The 1687 edition of the works of Confucius sold by Catherine Southon for £5500.

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Printed in Paris in 1687, it was a translation undertaken by Jesuits, under a special licence granted by Louis XIV, and in addition to his principal works included a biography and essays on Chinese history and culture.

Only one copy has made more, but quite recently. On July 14 last year, a copy in contemporary vellum that was formerly in the Jesuit College at Poitiers took a much higher than estimated £12,000 at Christie’s.


One of the 50 hand-coloured litho plates of Thomas C Jerdon’s Illustrations of Indian Ornithology. Printed at the American Mission Press in Madras in 1847, it focused on what were described as new, unfigured and interesting species, mostly from southern India – in this instance the Ceyx tridactyla, or Red-headed Kingfisher. It took £2000 online at Catherine Southon's auction.