Everard to host Oct. 19 auction ‘The Anglophile and The Professor Early Books, Manuscripts and Ephemera, 16th-20th Century’

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Featured: Early Chaucer folios, Samuel Pepys’ Memoirs, 1652 Don Quixote, important first editions, letters and photos signed by British royals

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Everard Auctions’ Oct. 19, 2023 Specialty Fall Sale features English books and manuscripts from the collection of Savannah, Georgia, professor Ronald Onorato; plus manuscripts and ephemera with a focus on British royalty from the Estate of William H Rasch. Highlights include a 14th century Chaucer, signatures of members of the British Royal Family, including Queen Elizabeth II, and a collection of early English histories and collected works.  

Samuel Pepys, Memoirs of Samuel Pepys, His Diary from 1659-1669, Volumes I & II, (London, Colburn, 1825). From the Collection of Professor Ronald Onorato, Savannah, Ga. Estimate $700-$1,000
Samuel Pepys, Memoirs of Samuel Pepys, His Diary from 1659-1669, Volumes I & II, (London, Colburn, 1825). From the Collection of Professor Ronald Onorato, Savannah, Ga. Estimate $700-$1,000

Books and First Editions

The standout folio in the auction is The Workes of Geoffrey Chaucer (London, Thomas Petit, circa 1550). This important early edition of Chaucer’s works is estimated at $5,000-$8,000, with a reserve of $3,000. This leatherbound work is one of four variants of the undated fourth collected edition, published simultaneously by four London booksellers. It is the last edition of William Thynne’s highly regarded version of The Workes of Chaucer. Chaucer (circa 1343-1400) played an important role in the popularization of vernacular English in literature. He is ranked with Shakespeare as one of Britain’s greatest authors. A later 1687 edition of the works of Chaucer is also included in the sale with an estimate of $800-$1,200.

Another classic to be auctioned is Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, (London, 1652), which has an estimate of $1,500-$2,500 and an opening bid of $900. This folio is the second edition in English, translated by Thomas Shelton. Shelton’s first edition in 1612 was the first translation in any language from the original Spanish. Miguel de Cervantes was an Early Modern Spanish writer, often regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world’s greatest novelists. His best-known novel Don Quixote is often cited as the first modern novel.  

The book collection highlights memoirs and collected works of English notables, including Samuel Pepys’ Memoirs, His Diary from 1659-1969 (London, Colburn, 1825), two volumes bound in striking red leather, offered with an estimate of $700-$1,000 and a reserve of $400. Ben Johnson’s The Works, (London, 1692) is cataloged with an estimate of $700-$1,000 and a reserve of $400.

Many first editions will be offered, including Philippe de Commines’ Historie of Commines (London, 1596). This first-edition work by a French Diplomate on the contemporary political landscape is one of the main sources of 15th century European history. The leatherbound folio has an estimate of $800-$1,200, with a starting bid of $500. 

Manuscripts and Ephemera 

The Manuscripts and Ephemera category is led by an autograph letter signed by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (1900-2002) to James Barrie (1860-1937) the author of Peter Pan; with an original drawing by young Princess Elizabeth of York, later Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom (1926-2022). This important and rare associative correspondence is estimated at $3,000-$5,000, with a reserve of $1,800. 

Other British and Russian royal items include a long autograph letter signed by Alexandra Feodorovna (1872-1918), wife of Tsar Nicholas II, who was murdered at Ekaterinburg. The letter is estimated at $800-1,200, with a reserve of $500. Also included is a manuscript document signed and dated November 26, 1656 by Charles II, King of England (1630-1685), while in exile in Bruges. The estimate is $800-$1,200, with a starting bid of $500. 

There are multiple lots of signed photographs and holiday cards from members of the British Royal Family, most notably a signed family portrait of Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022) with Prince Philip and their children, Charles, Anne and Andrew, together with one Corgi. It is signed by Elizabeth and Philip and dated 1964. This lot is estimated at $1,000-$2,000, with a starting bid of $600. Also listed is a rare signed and inscribed cabinet card depicting The Duke of Clarence and the future King George V, dated 1881. It is estimated at $1,000-$1,500, with a reserve of $600.

Items of historical significance include an autograph letter signed by Horatio Nelson, which is estimated at $1,500-2,000, with a start bid of $900. Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronte, was a British flag officer in the Royal Navy. His leadership, strategy and unconventional tactics led to decisive British naval victories during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Mortally wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar, Nelson is widely regarded as the greatest officer in the history of the British Royal Navy. A monument to Admiral Lord Nelson towers over London’s Trafalgar Square.

Everard’s October 19, 2023 auction will start at 10am ET. Bid absentee or live online via Everard, LiveAuctioneers, Bidsquare or Invaluable. The public is welcome to attend the preview reception, October 10 from 5-7pm, at Everard Auctions’ gallery, with additional previewing available October 11, 12 and 13, or by appointment. For more information on any item in the auction, call +1 912-231-1376 or email [email protected]. Everard Auctions & Appraisals is located at 2436 Waters Ave., Savannah, GA 31404. Visit the company’s website at http://www.everard.com/.

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