The 1805 printing of Joseph Priestley’s A New Chart of History, £2200 at Forum.

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Created in 1769 as a supplement to the prose in his Lectures on History and General Policy, he believed these charts would allow students to “trace out distinctly the dependence of events to distribute them into such periods and divisions as shall lay the whole claim of past transactions in a just and orderly manner”.

By dividing the world’s history into geographical categories, Priestley aimed to show the passage of empires and the passing of power along a series of horizontal lines.

The chart was popular for decades and went through 15 editions by 1816.

As a general rule, collectors would wish to own the 1769 edition but the copy offered at Forum (26/25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium) in London on April 18 was from 1805 and ‘reprinted with large additions bringing the chart to the close of the 18th century’. Most notably, in the column titled America is the addition of the new era of the United States.

Forum pointed out that this version, dissected and mounted on linen with some wormholes, is particularly scarce at auction and bidders responded. Estimated at £150-200, it took £2200.