Owzat! 'Bible of Cricket' sells for £90k



2015-06-26 11:43:39

Owzat! 'Bible of Cricket' sells for 90k

The Wisden Cricketers' Almanack outshone Lord Cherbury's 84k secret play and a 62k James Bond

Bonhams held a very successful auction of rare books yesterday, with several of the best lots exceeding their estimates.

A formerly undiscovered secret attempt at playwriting by Lord Edward Herbert of Cherbury, the 17th century philosopher, came close to its top estimate. The Amazon,presented in a similar style to a Shakespearian romance, commandeda healthy 84,000.

Ladies' man Herbert was the brother of poet George Herbert and knew the famous playwright Ben Jonson -but his writings had previously been thought only to consist of philosophy and an autobiography.

All the works described in our previous article soldfor their estimate price or more. Carl Lepsius's work on Egypt, Keats's Endymion and Shelley's Queen Mab sold for 21,600, 4,080 and 6,600 respectively - all right on target.

Some works did better still, however. The two James Bond books shot past their estimates with the presentation first edition of Diamonds are Forever tripling its top estimate of 5,000 to sell for 15,600.

Diamonds Are Forever First Edition James Bond Diamonds Are Forever, First Edition

Fleming's annotated typescript of the same work, the only typescript of a Bond book in private hands, valued at 20,000-30,000, likewise sparked some intense competition amongst Bond lovers to be taken home for a stunning 62,400.

The eventual top lot at the sale also represented a once in a lifetime opportunity for a book collector: this time for cricket lovers.

Wisden cricket Editions of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (90k)

A complete run of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack for the years 1864 to 1984, handsomely bound and in fine condition, was the top lot in this sale, pressing pastits estimate of 50,000-70,000 to a stunning 90,000.

Without doubt the most famous sports reference work ever published, the Cricketers' Almanack, or "Bible of Cricket" as it has become known, was founded in 1864 by the cricketer John Wisden (1826-1884) as a competitor to Fred Lillywhite's The Guide to Cricketers.

Its publication has continued uninterrupted to the present day, under only 15 different editors in its entire 140 years.

Overall, the sale was an excellent day for rare book collectors, and proof that treasured and carefully kept works can also be a beautiful form of investment.

Book images byBonhams; Bond picture bysoylentgreen23at Flickr.com

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