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As the inscription on the rock indicates, Savery painted his picture in 1626, presumably from one of the last specimens taken. By 1681, man and his imported animals had accomplished the Dodo‘s extinction – despite the fact that no amount of cooking rendered its flesh palatable. Dutch explorers actually called the Dodos walvögels, or nauseous birds.

In the original embossed and gilt
decorated cloth a copy offered in a February 17 sale held by Lyon & Turnbull of Edinburgh was sold at £880.

The catalogue had the 18 plates as a mix of engraved and litho, but I have also seen this work described as containing 13 litho and five anastatically printed plates – which process, I gather, involves the transfer of images from zinc plates.

Highlight of the Edinburgh sale was a 1926 edition of T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom which, as a result of heavy media coverage, inspired one gentleman to ring up at the last moment and buy it for £18,000 – see last week’s Antiques Trade Gazette (issue no. 1478).

A couple of map lots are mentioned elsewhere (see Antiques Trade Gazette, issue no. 1479), so I will complete my coverage of this sale with mention of the Yeats’ set illustrated bottom right. An eight-vol., 1908, Shakespeare Head edition of the works in quarter vellum, it made £1450.

Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent