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There are those who might wonder why it was in the catalogue at all, but three telephone bidders were undeterred by such horrors and one of them paid £720 for this horrid Hobbit.

Other juvenile entries included a Beatrix Potter, a 1922 first of Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes that went to Bromlea Rare Books at £300; Edward Ardizzone’s Tim and Lucy Go to Sea, a 1938 ‘original’ of the first Tim book (later rewritten and and redrawn) which sold for £310 to Sherlock, and Mervyn Peake’s
Ride a Cock-Horse and other Nursery Rhymes of 1940, at £300 to a collector.

An 1895 first of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, in drab buckram blocked in purple (the earliest version of the binding) and with 16pp of advertisements at the end, made £600.

A 1954 first of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, complete with dust jacket, went to Hawthorn at £1350 and John Le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold of 1963, again in a jacket, reached £400 (Pickard).

Sold at £520 to a telephone bidder was a three-piece London lot that had been valued at just £30-40. First editions of two works by George Godwin, London Shadows, a Glance at the ‘Homes’ of the Thousands (1854) and Town Swamps and Social Bridges (1859) were lotted with Places Worth Seeing in London of c.1857 by J.M. Philip.

An architect, specialist writer and editor of The Builder, a founder of the Art Union, part-time dramatist and Bunyan enthusiast, Godwin is probably best known for his youthful collaboration with Britton on The Churches of London, but he also campaigned for improvements on the sanitary conditions of the homes of the urban and rural poor, and the two works listed above were the result of this work. A third work calling attention to sanitary and social shortcomings amongst the poor, Another Blow for Life, appeared in 1864.

An 1826 Turner Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England that was bound in half crimson morocco gilt and bore the bookplate of David Roberts, was sold at £700 to the McGeary Gallery.

One of the day’s older entries was a 1631 first edition (in old and worn reversed calf) of John Weever’s Ancient Funerall Monuments within the United Monarchies of Great Britaine, Ireland and the Islands Adjacent..., which realised £300 (Cobnar).

Keys, Aylsham, January 18
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent