A 1584 first edition of Reginald Scot’s 'The Discoverie of Witchcraft….', sold for $55,000 (£46,450) at Bonhams Skinner.

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This famous work aimed to debunk and expose widely held beliefs about …the lewde dealings of witches and witchmongers…, as the lengthy full title reveals, and to expose widely held beliefs regarding so-called magic and other superstitions, as well as exposing some illusionist tricks.

A work that is also regarded as a key source for references to magic in Macbeth and other works of Shakespeare, this copy more than doubled the high estimate in selling at $55,000 (£46,450), but it was only last October, at Sotheby’s New York, that another was sold at $80,000 – then around £58,000.

That one, part of the collection of the famous stage magician, actor and writer Ricky Jay, was a washed and pressed example in a much later Rivière binding.

The Bonhams Skinner sale took place on August 24.