Monthly Archives: December 2016

Books at Auction on 14th/15th December

We have more interesting lots for auction coming up in the December 2016 two day sale at Dominic Winter Auctioneers located in South Cerney near Cirencester in Gloucestershire.

On the first day (14th December) we have two lots in the General section, as follows:

329 – Charles Babbage. A first edition of The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise. A Fragment published in 1837 by John Murray, London. Re-bound in modern(-ish) green marbled boards quarter bound with moss green linen.

Babbage’s ninth (and unofficial since there were only eight in the original series) Bridgewater treatise, which were intended to discuss natural theology, draws on his experience with calculating machines to devise a picture of God whose undeviating law would be consistent both with successive special creations of natural species and with miracles. Both the theology and the science of the treatise foreshadowed the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species twenty two years later.

455 – Maurice Wilkes, David J. Wheeler & Stanley Gill. A first printing of The Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer (Subtitled ‘With special reference to the EDSAC and the use of a library of subroutines’). Published by Addison-Wesley Press (Cambridge, Massachusetts) in 1951, this book is considered to be the first generally published text on computer programming.

Wilkes (who designed and built Cambridge University’s EDSAC machine) subsequently developed (with the assistance of Wheeler and Gill) the concept of subroutines in programs to create reusable modules. This is a scarce volume – the more so as it is not an ex-library copy.

In the Modern Firsts section on day two (15th December), our lots are as follows:

894 – W. J. Burley – The Sixth Day together with Philip K. Dick & Roger ZelaznyThe Preserving Machine & Other Stories.

Better known for his crime novels featuring the detective Charles Wycliffe, this is Burley’s only foray into science fiction and is scarce in as good condition as this copy. The PKD/Zelazny collection of short stories includes ‘We can Remember it for you Wholesale’ which was the basis for the movie Total Recall.

916 – Raymond E. Feist.  A signed copy of the UK first hardcover edition of Magician. Extremely rare.

956 – George R.R. Martin. A set of the first four books in the author’s A Song of Fire & Ice series. UK first hardcover editions (and first printings) of A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows. All signed by the author and all but A Feast for Crows additionally signed by cover artist Jim Burns.

960 – W.F. Nolan & G.C. Johnson. The UK 1968 first edition of Logan’s Run. A nice copy of this classic SF novel. The highly sucessful film version released in 1976 was directed by Michael Anderson and starred Michael York, Jenny Agutter and Farrah Fawcett, amongst others.

971 – Olaf Stapledon. A collection of 5 UK 1st editions: Sirius – A Fantasy of Love and Discord, Last Men in London, Star Maker, The Flames: A Fantasy and A Man Divided.

972 – Neal Stephenson. Signed and numbered limited edition copies of the three slipcased volumes comprising the author’s Baroque Cycle, namely Quicksilver, Confusion and The System of the World. Published in the US by William Morrow.

976 – J.R.R. Tolkien. A three volume set of the 1966 revised 2nd edition (1st printing) of The Lord of the Rings.

977 – William T. Vollmann. Rising Up and Rising Down. 7 volumes of the US 1st edition in a slipcase, each signed by the author.

More details and a catalogue for download are available here: —> Dominic Winter General 14th December 2016 and Dominic Winter Modern Firsts 15th December 2016

15th December 2016 Update:

A reasonable sale. Seven lots sold, three unsold. The Vollmann set again a non-seller as was the Burley/PKD pair and, surprisingly to me, the Wilkes/Wheeler/Gill programming book also failed to sell. On the plus side, the GRRM set did very well with a hammer price of GBP 2,100. Results can be downloaded in PDF format via the link given above.

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