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It took this novice bibliophile a great deal longer than he had imagined to find the first part, but it was in the end a later and more sought-after edition of the Cervantes work that headed an April 27 sale of the Dingwall library held by Dreweatts & Bloomsbury (24/18/12% buyer’s premium) from the new saleroom in Pall Mall, St James’s *.

Sold for £8000, somewhat less than had been hoped, this was an example of the ‘Spanish Royal Academy’ edition of 1780, a much-admired, four-volume illustrated edition that boasted a contemporary panelled calf binding thought to be by, or from the workshop of, Madrid binder Antonio de Sancha.

In a modern binding, a copy of the 1687, first illustrated edition of John Phillips’ English translation of Cervantes’ masterpiece sold well at £3100.

One of 25 specially bound copies of the 1932, Gregynog Press edition of Aesop’s Fables illustrated by Agnes Miller Parker sold fairly modestly at £2600, but bid to £4000 – an auction record by some margin – was an 1870 first of William Allingham’s In Fairy-Land. The latter is illustrated with 16 plates after illustrations by Richard Doyle, all printed in colour by Edmund Evans.

This copy showed occasional light foxing and had seen some loss to the spine ends and corners of the green cloth binding, but was generally a very good example.

* The auction marked both the inauguration of a new London saleroom in Pall Mall and also the final books sale held under the Dreweatts & Bloomsbury banner prior to their recent parting of ways.