In a handsome looking, rebacked binding a set of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire made £2900 in Carlisle.

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Bid to £3200 in a Thomson Roddick (17.5% buyer’s premium) auction of January 22, the morocco-bound manuscript is one whose earlier entries date to c.1760-65 and which includes at the end a 13pp catalogue of fruit trees, plants, and seeds planted or sown in 1761.

It seems also to have been occasionally updated to the end of the following century and even has one final entry dated 1913.

Administered by Barnsley Council, Cannon Hall is today a country house museum, set in 70 acres of parkland and landscaped gardens, that with help from the National Lottery Fund has undergone extensive and continuing restoration as part of a ‘Parks for the People’ project.

Famed academy

A volume of sermons with a Barnsley imprint and a defective copy of a history of the town were part of the following lot, sold at £750 against a £50-80 estimate, but the main attraction comprised two works by Joseph Randall.

Both published in 1750 and bound together they were A Course of Lectures… to the Youth of of the Academy at Heath, near Wakefield and An Account of the Academy at Heath…

Randall was a noted agriculturalist but his academy, though highly famed, was considered by one commentator as being “on a too liberal and too expensive scale for the time” and failed in 1754.

Other highlights included, at £2900, a handsome six-volume set in rebacked mottled calf of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – the first volume a second-edition copy of 1776 but the remaining five volumes all first-edition examples of 1781-88.

The first edition run of the 1000 copies of the first volume had been sold out within two weeks earlier that same year.

Bid to £650 was a lot that brought together a 1920 postcard and a dedication leaf in the hand of in the hand of H Rider Haggard, along with three annotated and corrected typescript sheets titled ‘Heu-Heu or the Monster, the storm’.

The reference is to one of his many novels featuring Allan Quartermain that were sequels to King Solomon’s Mine – in this instance a tale set in Rhodesia that was first published in 1924.