A unique example of The Book of Hawking, Hunting and Fishing has sold as top lot in the auction of the Le Vivier Library of Sporting Books.
The sale, which was held yesterday (October 30) at Bonhams' London showroom, saw the 1518 edition of the work sell with a 61% increase on its £80,000-120,000 estimate at £183,250 ($309,973).
The Book of Hunting, Hawking and Fishing (The boke of hawkyinge and huntynge and fyssynge) - otherwise known as the Book of Saint Albans - was first printed in 1486, originally including a treatise on heraldry. The edition at auction contains a unique second edition copy of the Treatise of Fishing, the first known book on the sport written by a woman.
The book was written by Dame Juliana Berners, a prioress in St Albans, UK and also contains the earliest illustration of an angler ever printed in England in the form of a charming woodcut. Berners' Treatise of Fishing was widely distributed by the Wynkyn de Worde publishers and was highly influential on later works on the subject.
Also featuring was a first edition copy of Christopher Clifford's The schoole of horsmanship, which sold for £22,500 ($36,090), achieving a 60.7% increase on its £14,000 high estimate. The book, which was first published in 1585, is one of just two copies known. It advises on all forms of horse training, including jousting, training for war and how to teach your horse "to daunce on a carpet".
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