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Additionally inscribed “first rough sketch”, this original watercolour is found in Joseph Crawhall’s own marked up printer’s proof copy of Border Notes and Mixty-Maxty of 1880. One of just 50 copies of an already scarce work, it sold at £1000 (Barrie Marks) as part of The Joseph Crawhall Collection of Jeffrey Norton, offered by Bloomsbury Book Auctions on March 7 as part of a series of sales that they and Pacific Book Auctions of San Francisco are holding to dispose of Norton’s enormous angling library.

Bidders were not always as wholeheartedly enamoured of Crawhall’s work as Mr Norton, or at least not prepared to match BBA’s valuations, but 62 of the 71 lots sold for a total of just over £20,000.

Many lots were inscribed family presentation copies and the top lot, at £5000 to Thorne, was an 1859 first of Crawhall’s eccentric and profusely illustrated first book, The Compleatest Angling Boke that was Ever Writ, inscribed to his daughter Elspeth. One of just 40 copies, this one contained Crawhall’s notes on the family
members and relatives responsible for the illustrations and a tipped watercolour of a brown trout.

Seen right is a coloured woodcut from a copy of his Chap-Book Chaplets of 1883, inscribed to Elspeth, that also contained two Christmas cards by Crawhall. It sold at £600 to Maggs. Buyer’s premium: 17.5/10 per cent