Prinseps

ART · DESIGN · LUXURY


Nationalism Book Auction - July 2021 - No Reserve

We present a rare collection of first editions (most are either the first editions or early printings), printed in India and from the difficult-to-source period of the 1920s to 1960s. Many of these books are un-documented and have never been offered by antiquarian book dealers. Being printed in India very few copies of most have survived, making pricing exceptionally challenging in the absence of comparables.

The majority of which are first or limited editions and irreplaceableMohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s, Young India, a rare copy printed in 1922 and published from Chennai by Tagore & Co, is one such book. We found a physical copy of this book at the Hoover Library, Stanford University, and available only for in-library usage. The same was published overseas by B. W. Huebsch/Viking Press and these (more readily available) copies are available at a few thousand British Pounds from dealers. How much then should the impossible to obtain book published by Tagore & Co be valued at? Also included in the Constitution of India, a 1950 publication by Rajkamal Publications, for which no record can be found or any copy seen in any reference library. The auction includes two scarce books by V.D. Savarkar. The collection in this auction is strewn with such examples and many are impossible to value. As these books get their existence noted via auctions at Prinseps, we are sure they will be highlighted and spoken about in the years to come.

The years before independence (from the 1920s) narrate an important and fascinating chapter in India’s history. This era gave rise to several eminent leaders, nationalists, whose names are etched in the independence struggle of this nation. These were towering, passionate personalities... brilliant orators, poets, writers, visionaries, Indian’s who wished for a better tomorrow for their motherland and dedicated and devoted their entire lives in doing so. These rare books, stories, and letters help us connect the dots of the power struggle, fill the missing blanks in India’s fight for independence, and understand and appreciate the free country we live in today.

To emphasize books in this auction are all mostly first or the only edition and published between the 1920s and the 1960s. They are mostly published in India (hence very few books have survived) by historically important publishers - many of which do not exist today. At Prinseps we pride ourselves in finding rarities; we are happy to have exceeded this mandate. Bids for each of the books start at INR 5000. Happy Hunting!

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