The family of a Virginia dairy farm owner named Harry Walton has put his extensive collection of first edition erotica up for sale. They will be offered by Bloomsbury Auctions on June 23rd. One of them is Mémoirs de Fanny Hill, a French edition of the landmark erotic novel, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by English novelist John Cleland, first published in 1749. Estimated at $4,000-$6,000 and printed in Paris in 1887, it comes encased in a cardboard box covered in handmade marbled paper in subtle tones of mauve, tan and pale blue.
The book is a masterpiece with 51 hand-painted watercolors and 10 engraved plates.
In the lower right corner of page 19, for instance, two women loll in bed naked, illustrating the first time Fanny makes physical contact with her future trade in a London house of ill repute.
Only five copies of the edition exist, each one an original because the paintings are all unique. The Walton erotica lots include an almost-complete collection of first-edition novels published by the Olympia Press. Launched in Paris in 1953, Olympia is famous for having put out controversial titles like Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita and William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch.
The collection is expected to bring in 80 - 120K