Rare books in demand

A copy of the  lavishly-illustrated Ireland’s Wild Orchids by Susan Sex and Brendan Sayers made €580 (€400-€600) at Mealys

A copy of the lavishly-illustrated Ireland’s Wild Orchids by Susan Sex and Brendan Sayers made €580 (€400-€600) at Mealys

Sat, Apr 12, 2014, 02:00

Strong demand for rare books, by Irish and overseas collectors, resulted in a 85 per cent sold rate in Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers’ Spring Rare Book Sale on April 2nd. Botany, art and ornithology were some of the most sought-after subjects.

Volumes I and II of An Irish Florilegium: Wild and Garden Plants of Ireland, featuring illustrations of watercolour paintings by the renowned botanical artist Wendy Walsh, sold for €600 (€450-€650). Another work by Walsh and botanist E.Charles Nelson, Flowers of Mayo , a 1995 limited-edition reproduction of a famous 18th-century book, made €625 (€500-€700). A copy of the equally lavishly-illustrated Ireland’s Wild Orchids by Susan Sex and Brendan Sayers made €580 (€400-€600).

A first edition of Familiar London , published in 1904, featuring illustrations of streetscape watercolours by Rose Barton made €480 (€300- €400). The six-volume Victorian classic, A History of British Birds by Rev FO Morris made €620 (€300- €400). A rare first edition of Flann O’Brien’s 1939 novel At Swim Two Birds made €560 (€450-€650).

Among ephemera, a copy of the Report of the Tribunal of Inquiry into the Beef Processing Industry by Mr Justice Liam Hamilton, published and priced at £20 by the Stationery Office in 1994, and estimated at €20-€30 sold for €20 to a Tipperary farmer.

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