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Rare books sell for thousands as auction attracts global interest

PUBLISHED: 17:42 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:09 23 September 2020

'The Ornithology of Francis Willoughby’, the first bird book printed in English, sold for £1,300 at an auction led by Durrants and Swaffham-based auctionerr, Fabian Eagle. Picture: Durrants

'The Ornithology of Francis Willoughby’, the first bird book printed in English, sold for £1,300 at an auction led by Durrants and Swaffham-based auctionerr, Fabian Eagle. Picture: Durrants

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An auction comprising rare books attracted bids from as far as Australia and Hong Kong - with one item selling for more than £8,000.

A single volume of ‘Plates to Selby’s Illustrations of British Ornithology’ was purchased for £8,600 at an auction hosted by Durrants and Swaffham-based auctioneer Fabian Eagle. Picture: DurrantsA single volume of ‘Plates to Selby’s Illustrations of British Ornithology’ was purchased for £8,600 at an auction hosted by Durrants and Swaffham-based auctioneer Fabian Eagle. Picture: Durrants

The sale, hosted by Beccles-based Durrants and led by Swaffham auctioneer, Fabian Eagle, saw the libraries of esteemed breeder Christopher Marler and Peter Player, a waterfowl enthusiast, auctioned off to the public.

Friday’s (September 18) biggest bid saw a single volume of ‘Plates to Selby’s Illustrations of British Ornithology’, purchased for £8,600.

A single volume of ‘Plates to Selby’s Illustrations of British Ornithology’ was purchased for £8,600 at an auction hosted by Durrants and Swaffham-based auctioneer Fabian Eagle. Picture: DurrantsA single volume of ‘Plates to Selby’s Illustrations of British Ornithology’ was purchased for £8,600 at an auction hosted by Durrants and Swaffham-based auctioneer Fabian Eagle. Picture: Durrants

Another noteworthy item up for sale was ‘The Ornithology of Francis Willoughby’, published in 1678 and famed for being the very first bird book printed in English.

It was the fourth-biggest sale of the day, going under the hammer for £1,300.

'The Ornithology of Francis Willoughby’, the first bird book printed in English, sold for £1,300 at an auction led by Durrants and Swaffham-based auctionerr, Fabian Eagle. Picture: Durrants
'The Ornithology of Francis Willoughby’, the first bird book printed in English, sold for £1,300 at an auction led by Durrants and Swaffham-based auctionerr, Fabian Eagle. Picture: Durrants

Meanwhile, a rare book on shorthorn cattle containing an image of King Edward VII’s champion steer - bred on the Sandringham Estate - fetched £220.

The book, entitled ‘Notable Modern Shorthorns’, was bought by cattleman Nick Barrett, whose own cattle occasionally graze at Sandringham.

'Notable Modern Shorthorns’, containing an image of King Edward VII's champion steer bred at Sandringham Estate, sold for £220 at an auction  led by Durrants and Swaffham-based auctionerr, Fabian Eagle. Picture: Durrants'Notable Modern Shorthorns’, containing an image of King Edward VII's champion steer bred at Sandringham Estate, sold for £220 at an auction led by Durrants and Swaffham-based auctionerr, Fabian Eagle. Picture: Durrants

'Notable Modern Shorthorns’, containing an image of King Edward VII's champion steer bred at Sandringham Estate, sold for £220 at an auction  led by Durrants and Swaffham-based auctionerr, Fabian Eagle. Picture: Durrants'Notable Modern Shorthorns’, containing an image of King Edward VII's champion steer bred at Sandringham Estate, sold for £220 at an auction led by Durrants and Swaffham-based auctionerr, Fabian Eagle. Picture: Durrants


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