One exceptional and very successful lot in a recent Yorkshire sale focused on penal reforms on the far side of the world.
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Ian McKay
Sold for £4800 – some 20 times the estimate – at Tennants (20% buyer’s premium) on September 11 was a volume featuring the writings of Captain Alexander Maconochie, an ex-Royal Navy officer who came to be known as the ‘Father of Parole’.
The key works, published in Hobart, Tasmania (then Van Diemen’s Land), in 1838-39, were Thoughts on Convict Management and General Views regarding the Social System of Convict Management.
These damning accounts were critical of discipline and a regime that focused exclusively on punishment of the convicts and returned them to society resentful and without a spark of enterprise.
At the time, Maconochie’s views were deemed too progressive and not adopted but, said the cataloguer, when rediscovered in in the mid-20th century became the basis for the modern penal system.
Maps and plans also featured among the more successful lots.
A coloured copy of Braun & Hogenberg’s pioneering 16th century plan of London made £3800; a coloured 1622 copy of the Yorkshyre map engraved by William Hole for Michael Drayton’s Poly-Olbion realised £1100, and the ‘Great Exhibition’ London map shown above made £1400.
Sold at £3900 was an 1880 first of Captain W Vincent Legge’s History of the Birds of Ceylon, a work that includes among its illustrations 34 hand-coloured plates by or after JG Keulemans.
Bound as a single volume in half morocco, this copy had in 1883 been presented as a school prize by Legge at Aberystwyth Grammar School.