Autographs, manuscripts and printed ephemera have long been a great strength of sales at Strides of Chichester, but the December 3 sale was rather special, being devoted entirely to that field and, though not billed as such, the first part of the personal collection of Derek White, who for many years has catalogued for the Sussex saleroom.
Top lot in the first sale (the second, to include his newspapers, is scheduled for next summer) contained three leaves from Miles Coverdale's Goostly Psalmes of c.1535 - two illustrated top right. The earliest printed hymn book with music, both text and tunes being translated from the German, it was ordered to be burnt in 1546. Until 1981, only a complete copy at Queen's College, Oxford, and two odd leaves in the Bodleian were known. It was at a 1981 Bodleian exhibition of English Hymns & Hymnbooks that Derek White saw those leaves and, thinking them familiar, looked into a volume of printed fragments of his own and pulled out three more. Lotted with a copy of that 1981 Bodleian catalogue and an offprint of Robin Leaver's 1982 account of their discovery from Jahrbuch für Liturgik und Hymnolgie, they sold for £2400.
Lotted with a 1908 first of My African Journey, a letter of condolence written by Churchill at the time of his death in WWI and other ephemera, a photograph album kept by Lieut. C. Fishbourne during that African journey, sold at £2200; the printed rules of a Cheshire grammar school (1786) made £420 and, among individual letters, one in which Florence Nightingale comments on Landseer's Highland Nurses and compares them to her Crimean companions, sold at £500.