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It pre-dates by 15 years a Kalendarium Gregorianum that has previously been regarded as Plantin’s earliest venture into this specialist field. Only two other copies are known: one in the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp and the other in the Belgian Royal Library in Brussels.

In contemporary black morocco, this tiny rarity made £17,000 (plus 25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on June 14.

On the button


Button Gwinett signature sold for $260,000 (£204,725) at Sotheby’s New York on June 15.

Bid to a sizeable $260,000 (£204,725) at Sotheby’s New York (25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium) on June 15 was a dampstained scrap of paper which bears just a simple signature.

Few people nowadays would know the name Button Gwinnett. However, for those who like to collect the ‘Signers’ – letters or documents signed by those 56 men who attached their signatures to the American Declaration of Independence – this name is the rarest of them all.

Gwinnett was fatally wounded in a duel just 10 months later.