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One of the highlights of the military library formed by the 3rd Lord Cottesloe (1852-1936), a splendid collection of some 475 lots being sold by Sotheby’s on November 19, is an exceptional example of a great military work of the Stuart period.

The auction house last sold Henry Hexham’s The Principles of the Art Militarie of 1637 for £110, but that was in 1919 and a hundred years on it is looking for £20,000-30,000.

In a contemporary black morocco gilt binding bearing the arms of the Prince of Wales, this was the copy that Hexham inscribed and presented to the future King Charles II.

The many engraved illustrations are all fully coloured, as in that presenting instructions in the use of the musket shown above.


Leaving the Trenches, a rediscovered First World War pastel, watercolour and ink sketch by Paul Nash (1889-1946), is estimated at £50,000-70,000 at Bonhams’ Modern British and Irish Art sale in London on November 20.

It is one of a batch of drawings depicting life at the Western Front which Nash – invalided out after just two months at the Ypres Salient – exhibited at The Goupil Gallery in London in May 1917. Their freshness and sense of realism made an immediate impact on a public starved of images of the conflict and prompted the Ministry of Information to appoint Nash as an official war artist.

The 8 x 10in (20 x 25cm) drawing was formerly in the collection of Alan Proctor (1920-2009), an engineer at Jaguar who formed a diverse art collection in the 1960s, and has been consigned from his family.