A page from Mary Leadbeater’s two-volume collection of medical and other cures and recipes – €10,000 (£9100) at Fonsie Mealy.

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She was a well-educated member of a leading Irish Quaker family from Ballitore, Co Kildare. Her grandfather, Abraham Shackleton, had been Edmund Burke’s schoolmaster and when she and her father, Richard, visited this lifelong friend in London she also became acquainted with Sir Joshua Reynolds and George Crabbe.

Leadbeater later earned a reputation as a writer, her works including an 1808 volume of poems, Cottage Dialogues among the Irish Peasantry (1811), and the posthumously published Annals of Ballitore.

The two volumes sold in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, contain some 1300 receipts that also mark out Leadbeater as an accomplished herbalist.

Ointment of Marshmallows, Snail Syrup, an Elder-Tea for St Anthony’s Fire, cures for colds, for cancers, for eye pearls and burns are presented along with a forerunner to the aspirin, an exotic (and apparently infallible) receipt for Megrim in the Head. “Take Peacock’s Dung powdered: take as much as will lie on a sixpence in a spoonful of white-wine for three mornings together”.

Also included are several remedies for diseases of sheep and cattle and some 25 cures for a variety of injuries and illnesses in horses.

Aristotle on top

Top lot in the Castlecomer sale on July 15, at a record €20,000 (£18,200) – and as noted in the Bid Barometer section of ATG No 2452 – was a 1497 Venetian first of Questiones… on the metaphysical works of Aristotle by the great scholar, philosopher and theologian Duns Scotus, or John Duns (c.1266-1308).