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Bloomsbury London Bibliophile Sale

Bloomsbury’s Bibliophile sales are a firm favourite with the cognoscenti. The Bibliophile Sale including Performing Arts on 11-12 June boasts an eclectic mix, from English and Continental literature and children’s books to Private Press, Science, Travel and Topography.

One of the more unusual offerings is The Acts of the Witnesses of the Spirit by Lodowick Muggleton (lot 103), the Muggletonians being a small nonconformist Protestant group (estimate £1200-1400). As always amongst the first editions, the Ian Fleming Bond books will be in demand (lots 312-323), with estimates ranging from £150-450. A few months ago Bloomsbury achieved a world record price for Rumour at Nightfall by Graham Greene (lot 329), however the example in this sale does not have its dust jacket and is estimated £300-400. Another modern first edition to look out for is John Le Carre’s A Murder of Quality (lot 342) estimated £1800-2200. The sale has various George Bernard Shaw items including lot 376 a pencil and charcoal sketch by Michael Hurl, accompanied by a terse little note to the daughter of the artist who has asked him to buy the drawing. ‘…do not send the sketch: I am not a pawnbroker; and you are an idiot…'(estimate £500-600).

Amongst the Conjuring items (lots 483-567) are photographs, ephemera and memorabilia relating to Bobby Bernard (lots 534-535) with estimates between £150-300. The highlight of the Performing Arts section is The Property of the late Sheridan Morley. A theatre critic, broadcaster, columnist, cabaret presenter, raconteur and after dinner speaker; this eclectic and ‘cultural omnivore’ as he was known, collected books inscribed to him from the author. The dedications range from Alan Ayckbourn, Cecil Beaton, Sir John Gielgud, Joan Plowright, Ronald Searle, Lord Snowdon and Sir Roy Strong to name but a few. These books form part of the famous critic’s library and are a testament to his love of film and theatre (lots 570-619). Also in the sale are signed photographs and letters of stars such as Jean Harlow, Laurel and Hardy, Marika Raivera and even Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones. Boxing aficionados will be tempted by a signed photograph of the legendary Rocky Marciano (not Sylvester Stallone).

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