Page last updated at 10:00 GMT, Friday, 16 April 2010 11:00 UK

Book donated to Devon Oxfam fetches 37,000

Book photo
The book has 44 portraits of Fijians

A book given to a Devon branch of Oxfam has netted the charity's largest windfall at an auction.

The rare photo book, one of several given to the shop in Teignmouth by an anonymous donor, fetched £37,200.

The 1882 book tells of Royal Society of London scientist Gerard Ansdell and his brother's search for a long-lost brother in Fiji.

He was eventually tracked down in the island of Viti Levu and the brothers documented their trip in the book.

This incredible book will make a significant contribution to changing lives around the world
Suzy Alder, Oxfam

A Trip To The Highlands of Viti Levu includes 44 portraits of Fijians.

Only a few copies of the self-published book were made and only one has ever appeared at auction before, selling for 190 Australian dollars (£114) in 1977.

The charity said the sum would be enough to feed 5,300 families, buy 1,500 goats, or provide safe water for 41,000 people.

Suzy Alder, books project manager at Oxfam, said it was the largest amount of money the charity had raised at an auction.

"Book sales have been helping us in our fight against poverty for more than 50 years," she said.

"We've sold everything from the first ever Sherlock Holmes story to the latest Harry Potter novel, and this incredible book will make a significant contribution to changing lives around the world."



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