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Top lot at $54,000 (£37,260) was not a book, but a pirate’s chest. An iron strong box painted with flowers and birds and probably of 17th century German origin, it was once owned by Thomas Tew, a Rhode Island-born pirate who was known for his comparative humanity. Tew preyed principally on Arab and Indian ships in their home waters and he met his end not on the gallows, but in an attack on a ship of the Great Moghul. Tew’s chest is illustrated in the title page of The Pirates book in Time-Life’s ‘The Seafarers’ series, and was the subject of an In Focus in Antiques Trade Gazette No 1469, December 23 & 30, 2000.

Among the items relating to the career of Captain Kidd was a broadside of c.1750, The Dying Words of Captain Kidd. Headed by a woodcut of a hanging, it was not in the best condition and was valued at just $600-800, but it sold for $13,000 (£8970).

Sold at $7000 (£4830) was The Voyages and Adventures of Capt. Barth, Sharp and others... of 1684, a work that is in part a supplement to the English edition of Exquemelin’s famous Bucaniers of America, issued in that same year, and in part a vindication of English involvement in piratical acts, especially those attributed to Henry Morgan (albeit he was, in fact, Welsh).

Buyer’s premium: 17.5/10 per cent
Exchange Rate: £1 = $1.45