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This ink and watercolour illustration by Arthur Rackham, from a 1911 Heinemann edition of 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream', sold for $45,000 (£35,715) at Sotheby’s New York.

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‘Hey! Up the Chimney, lass! Hey after you!’, the frontispiece to a 1907 Dent edition of The Ingoldsby Legends that depicts witches, black cats and Rob Gilpin spirallng into the air, sold just under the low estimate at £28,000 – only a shade more than it made when last sold in their rooms in 2003.

Rather more successful in the the witchy line was ‘The Witch Climbed Up’ from the story of Rapunzel in The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Signed and dated ‘00 + 09’, this was a re-working of an illustration originally created in 1900 that more than doubled the high estimate to reach £16,000.

Offered at Christie’s New York on December 4 was the first part of a Rackham collection formed by Nita and Frank Manitzas. Sixteen of the 26 lots, all bar two of which were original artworks, found buyers, but the most highly valued examples failed to sell and prices of those that did generally managed only low-estimate sums.

And then, in another online sale, one that ended on December 17, at Sotheby’s New York a bid of $45,000 (£35,715), more than double the high estimate, emerged for ‘The Moon Like to a Silver Bow New-Bent in Heaven’.

The ink and watercolour illustration shown above, it comes from a 1911 Heinemann edition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.