Antiquarian Auctions

Auction #75 begins on
30 May 2019 16:30 GMT

Timlin (William)

THE SHIP THAT SAILED TO MARS

A FANTASY, TOLD AND PICTURED BY WILLIAM M. TIMLIN

Published: George G. Harrap & Company Limited, London, No date (1923)

Edition: First Edition

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Sold for: $1,100

Bids: 1

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First edition. Illustrated title page and 48 colour plates by the author and 48 decorated sheets of calligraphic text all mounted on stiff grey card, original white parchment back and grey paper covered boards lettered on upper cover in black, the spine is richly decorated and titled in gilt, the text and plates are bright. There is no dust jacket, but the book is housed in a specially made oatmeal slipcase, a very good copy.

2000 copies of this extraordinary book were published. Only 738 copies were sold (350 to the United States). In 1928 1208 copies were remaindered. Timlin paid 425 pounds towards the publication and received 4/6d. per copy plus a royalty of 10% of the net amount received. A 10% royalty only was paid on the copies sold in the United States. 500 pounds was paid for the film rights which was shared equally between the author and publisher. The film was to be called "Get off the Earth" but was never made.

William Mitcheson Timlin (1892 - 1943) was born in Northumberland, the son of a colliery foreman and studied art in Newcastle before his family emigrated to South Africa, where he completed his studies in art and architecture. He then practised as an architect, designing a number of major public buildings in Kimberley; at the same time he worked as an artist, producing paintings, etchings and pastels of conventional subjects, in addition to the watercolour fantasies for which he is best known. He also wrote stories and music, and did periodical illustrations. In 1923 he published The Ship that Sailed to Mars, which he wrote, and illustrated himself. He began work on another fantasy book entitled The Building of the Fairy City but it was never completed.

  • Overall Condition: A Very Good Copy
  • Size: 4to 310 x 240 mm)
  • Sold By: Clarke's Africana & Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Paul Mills
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: africana@clarkes.co.za
  • Telephone: 021 794 0600
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Visa & Mastercard and Bank transfers
  • Trade Associations: ABA - ILAB, SABDA


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