Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Written in French, four of the the letters were addressed to Louis XV and the remainder to his minister of war, the Comte d’Argenson, but all concerned Charles’ attempts to obtain funds for a new and better equipped expedition, either from Louis, who was rather more concerned with his own war against Britain and Holland than with Charles’ attempt to regain his throne, or from Ferdinand VI of Spain.

In October 1748, however, Louis signed the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, recognising the Hanoverian succession, and Charles was forcibly escorted from Paris to begin 40 years of exile in Rome. Sold by a descendant of the Comte d’Argenson, the letters were offered in five lots and went to three different buyers for a total of £15,200.

Napoleonic material included a document, signed ‘N’, from his period in exile on St. Helena.

An instruction to an ADC to disperse sums of money to his household at Longwood, it sold at £4400 to a buyer who also gave £4000 for a second St. Helena document, a manuscript expenses sheet for the years 1818-19 detailing payments to various members of his household.

Verbum Sapienti; or an account of the wealth and expense of England, and the method of raising taxes in the most equal manner was written by the political economist Sir William Petty in or around 1665 and circulated in manuscript form for over 25 years before being published in 1691 as part of his Political Anatomy of Ireland. A short work, it contained the first estimate of national incomes and the first discussion of the “velocity” of money, and this 22pp manuscript version of c.1680 was sold at £1100 to Quaritch.

In a handsome vellum binding with gilt central medallion and cornerpieces and four gilt tooled acorns to each cover, a late 16th century (1590?) manuscript of the Iatromathematica by the translator, physician and astrologer John Harvey (1563?-92) was sold at £4600 (Symonds).

A pseudo-scientific treatise – attributed to the equally pseudo- Hermes Trismegistus – that deals with the relationship between astrological calculations and the onset of illness, the work was first published in 1583 in Harvey’s Astrologicall Addition and Supplement to the late Discourse upon the Great Conjunction of Saturne and Jupiter.

The lot was part of a further selection of papers of the Harvey family, whose most distinguished son was William, the physician who discovered the circulatory system of blood. Bloomsbury sold his papers last November.

Other Harvey lots included a collection of over 60 medieval and later documents relating to Harvey family properties in Essex, which made £5800 (Paper Heritage); a detailed appraisal of the City of London and Surrey homes of Michael Harvey, a wealthy merchant, dated 1643, that went to Quaritch at £1600, and a manuscript legal treatise on the duties of a sheriff prepared – in hope of preferment – by a clerk, one William Smith, on the occasion of the appointment of Sir Eliab Harvey as Sheriff of Essex, which sold at £900 to Quaritch.

Somewhat creased, browned and frayed, a four-page musical manuscript of The Absent-Minded Beggar, a song scored for solo voice and piano by Sir Arthur Sullivan – to words by Rudyard Kipling – was sold at £8000 to Harvard University.

A card bearing the signatures of all four Beatles and inscribed “obtained at Abbey Road Studios TV show ‘Our World’, June 1967” made £1100 (Rivlin).