Online auction of rare books by Prinseps

 Online auction of rare books by Prinseps

Team L&M

Prinseps brings a selection of rare books covering an array of fascinating historical subjects as well as maps and manuscripts for their upcoming Online Rare Books auction on September 4-5. This will be followed by a second online auction of prints on September 11-12. Lots in the Rare Books Auction cover a period of nearly 400 years, with the oldest book dated 1605 – De Vita Caesarum or The Twelve Caesars, a biographical chronicle of the Caesars of Rome and considered to be a text of historic importance.
The lots have been primarily obtained from the collection of renowned collector Sunil Baboo, whose meticulously documented collection developed from his travels across Europe and the United States of America and includes his ‘Tipu Sultan collection’ which carries books, maps and manuscripts from the twilight years of the Indian ruler.

Also of note is The Works of Sir William Jones by Lady Anna Marie Shipley Jones (pub. 1799), this first edition copy of Jones’ six-volume work carries a series of engravings as well as William Jones’ translations of Hitopadesa and Kalidasa’s Shakuntala. As the founder of The Asiatic Society of India in Bombay and Calcutta, William Jones’ work with Sanskrit texts continues to be the benchmark for 19th century scholarship. Other key lots cover the history of French conquests in India (Lot 12, Narrative of the War on the Coast of Coromandel by Richard Owen Cambridge, First Edition print, 1756); The East India Company (Lot 3, Reports from the Select Committee on the Affairs of The East India Company with Minutes of Evidence in Six Parts, The East India Company, 1831-32), the British Empire (Lot 10, The Coronation Book of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Odhams Press, pub.1937), treatise on the shikaar or hunting traditions of Royal India (Lot 2, Shikaar by Dean Witter, accompanied by a letter by Dean Witter, pub. 1961) and translations of Sanskrit texts. The auction is an eclectic mix of prints from the 18th to mid-20th century.

Some of the key lots include engravings of historic episodes by Henry Singleton, James Moffat and Jean Duplessis-Bertaux as well as prints by Indian modernists such as a rare lithograph by Bikash Bhattacharjee (Lot 7, Untitled (Woman), circa 1980); a print by Abanindranath Tagore originally created for Rathindranath Tagore (Lot 15, ​Untitled (Landscape), circa 1940) and an unusual abstract print by Somnath Hore (Lot 13, Wounds, 1983). Prinseps have recently launched their online store, a marketplace for exclusive luxury, specialising in direct sales of items such as jewellery, books, carpets, and premium design on a continuous basis, outside of the curated and scheduled online auction. Online bidding for the Rare Books Auction will go live on September 4 followed by online bidding for the Prints Auction on September 11.

Prinseps was founded by Indrajit Chatterjee in 2017 as a research focussed auction house. Having hosted seven auctions to date, Prinseps continues to foster research, curation, and further discovery within the Indian art world. Following their inaugural auction where Prinseps was entrusted with artworks from the estate of Rathindranath Tagore (son of Rabindranath Tagore), subsequent auctions have gone on to bring together the leading names in Indian modern and contemporary art, backed by strong provenances and publication details. Prinseps have recently launched their online store, specialise in offering rare collectables such as antiquarian book, carpets and premium Art Deco furniture on a year-long basis, outside of the curated online auction. The name Prinseps is both a reference to the Indian princely states and to James Prinsep, the founding editor of the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Best known for deciphering the Kharosthi and Brahmi scripts of ancient India, James Prinsep’s diligent documentation and illustration of aspects of Indian culture is reflected in Prinseps methodologies and processes.


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