A plate from James Stewart’s 'Plocacosmos: or, the Whole Art of Hair Dressing' – £1100 at Forum Auctions.

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It showed some light foxing or browning, but was uncut in the rubbed, stained and rebacked original boards and sold at £1100.

The extended title notes that the work provides “ample rules for the young artizan, more particularly for ladies women, valets, &c. &c. as well as directions for persons to dress their own hair”.

Covering all aspects of hairdressing, including hair care and the effects of diet and lifestyle on one’s hair, the tools used, false hair pieces and cosmetics, it includes in its illustrations some of the extravagant styles favoured at the time, as seen in the plate above.

Only one copy has made more at auction: a rebound copy incorporating an extra coloured suite of the plates that at Swann in 2003 made $2800 (then £1785).

The sale at Forum took place on March 28 and the buyer’s premium was 25/20/12%.