At £350, the London antiquarian bookseller Bernard Quaritch is offering at the York Book Fair this charming ambrotype in a gilt-edged oval hanging frame of the Johnson family – who are named on the rear – on holiday in the Yorkshire seaside town of Cleethorpes in 1862. A formal studio portrait by an unidentifed photographer, the family are posed in an elaborate outdoor setting, with a balustrade and foliage and with one of the little girls holding a miniature bucket and long-handled spade.

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This runs on Friday and Saturday, September 14-15, at York Racecourse.

Giving an idea of the variety on offer at the fair, Ray added: “With a few pounds you could start a collection of radical literature. You could buy some 20th century American and European culture as represented in little reviews, pulp imprints and counter-cultural ephemera from £10 per title.

“For the mid-range at £60 you could pick up a book about a classic mid-century British design icon such as This and That by Barbara Jones. In the multi-thousands there’s a modern first edition or something with enduring high value such as a complete set of Ernest Shackleton’s The South Polar Times, 1907-1914 at £12,500.”

The York Book Fair started out in 1974 with 20 stallholders at the White Swan Inn in the city. It now attracts a global audience of collectors and dealers to pick from the 100,000 books for sale from worldwide exhibitors, at what is billed as Europe’s largest antiquarian, rare and out-of-print book fair.