It was Forum Auctions (25/20/12 buyer’s premium) that succeeded with an 1808 first in contemporary half calf of The Dun Cow; an Hyper Satirical Dialogue in Verse (shown above).
It was written in response to attacks on Landor’s friend Dr Samuel Parr in an anonymously published ‘epic poem’ of the same year, Guy’s Porridge Pot; with the Dun Cow Roasted Whole – a work believed to have been the work of Walter’s brother, Robert Eyres Landor.
Inscribed to the title-page by John Bartlam, Parr’s pupil and later his companion and amanuensis, this copy of The Dun Cow… also bore a Warwick Castle bookplate – the title of REL’s work being a reference to a real pot located there.
Several other Landor lots offered at Sotheby’s last summer failed to sell, among them an inscribed copy of Guy’s Porridge Pot… that enjoyed no more success in the recent Forum auction.
Bid to £4000 in that earlier Sotheby’s sale, however, was an 1800, presentation first of Walter Savage Landor’s Poems from the Arabic and Persian.
A first issue in original, unstitched wrappers and seemingly inscribed to the writer’s sister, this work was in fact a hoax. The poems were Landor’s own creations, made in imitation of Sir William Jones and John Nott’s Select Odes from the Persian Poet Hafiz.