Monday 1st May, 2017
One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales, 
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales
 

HAIR-RAISING PRICES IN BOOK AUCTION...

Lawrences’ auctions of books, maps, manuscripts and photographs are popular bi-annual events in the Crewkerne firm’s hectic programme of sales and the 400 lots on offer in the most recent catalogue attracted hundreds of enquiries from across the world. A signed letter by the Duke of Wellington requesting extra medicines for the Army prior to the Battle of Waterloo was contested to just over £2000.  Fifty one lots of scholarly volumes from the West Cloister Store at Wells Cathedral  were bought for just over £11000. A 300-page manuscript copy of the Koran from c.1840 made £2300. A fascinating archive of Rena Gardiner’s work included finely coloured illustrations of trips to Austria, Italy and Holland in the 1960’s as well as meticulously designed books published by the Workshop Press showing subjects throughout Britain. These met with determined bidding to make a total of £18,100. Perhaps the most curious item in the whole sale was a lock of pale golden yellow hair cut from the head of King Henry VIII’s last Queen, Catherine Parr (1513-1548), when her grave was opened in 1783. Fully corroborated by supporting paperwork, this fragment of authentic `Tudor DNA` caught the eyes of antiquarian enthusiasts so the price was not exactly a `snip` at £1400.