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The 1593 first edition of Thomas Fale’s 'Horolographia. The Art of Dialling' that sold for £5000 at Bonhams.

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An early work on the making and use of dials, it was aimed not just at clockmakers, but also at students of mathematics, architects, surveyors and sailors.

In period vellum, it incorporates, as well as the title-page diagram, 53 other woodcuts by a man usually associated with maps, Jodocus Hondius. Two autograph inscriptions by a Raphe Lyall record his purchase of this copy in 1602.

Until last year, only one other first featured in auction records of past decades – an incomplete copy sold for £220 at Christie’s South Kensington – but at Sotheby’s New York last October, the Fox Pointe Manor Library copy, in Dutch floral boards, made $13,000 (then £10,665).