Dear Friend,

We are delighted to share our catalogue of rare books and manuscripts going to FIRSTS, London's Rare Book Fair (Saatchi Gallery, 15-18 September).

Highlights include:

  • Late mediaeval Book of Hours
  • 1794 Ship of War’s Signal-Book presented by Nelson’s patron Admiral Jervis
  • Alan Turing’s Programmers’ Handbook, 1953
  • Unrecorded 1830 Posters and Broadsides from the Second Stratford Shakespeare Festival
  • Autograph Manuscript of R M Ballantyne’s novel Erling the Bold
We’re at Stand F43 on the first floor at the Saatchi but everything here is available to order rightaway.

Best wishes,


BOOK OF HOURS: Illuminated Manuscript on Parchment, 340 pages & 3 Miniatures — [Woman Patron] — 1450

A late medieval Book of Hours written and illuminated for a woman patron who is depicted in a double-page of miniatures kneeling before the Virgin Mary to receive the gift of this manuscript. This Book of Hours was made in a northern French workshop of the second half of the fifteenth century, perhaps Rouen or Paris. It has attractive female provenance as well as 3 miniatures containing 4 images of books! The patronal prayer to St Elizabeth of Hungary below the image of the kneeling patron may w…… Read more


PRESENTED BY NELSON’S PATRON ADMIRAL JERVIS - Signal-Book, for the Ships of War — Admiral John Jervis; George Purvis — 1793

Rare Signal-Book given to a newly promoted Royal Navy Captain by Nelson’s patron Admiral John Jervis having been systematically annotated and updated by the Admiral’s secretary George Purvis, himself a correspondent of Nelson. Small quarto (24cm high) bound in half calf over marbled boards with a printed paper label to upper cover: ‘Signal-Book for the Ships of War.’ Paper label reading ‘238’ to lower cover, probably an old auctioneer’s number. Binding sound. Bookplate of American naval book col…… Read more


FIRST EVER PROGRAMMING MANUAL: Programmers’ Handbook (3rd Edition) For the Manchester Electronic Computer Mark 11 — Alan Turing [revised by] Ralph A Brooker — 1953

The world’s first computer programming manual for a stored-program computer, written in Manchester by Alan Turing, found here in its third, revised edition. Foolscap format (21x33cm) with printed card wrappers, ring-bound through three hole-punched holes. Early ownership inscription, later scrubbed out, top right of the upper cover appears to read ‘J Poll’. Light marks to the covers. Provenance: from the collection of William ‘Jack’ Robinson, a mathematician who worked in the University of Bradf…… Read more


25 YEARS OF SECRET SERVICE - William Hunter Jun.r Messenger in Ordinary to His Majesty — William Hunter, Junior — 1795

Manuscript record of a quarter century of secret service by a member of the Corps of King’s Home Service Messengers during the Napoleonic Wars. Small quarto (16.5x20.5cm) covering the quarter century 1795-1822 bound in discoloured vellum with the single word ‘Home’ on a decorative red morocco label to the upper cover. According to Wheeler-Holohan’s History of the King’s Messengers this manuscript would have been prepared by William Hunter’s ‘personal agent’ who ‘drew the salaries of the members…… Read more


SPECIMEN OF PRINTING TYPES by Henry Caslon, Chiswell Street, London: Letter Founder to her Majesty’s Honourable Board of Excise — Henry Caslon — 1842

Rare book of specimen type borders and ornaments offered for sale by the most famous of all British letter founders. Large octavo bound in speckled paper covered boards with new acid-free endpapers. Title page with decorative border (with spotting) followed by Caslon’s 1838 ‘Prices of Printing Types’ with tissue guard. A single leaf of letterpress advertisement precedes the plates, a 4cm closed tear creeping in from the head of the gutter, not coming close to the text of this leaf. A large foldo…… Read more


SECOND SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL IN STRATFORD - Poster & Broadsides, Most Unrecorded — William Shakespeare - The Royal Shakespearian Club — 1830

