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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 20:53 GMT
Rare book collection raises 1m
A book of hours auctioned by Duke of Dorchester Auctioneers
One of two Book of Hours, which were among the rare works on sale
International bidders battled it out to own rare works by Isaac Newton, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens during an auction that raised almost 1m.

Dorset's Duke's of Dorchester Auctioneers said the book sale had "smashed previous world records".

A first edition of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was sold to a private Dorset collector for 22,000.

A copy of William Morris's edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales was sold for 90,000 including the buyer's premium.

Printed in 1897, in its original pigskin binding, the book was snapped up by an anonymous telephone bidder for 74,000 - almost double the top estimate of 40,000.

For an auction to include the three landmarks of science is incredible
Auctioneer Guy Schwinge

Only 48 copies were made of the book, which was reportedly kept in a wardrobe wrapped in a cloth for decades.

Auctioneer Guy Schwinge, of Duke's, said: "The sale of 228 lots raised almost 1m.

"It's a blockbuster sale and quite a few world record prices have been broken."

Other books sold included the three landmarks of science - a first edition of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica, dated 1687, a copy of Charles Darwin's On The Origin Of Species, printed in 1859, and a first edition of Erhard Ratdolt's The Euclid, dated 1482.

"For an auction to include the three landmarks of science is incredible," Mr Schwinge said.

"The Euclid is the first book printed on geometry, Principia dealt with gravity, while Darwin's On The Origin Of Species is still a controversial book today."

Lawrence of Arabia

A New York buyer reportedly flew in for the sale and took home Newton's Principia Mathematica for 75,000 - about 90,000 including buyer's premium.

Meanwhile, On The Origin Of Species was sold to a UK bidder for 42,000, about 50,000 with the buyer's premium added.

The Euclid, which was bought for 60 in the 1920s, was sold for 62,000, about 74,000 when the buyer's premium is included.

Finally, a letter written by Lawrence of Arabia to his friend Henry Williamson was bought for 4,400 - about 5,000 with the premium.

Rare book auction sets records

Rare book collection at auction
08 Mar 07 |  Dorset

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