The top price on the day was £4,400 for an early 19th century scrap album of press cuttings, manuscript material and memorabilia, originally from Rushbrooke Hall in Suffolk, which smashed its pre-sale estimate of £300 - £500 and was sold to a bidder in the room. Similarly, a copy of ‘Cavalarice’ or ‘The English Horseman’ by Edward Allde dating back to 1616 – 1617 was sold for £4,200, against a presale estimate of £500 - £800, whilst a Collection of Voyages by William Dampier, dating from 1729 sold for £3,800, both to specialist collectors.

Amongst the drawings, and of local Cambridge interest, was an original work by famous cartoonist, Ronald Searle, creator of the St Trinian’s series. This pen and ink drawing dates from 1952 and sold for £3,000 following competitive bidding to a private collector. In addition, a rare large map of Cambridge by famous cartographer Richard Grey Baker, dating from 1830. Titled ‘New Map of the University and Town of Cambridge,’ sold for £2,400, again, to a specialist collector of maps.

For first edition books, a number of children’s titles were in demand with a copy of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S Lewis selling for £1,900. A rare first edition of The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter in great condition at £600 and a copy of Prince Caspian sold for £460.  These all proved very popular and show the current interest in collecting classic British children’s fiction.

Charles Ashton, Director, Cheffins, comments: “A number of lots on offer at the library sale sold for well above their pre-sale estimates as the collector’s market for books, prints and rare maps continues to hold firm. Buyers continue to be dominated by specialist dealers, collectors and private institutions and we saw competitive bidding for some of the rarer items on offer with a focus on first editions and older titles. The scrap album from Rushbrooke Hall in Suffolk was certainly a surprisingly popular lot, selling for well above its estimate as it saw interested parties both online and in the room. With the second lockdown looming, we hope that all of the buyers at the auction will enjoy their new purchases over the winter months and we look forward to welcoming everyone to the first library sale of 2021 in the Spring”.


Auction: The Library Sale – 29th October 2020, at 10am    
 Cheffins, Clifton House, 1 & 2 Clifton Road, Cambridge, UK, CB1 7EA

For further information contact the Fine Art Department on 01223 213343,