Bloomsbury Medicine, Science, Topography, Travel, and Natural History Auction

It was the Insects that did particularly well in Bloomsbury’s recent Medicine, Science, Topography & Travel, and Natural History on 24th April. However other highlights included lot 23 which was a History of Mr Babbage’s Calculating Engines by Charles Babbage, Luigi Menabrea and Augusta Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s mathematician daughter! This made a huge £19000 against its estimate of £2000-3000. The architectural works of Rudolph Ackerman always prove popular and lot 112 A History of the University of Cambridge made just under double the high estimate, selling for £3800 and his History of the University of Oxford sold for £3000, comfortably over its estimate of £1800-2200.

Amongst the travel photographs and books was lot 290 A Collection of views of Korea and Mongolia which sold for £1100, almost three times the lower estimate. The doyen of books on the Middle East is David Roberts and his The Holy land, Syria, Indumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia (lot 381) fetched £9500 and a slightly later edition (lot 382) made £3600. Voyage d’Exploration en Indo-Chine (1873) by Francis Garnier and de Lagree finally went for £7000 (estimate £3000-4000). Captain Cook’s A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Around the World, a first edition in two volumes, made £5500, against the estimate of £3000-4000.

Ornithology also fared well; John Gould’s A Monograph of the Odontophorinae, or Partridges of America of 1844-50 (lot 465) sold for £10000 (estimate £6000-8000). Lot 470 was a near fine copy of A Monograph of the Lories or Bush-Tongued Parrots…by St George Jackson Mivart, apparently it was one of 250 copies and it fetched £3500, just over its estimate. The Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland (lot 507) was snapped up for £3000, double the lower estimate. Lot 556 Spicilegia Zoologica by Peter Simon Pallas was estimated £600-800 and it made £2000. The 1658 De Indiae Utriusque re Naturali et Medica by G Piso (lot 558) was the only work on Brazilian natural history until the 19th century and it was a pioneer of tropical medicine. It sold for £3600, well over its estimate of £1200-1800.

Auction info