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Literary lots included a 25 volume, ‘Author’s’ edition of the works of Mark Twain, the spines of the original green cloth bindings showing some discolouration, but a generally good set and signed by the author both as Mark Twain and as Samuel Clemens, that was sold at £1500, and an undated Routledge edition of the works of W.H. Ainsworth, the 16 volumes bound in half blue morocco and marbled boards, which reached £720.

A 1908 first of Churchill’s My African Journey, the publisher’s pictorial cloth binding slightly faded to the spine, brought a bid of £280.

The 84 engraved views in The Seats of the Nobility and Gentry, an oblong quarto collection issued in 1779 by W. Watts, brought a bid of £450, while natural history books included a Humphreys & Westwood British Moths..., the two vols. of 1854 in the original gilt stamped cloth and containing 124 colour plates, at £350, and one of 275 copies of J.C. Harrison’s Birds of Prey of the British Islands of 1890, in original half calf and signed by both author and illustrator, David Evans, at £320.

Top right: this is not quite the familiar image of Cinderella, but then it is a French version of the tale and as the clock strikes midnight, the coach has turned back into a pumpkin slice, the mice are fleeing and poor Cinders’ clothes are being ripped from her plump body by a magical wind. It is one of the coloured litho plates that illustrate an 1886 edition of Charles Perrault’s tale of Cendrillon et les fées published in Asnières-sur-Seine by Boussod et Valadon in 1886 that was lotted with an 1887 edition of La Barbe Bleue [Bluebeard] from the same publishers – both of them well bound in gilt stamped green morocco with watered silk doublures and endleaves but, sadly, suffering from damp damage after a prolonged period of shed life. The two books sold at £780, but in better condition could have made quite a bit more, I imagine. The original illustrations, I discover, were watercolours and wash drawings by Edouard de Beaumont.

Bottom right: the most expensive lot in the Newbury sale was a parochial one, a coloured copy of surveyor, John Willis’ Map of the Country Ten Miles around Newbury in Berkshire, as
published in 1768. In the lower left hand corner of the 3ft 43/4in x 4ft 63/4in (1.04 x 1.39m) map, which is on a scale of two inches to the mile, is an inset plan of ...the Town of Newbury and Speenhamland in the mid-18th century, this time drawn at a scale – particularly appropriate for a town with racing connections – which covers 80 furlongs in 43/4in or 12cm. It sold at £2700.

Dreweatt Neate, Newbury, February 21
Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent