In a much later Cosway style binding by Bayntun Riviere that bears a portrait of Izaak Walton on the front cover, this 1815 second edition of 'The Complete Angler' was one of the many lots in the Cheffins sale that were noted as coming from an Oxfordshire country house. It sold at £1700.

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Running to some 440 lots, a Cambridge sale of May 6 offered a wide range of material and notable results.

Bid to £7000 in this Cheffins (24.5% buyer’s premium) sale, for example, was a lot that included two letters sent in 1813-14 by Rupert Brooke to James Dixon of Suva, Fiji.

The two had met while Brooke was on a recuperative trip to New Zealand that he had made following the collapse of his relationship with Katherine Laird Cox.

The second letter was sent from England just before Brooke enlisted in the army following the outbreak of the First World War.

Also part of the lot was a 1911 Dublin edition of JM Synge’s play Deirdre of the Sorrows that Brooke had inscribed for a Miss Dixon.


John Evelyn’s copy of Thomas Guidott’s 'A Discourse of Bathe, and the Hot Waters There…' of 1676-77 was sold by Dominic Winter for £500 in 2018, but in the recent Cheffins sale this copy in a 19th century binding of half calf raised the auction record to £650.

Latin Bible

The sale’s highest-priced lot, at a mid-estimate £15,000, was very different: a Latin Bible of 1480 or earlier printed in Strasbourg, but with the fourth and final volume in a binding that differed from the those of others.

A much higher than suggested £7500 was needed to secure Instructions for the Treatment of Negroes… Dated 1797 and describing itself as printed with additions, this copy in a worn calf binding, which also included eight pages of music at the rear that had offset to the facing pages, had been presented by the author to the then Archbishop of York.


Published at three shillings and valued at just £200-300 in Cambridge but sold for a record £3400 towards the end of the sale was this copy of 'The Beano Book No 2', published in 1941. No copy of the very first Beano Book has made as much at auction it seems.

Maps on offer included a coloured and framed Braun & Hogenberg plan of London dating from c.1572-74, at £4800, and an almost exactly contemporary Saxton map of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, at £1800.

Estimated at £200-300 but sold at £4000 was a copy in contemporary tree calf of Charles Wilkins’ The Bhagvat-Geeta or, Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon.

A collection of ‘vintage games and puzzles’ bearing an estimate of £80-120 was said to contain a late 18th century ‘Dissected Emblems’ tree puzzle published in 1789 by Carrington Bowles.

A hand-coloured engraving on wood, was this what took the bidding to £1700?