The second-hand book sale has become something of an institution. It is one of the activities which CAFS undertakes to support the Institute students and staff, in selling them books, often out of print, or hard to get, or newly published, at reasonable prices. We were exceptionally fortunate this year in having books from the libraries of Anthony Blunt, Michael Kitson, Lilian Gurry and Colin Drake, members of the teaching staff, the parents of a former student, and books sent our way from the estates of two close associates of the Institute, Tony Halliday and Lillian Browse, both of whom had sadly died in the past year. We are eternally grateful for review copies of new books saved for us by The Art Newspaper, the British Art Journal, and The Burlington Magazine.

Every year we are very pleased to receive books from former students, staff of the Institute and from supporters who hear of the sale. We thank all of them for their generosity. The sale does have a certain ‘bring and buy’ quality to it as people who have donated books comb the sale for other things of more use to them. I am always most grateful for the help I receive, which makes the whole effort rewarding, from Ron, Steve, Michael and Arthur in the Facilities Department, run by Alan Train, who shift the books. Pricing is done by a stalwart group of volunteers made up of students, former students and supporters, and they also man the sale during the ten days it runs. The support of the front hall staff is crucial, and their cooperation during the upheaval to their normal routine is not taken for granted. Back-up support from the Director and the Development Office, especially David Whitaker, underpins the whole venture.

Every year has a different flavour. This year was a good one for sculpture, and for 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Blunt’s, Kitson’s and Gurry’s books reflected their areas of expertise, Tony Halliday provided us with an unusual quantity of books on sculpture, and Lillian Browse’s books reflected her deep interest in Degas, Rodin, Whistler, Sickert, and artists and writers of the 19th and early 20th centuries not much seen now. Great finds were to be had. I heard several stories of just the right book turning up, as if it had been waiting to be found. Given the enormous quantity of good books, there had to be an element of serendipity to people’s purchases. The £11,800 proceeds of this year’s sale support the Caroline Villers Fellowship, student travel grants and books for the library. Thank you to all who brought, helped and bought.

The cover illustration is a result of discovering Jackie Sullivan’s hidden talents. Jackie has been at the Courtauld since 1988 and administers short courses and study trips.

JANE FERGUSON