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A 1777 first of young Thomas Chatterton’s Poems, supposed to have been written at Bristol, by Thomas Rowley, and others, in contemporary calf but re-backed and repaired at the corners, brought a bid of £360 from the Poetry Bookshop, while among the modern entries, a 1921 first of the American poet and novelist, Hilda Doolittle’s Hymen, a masque with Greek figures – here, lavishly bound in full levant morocco with gilt floral cornerpieces and spine – went to the same specialist buyers, at £130.

All four folios of the Poem of the Month Club issues of 1970-77, the 48 signed broadside poems loose as issued in original half calf portfolios, sold at £360.

A 1757 first of Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, bound in contemporary speckled calf, which sold at £360 to Brinded, will doubtless have had its poetical moments, and there were verses, too, in a worn and almost disbound little book of 1824 called The Prose and Poetical Works of the Reverend G.C. Smith, formerly of the Navy, which went to Cody at £240.

Smith was a resident of Penzance and it comes as no surprise to learn the many of the 40 tracts that make up this book have a distinctly nautical flavour – ‘Torbay, or the Fleet at Anchor’, ‘The Custom House and the Bethel Flag’, ‘The Wreckers’, and so on.

In later half maroon morocco, but preserving the publisher’s wrappers with bookseller’s blind stamp to the lower cover, an 1886 first issue of Stevenson’s ...Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (the date of 1885 on the font cover unaltered) was sold at £960 to P. Harrington. (In a Sotheby’s sale of December 19, a good copy in the original fawn wrappers, with altered date, made £2000).

A 1674 edition of Francis Bacon’s Of the Advancement and Proficiencie of Learning; or the Partition of Science, in bumped and scuffed but contemporary calf gilt, was sold for £360 to a US buyer who also gave £480 for a 1786, fourth edition of Adam Smith’s ...Wealth of Nations, the three volumes bound in 19th century green half calf gilt with crimson title labels.

Sold at £340 to Marlborough Rare Books was an 1869 first edition of John Stuart Mill’s The Subjection of Women, the original cloth a little rubbed and darkened to the spine.

The strip road maps of a 1736, fourth edition of Ogilby & Bowen’s Britannia Depicta brought a bid of £740, and 34 volumes of Pevsner’s Buildings of England series, a mixed edition set of 1969-84 in good condition, sold at £480 (Haslam).

Foreign travel books included a 1696, second edition of Jean Dumont’s New Voyage to the Levant, in contemporary calf and containing engraved frontispiece and seven folding plates, which went to US buyer, Tumasonis, at £440, while Samuel Birch’s Fac-Similes of the Egyptian relics discovered at Thebes, in the Tomb of Queen Aah-Hotep, an oblong folio collection of 11 gold heightened chromos in original wrappers, 1863, went for £350 (Pizey).

Other plate collections included a Heath & Nichols Works of Hogarth of c.1820, with some marginal staining to the 116 engraved plates, at £720 and Thomas Sidney Cooper’s Cattle Subjects of c.1830, which contained 30 litho plates and went at £580 to the same bidder, Page.

Cooper carried on turning out his cattle and sheepscapes on the Canterbury Meadows for another sixty years or more, but I doubt that he ever as them as wet and uninviting as they have looked in recent weeks.

Y Gelli, Hay-on-Wye, February 7,
Buyer’s premium: 12 per cent