Directly from the library of the famous Hertfordshire estate, Julians Park, comes a collection of 70 of the principal books from the home of society hostess, Audrey Pleydell-Bouverie. The collection, which is set to sell for between £22,000 - £35,000 in total, will go under the hammer as part of the Cheffins Library Sale on Thursday 21st October at the firm’s sale rooms in Cambridge.

Audrey Pleydell-Bouverie, who was Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen and counted the likes of Cecil Beaton, Coco Chanel, Salvador Dali and Fred and Adele Astaire in her social circle, bought Julians Park in 1940 and from then set about redesigning the interior and creating a vast library collection. Amongst her aristocratic acquaintances was also George Lionel Seymour Dawson-Damer, Viscount Carlow, who established the Corvinus Press in early 1936 and was a keen book collector and typographer. Being friendly with the leading authors of the day, Viscount Carlow was allowed by some to print their work at his press in limited editions, including new works by the likes of T.E Lawrence, James Joyce, Edmund Blunden, H.E Bates and others.

Amongst the highlights from the collection is a copy of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft which has an estimate of £4,000 - £6,000; a signed copy of James Joyce’s Storiella As She Is Sung, which is number 21 of 25 signed copies and has an estimate of £3,000 - £5,000; A Letter from T.E Lawrence to his Mother, number 21 of 24 copies which has an estimate of £1,000 - £1,500 and a copy printed for Audrey Pleydell-Bouverie of T.E Lawrence’s Two Arabic Folk Tales which has an estimate of £2,000 - £3,000. There is also a miniature ‘Reference Library’ group of Cassell’s dictionaries and Philips’ Handy-Volume atlas from Cartier, which have an estimate of £150 - £250.

Charles Ashton, Director at Cheffins says: “Audrey Pleydell-Bouverie was obviously a fan of the Corvinus Press from an early date, given the number of volumes printed for her personally, and often with authors’ personalised inscriptions written in.  No doubt her patronage of the Press was a great encouragement to Viscount Carlow. Several of the more general books from the library are stamped with her name inside the front covers, and a group of book binding tools is also available, which perhaps indicates that she turned her own hand to a spot of book binding. Julians Park must have once hummed with great literary and society figures, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to offer this collection of her books to the market.”

Also available at the sale from other collections are a series of books, maps and letters, including a private letter from Edward VIII, as Prince of Wales, to his mistress Freda Dudley Ward, which has an estimate of £400 - £600. Some of the higher value lots include a Third Folio by William Shakespeare, which is a second issue printed in 1664, with facsimile portrait and title page, and has an estimate of £12,000 - £18,000, and an early copy of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Watchman from 1796 which has an estimate of £4,000 - £6,000. Amongst the illustrated works, there is a series of hand-coloured engravings from the famous series Loggie di Rafaele nel Vaticano by Giovanni Ottaviani and Giovanni Volpato, which were commissioned by Pope Clement XIII during the 18th century and have an estimate of £3,000 - £5,000. Of historical interest there are also two volumes of chromolithographed ‘proof’ plates of Dickinson’s Comprehensive Pictures of the Great Exhibition of 1851, which have an estimate of £3,000 - £5,000.


Auction: The Library Sale – 21st October 2021 from 11am
 Cheffins, Clifton House, 1-2 Clifton Road, Cambridge, UK, CB1 7EA