However, it was an odd avian volume that far outsold everything else in this section and but for a large Irish hunting table would have proved the day’s most expensive lot overall.
Bid to €16,000 (£13,915) in this Fonsie Mealy (20-25% buyer’s premium) sale of April 16 was the first volume only of Gould’s great Birds of Australia*.
Complete with 36 coloured litho plates and handsomely bound in dark green morocco gilt, it bore the bookplates of two Indian maharajahs, one of whom was Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji (1872-1933). A famous cricketer who played for Sussex and for England, he was one of the greatest batsmen of the age and was known familiarly in the sporting world as ‘Ranji’.
Lots of particular Irish appeal included a volume containing the first 36 monthly issues of the Kerry Magazine: A Monthly Journal of Antiquities, Polite Literature, Criticism, Poetry, published in Tralee in the years 1854-56. Bound as a single volume they sold at €1400 (£1215).
Sold for what would appear to be a record €700 (£610) was a 1786 first of Joseph C Walker’s Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards. Uncut in the original boards, it incorporates a portrait frontispiece and three other engraved plates, two of which feature music.
* Complete sets of this famous work, which run to eight volumes including the supplement and contain 681 plates, have made as much as £170,000.