Last weekend Sydney Rare Book Auctions sold the vast book collection of Australian academic, Michael Birch, in 700 lots, including many rare and interesting items of Wormwoodiana interest. Here are a few:
About 60 issues of Pearsons Magazine from 1910 through to the 1930s went for $500.
Four bound volumes of The Red Magazine, which published a lot of science fiction and weird fiction, comprising about 100 issues from issue one (1908) sold for $300.
About 20 issues of Weird Tales, estimated at $200-$500 sold for $325, while a lot comprising three issues of Terror Tales and seven issues of Horror stories went for $160.
A number of Penny Dreadfuls and Penny Bloods went under the hammer. A nice two volume copy of James Rymer’s Edith The Captive, or the Robbers of Epping Forest, published by John Dicks, sold for $180.
There were four lots that included Edward Lloyd Bloods. The first included Prest’s The Maniac Father, Rymer’s The Lady in Black (with the signature of Melbourne book dealer John P. Quaine), and a volume containing Sylvester the Somnambulist and The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, sold for $80. Another lot containing two Prest titles, Ela the Outcast and The Love Child, and Charles Lever’s St Patrick’s Eve, went for $550, while a lot of Prest titles – Ernnestine de Lacy, Gallant Tom and two copies of The Old House of West Street went for $400. A copy of the Lloyd title, The Bottle, or the First Step to Crime, sold for $50.
A first edition, later issue of Dracula with the 16 page advertisements at the end, made $1,600.
Five novels by Bram Stoker, four of them in nice dust jackets, estimated at $100-$400, sold for $925
A second edition triple-decker of Jane Webb’s The Mummy achieved $2,300, while a four volume first edition (1818) of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Persuasion made $5,200.
A couple of Wilkie Collins triple deckers went under the hammer – No Name, volumes 1 and 2 lacking the front end paper, sold for $90, while Man and Wife, with the bottom part of a letter with his signature pasted on to the fep if the first volume, made $900.
The first Dublin edition (1794) of Ann Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho made $800, while a four volume edition published in 1799 sold for $120.
A nice 1st of Richard Marsh’s Tom Ossington’s Ghost made $55, while his scarce novel, The Devil’s Diamond (1893), estimated at $100-$400, did not sell.
A nice 1st edition of Gerald Kersh’s collection, The Horrible Dummy, sold for $30.
Five nice jacketed volumes of Christine Campbell Thomson’s Night at Night series sold for $2,000.
There were also bulk lots of vintage crime and science fiction paperbacks, dust jacketed crime novels of the 1920s and 1930s, Edwardian crime novels and Victorian novels that were picked up for bargain prices.