From the North West Passage to Shakespeare, Des O’Sullivan previews some of the 800 lots on offer, including works of Shakespeare in eight volumes.
From the North West Passage to Shakespeare there is much to stimulate the interest of collectors and also, the seekers of once-off, distinctive Christmas presents at Fonsie Mealy’s rare book sale at the Gresham Hotel in Dublin next Tuesday at 10.15 am.
More than 800 lots, including rare Irish books; fine duplicates; early printings, 17th-century travel; Americana; science and religion, the Edith Somerville and Coghill family archives, and a collection of modern Irish literature, are to be sold.
Among the highlights are a signed volume from the library of Dean Swift, a rare volume printed by Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia 1744, the first printing of Shakespeare’s works outside of London and Lt Cresswell’s “North West Passage” atlas folio from 1854 with eight plates.
Edith Somerville of Castletownsend — author with her cousin Violet Martin of the Irish RM series — studied painting in London, Dusseldorf and Paris with another cousin and future brother-in-law Egerton Coghill.
Lot 765 is an outstanding portrait of her then seven-year-old nephew and godson Patrick Coghill. The sale includes a number of Somerville’s drawings, watercolours and sketches with West Cork scenes and including some original drawings for the Irish RM series.
There is a collection of typescripts and manuscripts by Brendan Behan, photographs by Sir Jocelyn Coghill, the first secretary of the Dublin Photographic Society, and a selection of Cuala Press broadsides.
The works of Shakespeare in eight volumes printed in Dublin in 1726 is the first printing of The Bard outside of England and estimated at €7,000-€10,000. There is a similar estimate on the rare Benjamin Franklin imprint printed in Philadelphia in 1744.
The original volume from Dean Swift’s library, signed “Jon Swift” has an estimate of €10,000-€15,000.
A spectacular early coloured view of the North West Passage with a series of eight sketches in colour and a coloured map of the route by Lt Cresswell is estimated at €15,000-€20,000.
Viewing at the Gresham is from 1 pm to 6 pm tomorrow and from 10.30 am to 7 pm on Monday.
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