R.A. Gekoski Booksellers

About us

Established in 1982, R. A. Gekoski Booksellers is one of the world’s leading specialist dealers in modern English, Irish and American literature, including first editions, association copies, manuscripts and archives, and artworks with literary associations.

Based in Wiltshire, we source material of the highest quality, rarity, and scholarly and collecting interest. We are particularly interested in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Irish literature (Yeats and Wilde); twentieth century modernism (Conrad, Pound, Joyce, Eliot, Beckett, Woolf); expatriate small press publishers in Paris (Black Sun, Obelisk Press); the Bloomsbury Group in both its literary and artistic guises; and also later twentieth century British and Irish poetry (Larkin, Hughes, Plath and Heaney). We specialise in association copies of important American and English books.

We have a long-standing interest in buying and selling literary art, a category which for us includes: pictures and other images of, and by, literary figures; pictures of and by members of the Bloomsbury Group; Eric Gill, David Jones, and their circle; Wyndham Lewis and Vorticism.

We are members of ABA and ILAB and exhibit at the London International Antiquarian Bookfair.

Services offered by R. A. Gekoski Booksellers include valuations, auction commissions, as well as institutional placement of significant archives. We are always interested in purchasing books, letters, manuscripts, photographs and artworks.

Literary Archives

We specialise in the placement of writer’s and publisher’s archives with our institutional clients.

These include amongst others:
The British Library - The Brotherton Collection at Leeds - The University of Texas - Princeton University - National Library of Ireland - Yale - Emory University - National Library of Wales - National Library of Scotland - Harvard University - and the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library.

We have placed the full or substantial archives of the following (amongst others):
Dannie Abse - Peter Ackroyd - Andre Deutsch Publishers - Joan Bakewell - Sebastian Barry - Angela Carter - Roy Foster - John Fowles - Linda Grant - Ian Hamilton - James Hamilton-Patterson - Adrian Henri - Geoffrey Hill - Kazuo Ishiguro - Penelope Lively - Roger McGough - John Osborne - Peter O'Toole - Brian Patten - Jeremy Reed - Iain Sinclair - Emma Tennant - D.M. Thomas - Barry Unsworth - Weidenfeld & Nicolson Publishers

Latest List and Featured Items

1. Yeats, W. B. Professional photographic family portrait of Yeats, his wife Georgie Hyde-Lees, and their children Anne and Michael. The Graphics Studios: [Dublin, early 1930s]. Oval matt silver print (140 x 186mm), mounted (mount size 245 x 345mm). With the photographer’s stamp on the mount. Housed in a paper folder. Family photos of Yeats are exceedingly rare. Provenance: WB Yeats’ own copy, thence from the Yeats family, Sotheby’s 2017. £6000

2. Yeats, W. B. Quarter-length photographic portrait. Violet Keene: [1930s]. Matt silver print (225 x 171mm), mounted (mount size 290 x 219mm). Signed by the photographer on the image. A few tiny spots some marks, largely affecting the mount. Very good condition. Violet Keene, was a prominent Canadian photographer, known for her society portraits. Yeats’s only trip to Canada was in 1903-04, and this photo is later than that, so it seems likely that Keene was in Ireland at the time the portrait was made. Very uncommon. Provenance: WB Yeats’ own copy, thence from the Yeats family, Sotheby’s 2017. £2000

3. Yeats, W. B. Professional photographic portrait of Yeats seated and wearing a pince-nez. New York: Underwood & Underwood, February 1920. Matt sepia photograph (253 x 204mm). Photographer’s stamp in the negative, housed in a folder with the photographer’s stamp and the date in pencil. Slight wear at the top right corner, not affecting the image. Excellent condition. Provenance: WB Yeats’ own copy, thence from the Yeats family, Sotheby’s 2017. £4500

4. Yeats, W. B. Professional photographic portrait, head and shoulders in profile. Lafayette, Ltd.: [Dublin, c. 1930s]. Matt silver print (145 x 100mm) mounted on a piece of card (mount size approximately 230 x 175mm). With the photographer’s name printed on the mount. A little creasing of the mount, minor crack in the print. Very good condition. Lafayette was one of the longest-running and most prestigious photographic operations in the world. Founded in Dublin in 1880, it obtained obtain a Royal Warrant and opened studies in other locations in Ireland, as well as in London, and was responsible for a much of the British newspaper photography of the late-19th and early-20th century. Excellent condition. Provenance: WB Yeats’ own copy, thence from the Yeats family, Sotheby’s 2017. £2000

5. Yeats, W. B. A rare casual photograph of Yeats with his family in Algeciras, Spain, in November 1928. (88 x 113mm). Number “43” in pencil to the reverse. Excellent condition. A rare casual photograph depicting Yeats speaking and smiling while joking with George Yeats and Jean Hall over tea in the gardens of the Hotel Cristina Reina, in Algeciras, Spain during a visit because of ill-health in November 1928. In this image George appears to fan Yeats with a hat while he holds a cigarette in his left hand. Photos of Yeats in casual settings with his family are rare, as are images of him smiling and laughing. This photo is one of a series of only five previously unknown images taken at the same time. (The others are available). Provenance: WB Yeats own copy, thence rom the Yeats family, Sotheby’s 2017. £750


Bookseller Highlights

Book Fairs

We are members of ABA and ILAB and exhibit at the New York and London International Antiquarian Bookfairs.

Dates and how to find us will be posted here closer to the time.

Note: The London International Antiquarian Book Fair is relocating to Battersea Evolution in May 2018.


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