LONDON — Antiquarian book and paper specialists Forum Auctions presents a 430-lot sale on Thursday, September 28 featuring an astonishingly crisp copy of Sir John Mandeville’s Asia, a Renaissance travel book considered instrumental in helping popularize the Middle East during the period. The catalog is now live and available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.
An English knight who traveled from 1322 to 1356 and served the Sultan of Egypt and Great Khan, Mandeville’s book was what we’d now call a bestseller, becoming extremely popular and clearly influencing others of the day, including Christopher Columbus. This Italian edition is estimated at £40,000-£60,000 ($50,400-$75,600).
Sir Isaac Newton’s Opticks, or A Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light, dating to 1704, is another star lot. It comes from the collection of George Fuller (1829-1907), a civil engineer and inventor of the Fuller’s Spiral Slide rule, a calculation device that was in wide use until the 1970s advent of electronic calculators. The Newton publication is estimated at £15,000-£20,000 ($18,900-$25,200).
A first edition, first impression copy of Ian Fleming’s debut novel, Casino Royale, launched the literary world of British secret agent 007, James Bond. This mint version with dust cover and only minor repairs is estimated at £18,000-£22,000 ($22,680-$27,720).
The current rate of exchange is £1 = $1.25.