A spread from William Lambarde’s Archaimonia, sive de Priscis Anglorum Legibis… of 1568 – £6000 at Mallams.

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It seems only appropriate then to feature a copy of William Lambarde’s Archaimonia…, a 1568 collection of Anglo-Saxon laws sold in this auction for a record £6000.

In a later binding of marbled boards, titled ‘Anglo Saxon Laws’ to the calf spine, it was complete with a folding map of the ‘Seven Kingdoms of Anglo Saxon Britain’ that is attributed to Lawrence Nowell and contained a number of corrections that are thought to be in Lambarde’s hand.

Stanley’s group made up the largest section of the more than 400 lots offered on the second day of the Mallams sale, held in Oxford.

Venerable Bede

The most expensive work in the collections – sold for £22,000 rather than the suggested £200-400 – was a 1566 Latin text, Louvain edition of the Venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of England (see News Digest, ATG No 2412).

In re-backed contemporary boards, it bore an early inscription identifying it as a copy that had belonged to Sir Robert Cotton (1571-1633).

He was the great manuscript and book collector whose extraordinarily rich and extensive library of rare manuscripts and books was later gifted to the nation by his family and became the core of what we now know as the British Library.

The sale took place on September 25-26 and the buyer’s premium was 22.5%.