Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #104 has ended

US Auction #14 begins on 08 Feb 2023

McIntyre, Donald, in consultation with L L Evans

1951 Catalogue of Valuable Africana etc from the Collection of the late Sir Abe Bailey (Graham Botha's priced copy)

Published: Syfrets Trust, Cape Town, 1951

Edition: First

Lot closed

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Bids: 14

Visits: 91

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How it works


On his death at age 86 in 1940, mining magnate and first baronet Sir Abe Bailey willed many of his finest works of art to the National Gallery in Cape Town. His widow, Lady Mary Bailey (an Irish woman famous in her own right for making the first flight between London and Cape Town) remained in the family home, Rust-en-Vrede, for another ten years, when the contents were sold - Africana books and art by John Marcus in a three-day auction in January 1951 at Rust-en-Vrede; and furniture etc by another auctioneer.

This catalogue lists 1744 items (non-Africana books are not listed) over 122 pp, which include a frontispiece of the Rust-en-Vrede library and other monochrome plates illustrating 16 of the lots.

Bidding was in guineas (21 shillings or, nominally, R2.10 in the South African rand currency of 10 years later), or fractions of guineas. [The 2013 equivalent of the 1951 guinea would be about R500, indicating, for example, a current price of about R15,000 (or, say, US$1500) for the possible De Mist lot (Lot 924, the description of which is shown in one of the images).]

Making the catalogue more interesting for today's specialist collector, all the prices fetched were recorded in ink by Graham Botha, the well-known writer on Africana and South Africa's Chief Archivist, whose signature is on the title-page.

Other images show lots of some of the works of Pringle, Stanley and Thunberg.


  • Binding Condition: Very Good
  • Overall Condition: Very Good
  • Size: 275 x 220
  • Sold By: Fontein Books
  • Contact Person: Richard Proctor-Sims
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 051 773 0050/048 079 546 4032
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Eft (South Africa), SWIFT (rest of world), or $ checks for US or Australian buyers
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved

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