Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs

Bonhams Book, Map and Manuscript department offers the finest items and collections ranging from early printed books to modern first editions and encompassing natural history, science, literature, art, music and Americana, as well as fine bindings and private press. Atlases and maps are another focus, and, in addition to printed material, our experienced and dedicated specialists also offer expertise in manuscripts, historical documents, and autograph letters. Historical photographs and albums, from daguerreotypes and calotypes to images from the early twentieth century, are another strength.
Bonhams holds records for works by Aristotle ($941,000), John Keats (£181,250), Alan Turing (both manuscript and printed book, $1,025,000 and £205,250), Christopher Columbus ($751,500), Karl Marx (£218,500) and Robert Boyle (£362,500), and for a presentation copy of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter (£106,250). We have handled property from the estate of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes (£561,846), Einstein's violin ($516,500), and an Apple 1 computer ($905,000). Amongst cartographic material, the Canadian papers of Sir John Coape Sherbrooke stand out (£433,250), and photographic highlights include images by Clementina Hawarden (£115,250) and Francis Frith (£337,250).
The department holds upwards of ten auctions each year, in London, New York and California.