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A lawyer with a large local practice, Layer was a Jacobite sympathiser who in 1721 went to Rome to put a “wondrous plot” to the Old Pretender, James II’s son, but back in England he was arraigned, tried and condemned to be executed at Tyburn in 1722.

Sold at £1800 (Elias) was an archive of manuscript diaries, sketchbooks and albums relating to the lives of the Buxton, Gurney and Hoare families of Upton Park, c.1835-42.

A copy of the first Baskerville Holy Bible of 1763, in worn calf gilt, brought a bid of £820 (Vogler).

Among the early children’s books, The Infant’s Grammar, or a Pic-Nic Party on the Parts of Speech, a Harris title of 1824 containing 11 coloured illustrations, and still in the original pictorial wraps, was sold at £230 to Cook.

Sold at £250 (Jarndyce) was a 1726, second edition, in old calf, of Richard Neve’s The City and Country Purchaser and Builders Dictionary. A less significant 19th century volume on building techniques made up the lot.

One of the Trianon Press William Blake limited edition facsimiles of the 1970s, Watercolour Designs for the Poems of Thomas Gray, which was issued in 1972 as two portfolios of loose plates, plus such things as progressive plates, guide sheets, stencils and so on, was sold at £600 to Sims Reed, who also gave £450 for a good example of the Yellow Book, the spines of the 13 volumes of 1894-97 in brighter condition than is so often the case.

A group of Studio special numbers that had failed to reach their reserve as a single lot in the last Key sale were re-offered this time in smaller groups and one of them, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Etchings of Frank Brangwyn of 1926, one of 125 copies bound in vellum gilt and containing an original signed etching, realised £320 (Pudney).

An 1875 first edition of Robert Clark’s Golf: A Royal and Ancient Game, in the original cloth, was sold at £1400 (Garnsworthy).

Right, top: A group of P.G. Wodehouse titles illustrated on the front cover of the Aylsham catalogue included these three first editions – Eggs, Beans & Crumpets of 1940, which sold at £320 (Newton), Right Ho Jeeves of 1934, a copy with a 2/6d sticker applied to the jacket spine, which went at £440 to Pickard, and Young Men in Spats of 1934, which was sold to Adrian Harrington at £420. The latter, which also has a half-crown sticker on the spine, as well as a spoof ‘Drones Club Book of the Month’ banner, is in orange cloth, whereas Connolly calls for green.

G.A. Key, Aylsham, January 19
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent