The cover of WB Yeats’ first book Mosada which Peter Harrington Rare Books sold for £125,000 at the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair.

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Running from October 27-29, the fair hosted more than 100 booksellers at its 45th annual event at the Hynes Convention Center.

Among them was London firm Peter Harrington Rare Books which offered the copy of Mosada.

The short tragic verse play is only three scenes long with a three named characters: Mosada, a ‘moorish girl’, her friend the hunchback child Cola and a Christian monk.

The copy in question is believed to be one of 100 of its kind printed, and one of only nine inscribed. It was offered at the fair for £125,000.

Along with the rarity value, the presentation copy also benefited from the appeal of a recent discovery: the identity of the recipient. Previously identified as ‘Zena Powell’, it is now thought to have been dedicated to a Zena Vowell.

The identification was said to have been made, bizarrely, through the record of a séance in which Vowell’s spirit supposedly appeared to a medium - though little is known about the real Vowell. According to a spiritualist of the day, she spoke during an early 20th century séance held by Hester Travers Smith.

Philip W Errington, senior specialist at Peter Harrington, said that it was both the first time the firm had offered a first edition of a Yeats work and “the very first time we’ve identified a recipient of a presentation copy of a book through an account of a voice from beyond the grave”.