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Dorset shows that it's 'HOT' in international book auction...

13th June 2018

With an international selection on offer, it was pleasing to see that the top price in Lawrences’ auction of books, maps and manuscripts that an item of very local appeal took the top price.

Items relating to Canada, Botany Bay, Italy, Greece, India, Arab literature and the North-West Passage expedition of 1819-1820 were included in the sale. Fifteen autographed letters from `Peter Pan` author J. M. Barrie to his friend John Gordan  from 1894-1925 realised £1700. Gough’s three-volume `History of the People called Quakers` (1789) was offered with ten further volumes and was bid to £1000 whilst John Webster’s `The Displaying of Supposed Witchcraft` sought to debunk the sly methods and subtle hoaxes of witches. Published in 1677, this yielded bids of £820.

Joseph Paxton’s highly decorative `Magazine of Botany` (1834-1849) comprised 723 hand-coloured plates in 16 volumes and bloomed to take £2560. An unusual lot, composed of 58 highly detailed hand-drawn street plans by a firm of Civil Engineers in London, c.1889, gave great detail about leases and ownerships of commercial, residential and business premises in the centre of the city and tripled hopes to take £1120. However, it was left to Rena Gardiner’s `Portrait of Dorset` to take top honours. “It was the first edition, one of only thirty copies, and contained numerous lithographed colour plates on its 180 pages,” explains specialist Robert Ansell. “Rena Gardiner lived and worked in Dorset, recording with care and love the famous sights of the county and depicting them in lithographs that exemplify the best printmaking of the era. Published in Wareham in Dorset in 1960, this charming book caught many bidders’ eyes and was bid to £3170, somewhat above its estimate of £1200-1800.” 

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