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  • Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584) will star at Swann Galleries
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • (1584)DiscoverieofWitchcraft

Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584) will star at Swann Galleries

A rare first edition of Reginald Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584) is expected to make around $10,000-15,000 in a sale at Swann Auction Galleries.

Scot wrote the book as an expose of the common techniques used by conjurers to control and scam people. It's considered the first conjuring book.

Discoverie Witchcraft Scot
Most copies of the Discoverie of Witchcraft were burned in 1601

He was ahead of his time in his belief that vulnerable people were being unduly persecuted due to the popular belief in witchcraft.

However, he was widely condemned and the vast majority of his books were burned when James I, a firm believer in witches, came to the throne in 1603.

The record for a copy of the work is $45,600, set at magic specialists Potter & Potter last year. The present lot is unlikely to match it due to significant soiling and the presence of notes and inkblots.

The first English translation of Plato's Republic is also on offer with a valuation of $6,000-9,000.

Translator Henry Spens' work was overshadowed by Thomas Taylor's definitive version published in 1804, but is highly sought after today.

Another copy of the book made $10,625 at Bonhams New York last year.

The auction will be held in New York on April 12.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • (1584)DiscoverieofWitchcraft