Collection of mostly unrecorded posters and broadsides printed in Stratford upon Avon for the Second Commemorative Festival staged by the Royal Shakespearian Club. 7 of the 9 items in this collection are entirely unrecorded; the other 2 appear to be held in unique copies in Stratford - none can be located through OCLC, Copac/ Jisc or any of the other usual sources. The Royal Gala Festival of 23-27th April 1830 was the most ambitious such undertaking since Garrick’s inaugural Festival. As in 1769…… Read more


ILLUSTRATED Log Book of the Proceedings on Board the Barque Wellington form the Port of London to Madras — Henry Borrer, Midshipman — 1839

Extensively illustrated Midshipman’s log book of a return voyage from England to Madras with drawings of an albatross-shoot, whale-ships burning oil, a mirage at sea and a sequence of coastal views including St Helena and Tristan da Cunha. Folio-sized manuscript which has been copied by its author from the original document into a printed skeleton Log Book whilst incorporating his original drawings made on board the HMS Wellington. Rebound in recent quarter blue buckram over plain blue paper-cov…… Read more


DROMOLAND CASTLE, IRELAND: Family Manuscript of the O’Briens of Dromoland — Henry O’Brien of Blatherwick, Sir Donough O’Brien, Donat O’Brien & Family — 1758

A manuscript record of the preeminent Irish O’Brien family written by Henry O’Brien and detailing his family’s history and landholdings as masters of Dromoland Castle and descendants of the High Kings of Ireland. Oblong large octavo bound in mid eighteenth century panelled reverse calf with the flourished signature of ‘H O’Brien’ written directly onto the lower cover, only just distinguishable. An etched metal clasp hangs from the upper cover. The binding has recently been repaired with the resu…… Read more


SCANDALOUS CONTRACEPTIVE ADVICE - The Wife's Handbook: How a Woman should Order Herself During Pregnancy, in the Lying-in Room, and after Delivery — Dr Henry Arthur Allbutt — 1896

Rare imprint of the earliest book by an English doctor to describe contraceptive methods whose publication caused its author to be barred from practising as a doctor. The book is bound in printed wrappers, describing itself on the cover as ‘Twenty-sixth Edition (240th Thousand). - 1896’. Pictorial advertisements for sanitary pads, and other medical equipment to the verso of the wrappers and both sides of the lower wrapper. The binding is near fine; collates: [5] pp7-59 [13] - the final 13 pages…… Read more


FLORA MACDONALD’S SCRAP-BOOK - Highlands Scottish Verse Miscellany — Flora Macdonald — 1828

Manuscript Scottish verse miscellany written on Skye and in the Highlands in the 1830s by Flora Macdonald, her family and friends, Flora being the namesake and probable descendant of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s famous helpmate. Full maroon morocco quarto-sized binding with attractive gilt decoration and, inset on both covers: ‘Flora Macdonald’s Scrap-book’. The book has had high quality professional repairs with the spine relaid, corners strengthened and inner hinges renewed. Marbled endpapers, pape…… Read more


ENGLISH MAKEOVER OF CONTINENTAL PHYSICS - A Compendium of the Aristotelian: & Cartesian Physics — John Roberts - Johann Heinrich Schweitzer — 1701

Unpublished English manuscript translation which offers a contemporary British makeover to this work of continental physics, including explanatory references to Milton’s Paradise Lost. Quarto in modern half tan calf over marbled boards, an eighteenth century presentation inscription from the actor/ playwright George Alexander Stevens mounted on the first original endpaper: ‘Presented to William Massey by his esteemed Friend Geo. Alex Stevens Esq.r 18 Jan.ry 1773’. Roberts begins with a manuscrip…… Read more


UNRECORDED IMPRINT & LIFETIME PRINTING OF - A Modest Proposal [with] A Collection of Pictures etc — Jonathan Swift, James Thomson [George Wynne] — 1730

A lifetime printing of Swift’s biting satire, A Modest Proposal, bound with an entirely unrecorded edition of a political satire, found here with its anonymised political victims revealed in the annotations of its owner, an eighteenth century politician and ally of Sir Robert Walpole. Attractive Cambridge-style binding of panelled calf, ‘Thomson Poems &c’ and the number 2 to the spine - one of a series of volumes of bound pamphlets. On the front paste-down is the bookplate of William Wynne (1709…… Read more


