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A copy of G[eorge] Wheler’s A Journey into Greece that sold for £820, had suffered a burnhole to the margins of a few early leaves and the calf binding was rubbed and split at the spine, but though it was never reprinted, Wheler’s 1682 book was the first to attempt a systematic topographical description of Greece and remained the standard text for many years – even if it took fear of a rival publication to get it into print in the first place.

Wheler’s companion on his Greek travels had been Dr Spon of Lyons, whose own account had appeared in France in 1678, and it was only when he learned that an English translation might be in the offing that the diffident Wheler got around to publishing his own book.

In addition to the Grahame Greene book pictured here, the Knowle moderns in jackets included Orwell’s Animal Farm of 1945, at £740, but there were, too, some slightly earlier literary entrants. Rubbed and cracked at the hinges, an 1885 first of Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines reached £460 and a first issue of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, the cloth again rubbed and with the spine lettering now rather dull, managed £520.

An 1898 first of Churchill’s The Story of the Malakand Field Force, the pale green cloth binding now rubbed and marked, was bid to £1350.

In an Arts & Crafts-style binding of blind stamped and gilt decorated full calf signed W.T. and dated 1935, a manuscript Sketch of the Life of David Cox by W. Hall was sold at £700.

The Motor Car in the First Decade of the Twentieth Century by W.E. Hooper, a 1908 book in rubbed morocco gilt, was bid up to £540 and A Record of Motor Racing by G. Rose, a cloth bound item issued by the RAC in the following year, reached £360, while a third motoring lot of slightly later vintage, H.O. Duncan’s The World on Wheels, a limited edition volume of c.1926, raced to £580.

Phillips, Knowle, May 14
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