The Aardvark Blog
After a couple of quiet days we have had a good group of people through the shop and the H.Art exhibition, and some sales in the latter for local metal sculptor Tim Harral, who is one of the group showing this year.
After such a busy six months, this week has felt very different, as we are without the hoards who have been through the shop over the summer. Final figures for August show that it was our second best August since we started, and way ahead of the last two years. Yesterday I spent at the Brightwells Sales and I was delighted to discover when I got home that at the bottom of a large pile of maps, I had found an early scarce map of Worcester. This map which shows the position of the city at the time of the 1651 battle which was the last substantive action of the English Civil War, was published by Henry Seile in 1662. It was used as the basis for the map in Nash's great two volume work on Worcestershire published over a century later. The map will need a bit of professional TLC, but will take its place in our next year's map exhibition next May.
Also at the sale was a fantastic two volume set of Richard Joseph Sullivan's 'Tour Through Parts of England, Scotland and Wales', published in 1785. Always an interesting book, this particular copy was bound in an extraordinary binding by Kalthoeber, the finest British bookbinder of the 18th century. This copy was once owned by William Beckford, perhaps the leading English aesthete of all time and builder of Fonthill Abbey, and bears his signature. It also has the bookplate of the Earl of Northesk, and my hope is that this was the Earl who was Nelson's third in command at Trafalgar ( the dates would be right ). All in all this is probably the best book I have ever bought for Aardvark, and I was somewhat surprised that I was able to buy it ( it was perhaps the most hotly contested book auction I have attended for some years ).
The book needs no improving, and therefore as soon as I have finished my researches it will be available in the shop or website for sale. What a treat for all lovers of beautiful books!
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