INTERLEAVED WITH MANUSCRIPT - Syllabus of the Lectures on Midwifery Delivered at Guy’s Hospital — John Haighton [James Adams] — 1818

John Haighton’s midwifery lectures at Guy’s Hospital interleaved in the autumn of 1818 with a trainee physician’s manuscript lectures notes. The book is bound in contemporary sheepskin-covered boards with interleaved blueish sheets of blank paper, apparently done by the book’s first owner, James Adams, who has glued and sewed a new spine covering and reinforced the inner hinges seemingly discarding the final leaf, G4, in the process of pasting over the final printed leaf. (This edition does not…… Read more


[AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT] Erling the Bold: a Tale of The Norse Sea-Kings — Robert M Ballantyne — 1869

Large octavo, robustly bound in tan buckram with a morocco spine label, probably dating from around the time that the manuscript was given by Ballantyne’s son to the Reverend Horatius Bonar, as recorded by him on the verso of the flyleaf: ‘Given me by F.G. Ballantyne March 1927 H.N. Bonar. 22 Blackford Road, Edinburgh’. Ballantyne has written on watermarked laid paper with vertical chainlines which has printed blue lines. Just the preface which is written on a slightly smaller leaf appears to be…… Read more


NAPOLEONIC WARS LOG of the Proceedings of The HMSS Malabar Kept by W B Boddy — W B Boddy — 1814

Napoleonic War manuscript ship’s log for a British warship in the Mediterranean that would be used shortly afterwards to transport convicts to New South Wales (1819) and Van Diemen’s Land (1821) in Australia. The folio-sized ship’s log comprises two disbound sections of a notebook of a junior British naval officer’s training logbook from 1814. Manuscript title to front cover: ‘Log &c of the Proceedings of HMSS The Malabar. Kept by W B Boddy.’ A beautifully worked half page watercolour sketch of…… Read more


The Repeal: Or the Funeral of Miss Ame Stamp [PRO-AMERICAN BROADSIDE] — [Benjamin Wilson] — 1766

Satirical broadside celebrating the repeal of the Stamp Act, espousing a pro-trade and pro-American message. In this example of Carington Bowles’s 1766 engraving the imprint line from below the image has been removed and the paper trimmed just inside the plate mark. It is printed on laid paper with vertical chain-lines and a large crowned paper watermark. There is a small hole top right and slight loss at the right margin together with browning to paper stock. Dimensions: 332x218mm; 13 1/8 x 8 5…… Read more


IRISH COLLEGE MANUSCRIPT Pars Secunda Physicae — Patrick Mortimore - Patricio Mortimorer [Isaac Newton] — 1772

A document of the Irish diaspora: a physics manuscript, with strong Newtonian content, written by an Irishman obliged to attend university - the Irish College - in France in the 1770s. Bound in dyed Irish green vellum with the remnants of an inscription in black ink to the upper cover and an old spine label. Splitting along outer hinges does not affect the soundness of the binding. To the first flyleaf the inscription: ‘This Book was bestowed to me by the Right Rev.d O Connor Bishop of Achonry’…… Read more


MANUSCRIPT LETTER-BOOK, Autograph Letters and Photographs — David Gascoyne [Surrealist Poet] — 1980

Substantial bound manuscript by the poet David Gascoyne (1916-2001) together with an archive of photographs, letters from Gascoyne and his wife Judy Gascoyne and from Alan Clodd of the Enitharmon Press and many others. This collection which dates from David Gascoyne’s later years was acquired by his friend the society photographer Pamela Chandler (1928-1993) who seems to have brokered several sales of Gascoyne's manuscripts and become a friend of both the poet and his wife in the process. The ma…… Read more


SAMUEL WILBERFORCE’S ANNOTATED NEW TESTAMENT:Novum Testamentum: juxta exemplar millianum — [Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford] — 1819

‘Soapy Sam’ Wilberforce’s interleaved copy of the Greek New Testament with copious manuscript annotation from the early part of a career that culminated in his famous clash with T H Huxley and Robert Owen over Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Small octavo bound in quarter black morocco, probably during the 20th century with a Latin inscription from the bibliophile responsible for the restoration explaining the book’s provenance on the new flyleaf: ‘E libris... Samuelis Episcopi Oxoniensis.’ Opposit…… Read more


