A contemporary one of Parisian mottled calf, its gilt decorations and armorial mark it out as a volume from John Evelyn’s library. In 1977-78, when Christie’s sold the Evelyn library, it made £190, but in the recent Dominic Winter in South Cerney sale it took £2300.
That earlier Evelyn library sale also contained a 1639 edition of the first six parts of Hooker’s work. It was in a rubbed, faded and cracked contemporary English binding, but also contained Evelyn’s marginal notes to the text and his long list of ‘Loci Laudibles’ on the final endpapers. That volume sold for £420.
Master bookbinder Alex J Vaughan (1887-1960) studied his craft under Douglas Cockerell and at the Central School of Arts & Crafts before teaching at Camberwell.
He was also employed for a time by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, during which time he made miniature bindings for Queen Mary’s famous dolls’ house (now at Windsor Castle) and worked on a jewelled peacock binding for a famous copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that went down with the Titanic.
A group of bindings designed and/or executed by Vaughan offered in the Gloucestershire sale included a 1908 edition of Virgil’s Bucolicon, which sold at £3600.
Signed and dated 1921 by Vaughan, it was produced under his supervision at the CSA&C and has his original design artwork loosely inserted.
A number of Vaughan’s bindings made sums in the £1500-2500 range and the 1929 first of his own book on Modern Bookbinding… a standard text that has recently been re-issued, reached £2100. It was lotted with his original manuscript, which runs to over 500 leaves and was produced in part while Vaughan was serving in Egypt with the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War.