 1848, and printed a second issue in October of that year.


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