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There was a bid of £620 on a volume containing three books, all published in Kelso in the 1880s, that dealt with gypsies. Bound together in green cloth, these were William Brockie’s The Gypsies of Yetholm of 1884, Joseph Lucas’ The Yetholm History of the Gypsies, an 1882 title that includes a frontispiece portrait of Queen Esther Faa-Blythe, and Charles Stuart’s David Blythe, the Gypsy King, an 1883 work with a photograph of the subject as a frontispiece. The Faas and Blythes were the most important families in British gypsy culture for centuries and Yetholm, near Kelso, was the headquarters of the Scottish Faas.

Also bound as one volume in worn quarter calf were a 1785 edition of Defoe’s poem The True Born Englishman, a 1780 edition of Mrs Aphra Benn’s The History of Agnes de Castro, a 1740 Life of Admiral Blake, and The Prophetess, described as a dramatic opera, of 1759. The volume sold at £200 to a dealer, who had his eye on the third of those titles – one of the earlier published works of Dr Johnson, and a very rare work indeed.

A manuscript account of the Hejaz Expedition of 1916-17, accompanied by a few loose photographs, was sold at £540.

Thomson Roddick & Medcalf
Carlisle, November 6
Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent