A page from William Upton’s poem The School Boy, sold for £480.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

One of the first to be offered, The Rational Alphabet or Rudiments of Reading, a John Harris publication of c.1820 that was still in the original wrappers and featured 24 hand-coloured engraved illustrations, was bid to £420.

A Darton publication of 1820, a good copy in original wrappers of The School Boy, a poem by William Upton, made £480.

PBA Galleries in California sold a couple of copies in 2015 for $550 and $500, but the only example to have bettered the Cornish copy in price was one that Phillips sold in London for £580 – 30 years ago.

Mamma’s tales, or, Pleasing Stories of Childhood…, dated to c.1820 and illustrated with 13 hand coloured engraved plates, made £380.

L’éducation de la Poupée, a tiny cased work of c.1830s, illustrated with eight colour plates and bound in “wood effect impressed boards”, made £480 and a French phrasebook of similar age reached £400. The latter comprised 40 engraved and coloured illustrations on 20 leaves that are presented in concertina form.

A group of over 40 lots in the Sanger property featured works illustrated by Edward Ardizzone. The most expensive was a 1939 first of Maurice Gorham’s The Local which sold for £350. Only one copy has made more at auction and that was back in 1999, when the ‘Bologna’ copy – sporting its original ‘transmatic dust jacket’ – made £700 at CSK.

Signed firsts of Eleanor Farjeon’s The Little Bookroom of 1955 and Old Perisher by Diana Ross, 1965, made £120 and £250 respectively. Both were in unclipped dust jackets.

Cornish records

Works of specific Cornish interest in this sale included Thomas Pearce’s Laws and Customs of the Stannaries in …Cornwall & Devon of 1725, at £480 and GB Worgan’s illustrated General View of the Agriculture… of Cornwall of 1810, uncut in original boards, at £420.

Both would appear to have set auction records, as would ‘the Hawkins Tremayne copy’ in modern boards of William Pryce’s Archaeologia Cornu-Britannia, or, an Essay to Preserve the Ancient Cornish Language, at £350.