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Three full calf bound volumes of Transactions of the Horticultural Society of London, 1812, containing 58 engraved plates, half of them coloured, sold at £1550, while a single elephant folio volume of the 1985 Alecto edition of Banks’ Florilegium, containing 14 hand finished coloured illustrations pulled from the original 18th century engraved plates of plants gathered on Cook’s voyages, was sold at £2000.

Ann Pratt’s The Flowering Plants. Grasses, Sedges, and Ferns of Great Britain, the six volume set in luxurious full green calf gilt bindings by Bickers of London, made £400.

Sold for £700 was an 1872-73 first edition of Walter Lawrey Buller’s History of the Birds of New Zealand. The original blind and gilt decorated cloth binding was poor and the frontispiece was missing, but there remained 35 fine coloured litho plates after Keuelemans.

A Complete History of the Most Remarkable Transactions at Sea..., first published in 1720, is an account of naval expeditions, discoveries and battles – with a particular emphasis on the, then, more recent British activities – compiled by Josiah Burchett, who as a young lad was taken on by Samuel Pepys as a clerk.

Burchett later displeased his patron and was dismissed for insolence, but following Pepys’ own fall from grace, he gained a position as Russell’s secretary and subsequently became Secretary to the Admiralty himself – a post he then held onto for 50 years.

Burchett’s book is considered “invaluable for the naval aspect of the wars of William and Mary”, but the nine engraved double-page or folding maps by Herman Moll are quite attractive also, and the copy offered in Nottingham, which was bound in full calf with raised bands to the spine, brought a bid of £440.

The following lot was also something of maritime interest, being a 1754 first of Mungo Murray’s Treatise on Ship-building and Navigation..., and Elements of Naval Architecture. This copy, incorporated Duhamel’s appendix, was in modern quarter calf, and two of the 18 plates called for in the list were lacking, as was the final text leaf. Other plates and text leaves were damaged and the book was browned overall, but it is quite scarce and sold for £420.

A 1721 first edition, bound in full calf, of Nathaniel Bailey’s Universal Etymological Dictionary, an important work which precedes Dr Johnson’s famous dictionary by some 20 years, was sold at £300.

The better of two 1677, first edition copies of Thoroton’s Antiquities of Nottinghamshire, in rebacked full contemporary tree calf gilt, made £600 and, bound in modern half calf, a copy of the first published History of Derby..., by William Hutton, sold at £480. A 1791 first edition, the latter contained 17 engraved plates plus a large, folding ‘Prospect of Derby’ as a frontispiece.

Neales, Nottingham, February 22
Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent