Sotheby’s to Sell Small Waugh Collection

Sotheby’s London has scheduled a the sale of small collection of signed copies and first editions of books by Evelyn Waugh on 11-12 December. These are apparently from a larger otherwise unidentified Hampstead Collection of two collectors living in that district. There are seven books (lots 219-225), three of which were gifts to the Lygon sisters, Mary (“Blondy” or “Maimie”) and Dorothy (“Poll”,”Pollen” or “Coote”) . The most interesting of these is a limited first edition of Black Mischief (lot 220) inscribed “For Sweet Blondy/with best love from”, then initialed below inside a swastika “B-O” on top corners and “Z-A” on the bottom corners. “Bo” was short for “Boaz” and, according to a comment from a reader (see below), the letters inside the swastika would spell “BOAZ” if read clockwise. See link. Waugh had written much of Black Mischief while staying at the Lygons’ home at Madresfield Court, but the use of the swastika in the signature is odd since it was the Mitford sisters (or some of them) who were Nazi sympathizers, not the Lygons. Any readers are welcome to comment below on these points.

UPDATE: Includes edits based on an interpretation from a reader. See comment below.

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