The ‘Falco Candicans’ or Greenland Gyrfalcon plate from the set of Gould’s Birds of Great Britain sold by Graham Arader for a record $150,000 (£107,145).

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A surprise result in the latter category in a March 31 sale held by Graham Arader (22% buyer’s premium) was an 1862-73 set of Gould’s Birds of Great Britain, which improved markedly on the high estimate to sell at a record $150,000 (£107,145).

In a contemporary binding of green morocco gilt by Bickers, it bore the 19thcentury engraved bookplates of the Barons Egerton of Tatton in Cheshire.

Last seen at auction in 2000 when, as part of the Americana library of Laird U Park Jr it sold for $190,000, a copy of the 1754, second and revised edition of Mark Catesby’s Natural History of Carolina and the Bahama Islands…. was another record-breaker.

At $300,000 (£214,185) it was only a shade more expensive than a copy sold six years ago by Sotheby’s in Paris, however. The work is illustrated with 220 hand-coloured plates.

Ptolemy from 1513

One of the earlier lots in the sale was a 1513, Strassburg edition of Ptolemy’s Geographie… also sold at $300,000.

Containing 47 mostly double-page woodcut maps prepared by Martin Waldseemüller and printed by Johan Schott, this important edition contained 20 new regional maps, among them the first map in an atlas entirely devoted to America.

This copy was once part of the collections of Pierre S Dupont, at whose 1997 sale at Christie’s New York it had been bought by Arader for $70,000, but the selling price on this occasion set an auction record.

The previous best was £190,000 for the ex-Streeter copy, which in 2006 formed part of the incomparable Wardington collection of atlases and geographies at Sotheby’s.