THE Roberts Holy Land offered in the 120-lot book section of this Kent sale at Mervyn Carey on 20 February, a six-vol. 1855 quarto edition, had been kept in a barn and had virtually disintegrated over the years.
The plates were in what might best be described as variable condition, but they remained serviceable enough to raise a bid of £1650.
A three-vol. Carne & Bartlett Syria, Holy Land, Asia Minor of 1836-38 that had originally formed part of the lot was in the event offered separately and sold at £170.
The Rev F.O. Morris’ Natural History of British Birds, a calf-bound, six-vol. fourth edition of of 1895-97, reached £500. Contained in ten leather bound volumes [of 11, or 11 bound as 10?], a 1776 edition of A Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings for High Treason, Crimes and Misdemeanors, edited by Francis Hargrave, brought £100.
When the lawyer, writer and antiquary Hargrave had a mental breakdown in 1813, his wife petitioned parliament to purchase his library of law books and manuscripts and a House of Commons committee voted to buy it for £8000 and deposit it with the British Museum.
A five-vol. set (1897-99) of the novels of Jane Austen that Hugh Thomson illustrated for Macmillan, bound in half calf and marbled boards, made £190.
Mervyn Carey, Tenterden
Buyer’s premium: 7.5 per cent