WINE MERCHANT’S ESTATE - A Catalogue of the Neat Household Furniture, Stock in Trade.. — Charles Williams; Sidgwick & Son — 1812

Unrecorded auction catalogue for the ‘stock in trade’ - sherry, port, ‘coniac brandy’, rum and gin - from a recently deceased St Albans wine merchant, annotated by the auctioneer with the prices achieved. The printed catalogue is octavo size (21x13cm), made up of two bifolia loosely inserted to make 8 printed pages. There is soiling to the outer leaves which have been roughly opened. The title page is followed by the ‘Conditions of Sale’ printed overleaf, and 7 pages of the Catalogue which proce…… Read more


ORDER OF BATTLE - Ordre de Bataille de L’armee de Monseigneur Le Prince de Conde. En 1792 — Louis Joseph, Prince de Conde — 1792

Order of Battle from 1792 of the Prince of Conde’s emigre army which was dedicated to over-throwing the French revolutionary government and restoring Louis XVI and the Bourbon monarchy. A single sheet of water-marked chain-lined paper (42x33 cm) bearing a diagrammatic hand-drawn, pen and ink outline of the disposition of the forces of the Prince of Conde, often termed ‘The Army of Conde’, formed during the French Revolutionary Wars. Slightly browned with minimal spotting; creased where folded in…… Read more


[1000] SIGNATURES OF THE STAFF OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH on the date of the Retirement of its First Secretary — Sir H Frank Heath — 1927

Presentation volume inscribed by a distinguished roster of 1000 scientists and officials of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research as a retirement present for its founder. Expensively bound with Frank Heath’s initials on the upper cover, all edges gilt, manuscript title page and 50 card leaves. Vellum-bound list of signers in rear pocket. Signers include: H T Tizard (Rector Imperial College); Vera Troman; Building Research Station: R L Amoore, Chemical Research Laboratory: Richard…… Read more


RELATIVITY. Nature A Weekly Illustrated Journal of Science - Special Number — Albert Einstein etc — 1921

Special issue of Nature devoted to the discovery of the theory of relativity with a specially commissioned article by Albert Einstein. Printed paper wrappers with adverts to the covers, small annotation underlining the date of the publication on the upper cover. Stapled binding; closed tear where the lower of the two staples has rusted through the paper of the cover. Extensive adverts at either end of the magazine and a single quire in the middle paginated in roman numerals: cxciii-cciv and viii…… Read more


SATIRICAL MANUSCRIPT Ad Clerum DON’T: Lessons of Experience from St Matthews Westminster — Rev. John Bonham Croft — c1900

Wonderfully silly, satirical guide to the clergy on how NOT to preach, kneel, bless (and most other clerical activities) written by the priest-organist of a leading London church. Croft has used a small quarto-sized exercise book bound in quarter black roan over marbled boards with his manuscript title label and name to the upper cover. Slightly different manuscript title on the first flyleaf with 37 pages of inked text and pencil illustrations to demonstrate his desiderata - followed by blanks.…… Read more


17TH CENTURY MANUSCRIPT COLLECTION: Coats of Arms Trick’t: A Herald Painter’s Workbooks [with] William of Orange’s Declaration of Reasons [&] Instructions for the Masters of Wards and Liveries — William of Orange, Constantijn Huygens; James Ley, Earl of Marlborough, [William Constable & Sir John Somers?] — 1650

Seventeenth century manuscript collection from the library of the Yorkshire antiquary William Constable which combines a key document of the Glorious Revolution, a herald painter’s workbook and an early copy of the most comprehensive study of a feudal court. Small folio bound in half calf over marbled boards, extensively rubbed, strengthening to upper hinge, repairs to top and tail of backstrip. Bookplate of Yorkshire antiquary and collector William Constable (1721-1791) of Burton Constable Hall…… Read more


Dr. Christian White
Christian White Rare Books
287 Leeds Road, Ilkley, LS29 8LL
07811 455398