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This 'Book of Songs and Poems from the Old Testament and the Apocrypha', an Ashendene Press book of 1904 in a binding by Douglas Cockerell for the WH Smith bindery, sold for £4500 at Bonhams.

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That was paid for one of the 25 vellum copies issued, but though this example is one of the 150 copies on paper that made up the main run of the edition, it sold for £4500 at Bonhams (25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium) on November 27.

What made the difference was the fine binding of blue crushed morocco gilt produced by Douglas Cockerell for the WH Smith bindery.

A further selection of books distinguished by their fine or unusual bindings will feature in a future issue.