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1566 reprint of the Antwerp edition of Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica – £22,000 at Mallams.

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The copy that sold for a multi-estimate sum at Mallams of Oxford on September 25 was a 1566 reprint of the Antwerp edition by Hieronymus Wellaeus of Louvain. It came in re-backed contemporary boards.

Key to its appeal was a series of early pen inscriptions including one to the title page reading Liber Gra Tate ex Rob. Coton de Connington – a reference to both Francis Tate (1560-1616) and his contemporary and fellow antiquarian Sir Robert Cotton (1571- 1631), owner of the richest private library ever created.

It was this illustrious provenance that helped the volume improve on hopes of £200-400 to bring £22,000 (plus 22.5% buyer’s premium).