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A 1717 Book of Common Prayer, engraved throughout with decorative borders and initials – and with its “Moveable circle” intact – made £620 in a morocco gilt binding fitted with a brass name clasp. Sandby’s 1781 ...Select Views in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, a two vol. oblong quarto collection of 150 engraved plates went for £1000 and a rebound 1855 first of English Landscape Scenery, containing 40 mezzotint plates by David Lucas after Constable, made £450.

An 1822 first of William Wordsworth’s Ecclesiastical Sketches, in the original boards with a printed paper label, though with some loss to the top of the backstrip, made £420.

The Organisation of Nursing. An Account of the Liverpool Nurses Training School... of 1865, was the work of Florence Nightingale and others, and though this copy was worn and soiled and the contents, including litho frontispiece and plan were loose, it made £660.

In addition to the exceptional copy of Morris’s Birds (discussed below and pictured top right), the natural history content included an 1803-04 first, in worn half calf, of Taplin’s Sportsman’s Cabinet, or a Correct Delineation of the Various Dogs used in the Sports of the Field, the two vols. illustrated with 26 plates after Reinagle, at £360; a Houghton British Fresh-Water Fishes of 1879 with its 41 coloured woodblock plates by Lydon, at £720 and a Wright Illustrated Book of Poultry of c.1876, disbound but offering 50 chromos, at £580.

Top right: there cannot have been many occasions on which one of these Aylsham book sales has carried a ‘Refer to Department’ estimate, but then when did anyone last, or ever see a set of the Reverend Francis Orpen Morris’ History of British Birds in dust jackets. The work is a familiar enough sight at auction, goodness knows, but there would appear to be no record of any edition turning up in these dust wrappers, which repeat the design of the pictorial cloth gilt design of the covers that are – in this instance, preserved in fine and bright condition. An 1870, second edition, it sold at an unfamiliar price of £2000.

Bottom right: decorated with illustrations by Louis Wain and Harry B.Neilson, another specialist in comic animal studies,The New Picture Cube, a set of 20 coloured picture bricks, boxed with five (of 6?) coloured plates that I assume to be the pictures that
youngsters can make up, was sold at £420.

G.A. Key, Aylsham, March 9
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent