March 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

"Pilgrimes" Purchased for $85,000

At $85,267 (£57,000), this finely bound set of Samuel Purchas's Pilgrimes (1625-26) was the top lot at the third sale of the Brooke-Hitching library at Sotheby's London last week. Over forty years this collector had amassed a stunning collection of rare books related to voyages, exploration, and discovery between 1576-1939. As our correspondent Ian McKay reported in FB&C's winter issue, "Records have become almost commonplace where the two sales so far conducted to disperse the magnificent Franklin Brooke-Hitching library ... are concerned." McKay went on to highlight two examples of the "superlative condition" and rarity "that the collector always strove for."

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On March 19, there were three more record-breakers, according to Sotheby's: $66,731 (£45,000) for the Huth-Penrose copy of Mortimer's Observations and Remarks made during a Voyage... in the Brig Mercury (1791); $51,902 (£35,000) for Middleston's The Last East-Indian Voyage (1606); and $48,194 (£32,500) for a first edition of Lind's landmark, A Treatise of the Scurvy (1753).

The sale achieved a total of $1.8 million (£1.2) well above its pre-sale high estimate. The final sale (Q-Z) will be held in London on September 30.

Image: Courtesy of Sotheby's.