Kelmscott Press Chaucer an exciting entry to PBA Galleries’ June 2 sale

 Kelmscott Press printing of ‘The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer,’ est. $70,000-$100,000


Kelmscott Press printing of ‘The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer,’ est. $70,000-$100,000

BERKELEY, Calif. – PBA Galleries announces an auction of Rare Books & Manuscripts to be held Thursday, June 2. The sale comprises a selection of more than 200 lots of rare and significant books, with manuscript material dating from the 14th through 20th centuries. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

One of the major lots that will be offered for sale is a work considered one of the great books of the world: the magnificent Kelmscott Press printing of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. With woodcut illustrations after Sir Edward Burne-Jones, it is one of 425 copies on paper printed by William Morris, the masterwork from the press. It represents a marvelous example of the Arts and Crafts movement. According to Gordon N. Ray in The Illustrator and the Book in England, “Its splendor … can hardly be matched among the books of the time.” This is the John Whiting Friel copy, with his bookplate on the front pastedown. It is estimated at $70,000-$100,000.

Edward Halle’s ‘Chronicles’ from 1550, aka ‘The Union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancastre & Yorke,’ est. $10,000-$15,000

Edward Halle’s 1550 ‘Chronicles, the Union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancastre & Yorke,’ est. $10,000-$15,000

Another great copy included in the sale is Edward Halle’s Chronicles from 1550, its title continuing as The Union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancastre & Yorke. This fourth edition was suppressed in 1555 by an act of Parliament, which resulted in the destruction of the majority of the print run. Penned by Edward Halle (circa 1498-1547), the Chronicles are of special interest to Shakespearean scholars as one of the major sources of Shakespeare’s historical plays, especially Richard III, and the account of the Battle of Castillon in Henry VI. Its estimate is $10,000-$15,000.

Among other magnificent books, the Golden Cockerel Press printing of The Four Gospels, with 65 wood-engraved illustrations by Eric Gill, will be offered. Published in an edition of 500 copies, it is a consummate blending of beautiful typography and superb illustration, which many consider the most beautiful printing of the New Testament in English. It carries an estimate of $15,000-$25,000.

 Golden Cockerel Press printing of ‘The Four Gospels,’ with Eric Gill engravings, est. $15,000-$25,000.


Golden Cockerel Press’s ‘The Four Gospels,’ with Eric Gill engravings, est. $15,000-$25,000.

Other sale highlights include The history of the valorous and vvitty-knight-errant, Don-Quixote from 1652, the second edition in English of Cervantes’ Don Quixote, the Thomas Shelton translation, estimated at $7,000-$10,000. Also present in the sale is the first issue of the Philosophical Transactions [of the Royal Society] from 1665, the first scientific journal ever issued, edited and published by the Royal Society’s first secretary Henry Oldenburg, estimated at $4,000-$6,000.

For more information about upcoming sales, to schedule a Zoom preview or phone bidding for a future auction, please contact PBA Galleries at 415.989.2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com.

 

View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/