Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood are one of the few auction houses in the West Country to have a bespoke Antiquarian Book Department and hold two specialist book sales a year, in June and December. The department has built up a superb reputation worldwide for their book auctions and have achieved some incredible world record prices over the last twenty years.

Books are a complex field, where age is not necessarily an indication of value. Scarcity, a strong demand for the author or subject and condition are the main indications of value, but there are of course exceptions to this, for instance anything that has been made into a successful film, such as The James Bond movies and the Harry Potter Series.

Some of the highlights from the book department include the sale of volumes by Jane Austen, Specimens of Cloth collected on the Voyages of Captain Cooke, Hakluyt, The Great Exhibition Catalogue, The First printed book ever published in English on chocolate, an early Koran, to name a few.

The books and manuscripts department has sold a number of single owner collections of antiquarian books over the years, including several single owner Cornish libraries, a private collection of costume and fashion books, optical toys and pre-cinema, murder broadsides.

With expert knowledge, an extensive database of buyers and professional marketing, alongside two inline bidding platforms, the book department welcome consignments ranging from one book to several thousand books.

The Antiquarian Book & Manuscript Auctions are online only sales, with two online bidding platforms to choose from. Viewing is available by appointment a week prior to the auction and the department are always happy to email condition reports and images, or chat through the lots over the telephone.

Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s dedicated specialist books and manuscripts department are always happy to help, so if you are in doubt about the value of any printed material, whether it’s books, ephemera, broadsides, prints, maps, photographs, albums, optical toys or manuscripts, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Gerard d'Erlanger, our dedicated book consultant, for a swift and accurate appraisal of your property.

Subscribe to catalogue alerts & news

Select your interests