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Few of the 320 lots were left unsold at the end of a day which saw $8500 (£5860) paid for a 1653 second edition of Thomas Barker’s The Art of Angling..., a copy that was sumptuously bound in full 19th century niger morocco gilt incorporating fish vignettes. First published in 1651, this work should not be confused with Barker’s Delight; or, the Art of Angling, which is a substantially different book that first appeared in 1657.

Fourteen editions of Isaak Walton’s Compleat Angler included a copy of the 1676, fifth edition. Published as The Universal Angler..., this was the last to appear in Walton’s lifetime, but was the first to incorporate Cotton’s continuation or supplement on angling for trout or grayling, as well as Colonel Venables’ The Experienced Angler.... In a later full calf gilt binding, it sold at $8000 (£5515).

(In a Christie’s East sale of February 22, a set of the first five editions of the Compleat Angler (1653-76), uniformly bound in olive morocco gilt by Bedford, brought a double-estimate bid of $80,000, or £55,170, while one of 14 vellum copies of the 1905 Caradoc Press edition, illustrated with etched vignettes by H.G. Webb and vellum-bound, was sold for $4500, or £3105).

My third and final selection from the angling library offered by PBA is yet another 17th century book, a 1694 first of the Northern Memoirs... of Richard Franck, which, “by way of a Diversion” contains ...The Contemplative & Practical Angler... With a Narrative of that dextrous and mysterious Art experimented in England, and perfected in more remote and solitary Parts of Scotland...

Written in 1658, this rare work is described by angling literature historians Westwood & Satchell as stupendously pretentious in style, but they acknowledge that he certainly knew his subject and note his criticism of Walton and other “speculative book-writing anglers” as opposed to true practitioners of the art. This copy, elaborately bound in full tan levant morocco gilt by Rivière, was sold for $7500 (£5170).