Rare Books Up For Auction at the Trinity Secondhand Booksale

Posted on: 09 March 2011

Over 30,000 novels, journals, pamphlets, guides and reference books along with an auction of rare letters, books and prints will go on sale at the annual Trinity Secondhand Booksale which will take place from Thursday 10th – Saturday 12th March.  Now in its 22nd year, the event is the largest charity booksale in Ireland with books generously donated throughout the year to the Booksale Office by staff, students, alumni and friends of Trinity College Dublin.

Each year the Booksale features an auction of rare treasures on the first evening of the sale.  Amongst the 81 lots that are due to go under the hammer  is a signed letter from Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield, to Sir Arthur Helps, dated December 21st 1871, in which he invites Helps to dinner to meet Odo Russell, the first British Ambassador to the German Empire, and his wife, Lady Emily.  Disraeli was British Prime Minister in 1868 and 1874-80 and was well known as both a literary and social figure.  This letter was found inside a volume of the first edition of his novel Endymion (1880). 

Other auction highlights include A Handbook of Irish Folklore by Seán Ó Súilleabháin (1942); The Botanist in Ireland by Robert Lloyd Praeger (1934); Fishing and Thinking by A A Luce (1957); a limited edition signed copy of Loving and Giving by Molly Keane (1988); a first edition of the Fifth Chronicle of Narnia The Horse and his Boy by C S Lewis, amongst other rare publications.

The Trinity Secondhand Booksale will take place in the Examination Hall, Front Square, TCD, and will commence at 5.30pm on Thursday March 10th.  Admission charge for this night only is €3.  The auction of rare books will begin at 7pm and auction items will be on view from 11am-3pm in the Precentor’s Room, East Chapel, TCD, prior to the sale.

The sale continues on ‘Restocked Friday’ from 10am-6pm when even more books will be out on sale, and will conclude on ‘Half Price Saturday’ between 10am-2pm when all remaining books will be sold at half the marked price.  A clearance auction is scheduled for 2.15pm on Saturday 12th for any items that might be left.

Each year both students and staff assist in the organisation and running of the Booksale.  Funds raised from the sale support research in the College by providing funds for the purchase of research materials by the Library and for smaller specialist departmental libraries.     Further details are available on the Booksale website.