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Rare Book Auction includes early illustration of a Duck-billed Platypus

Posted on Roger Collicott's Blog

At a time when books for children had to have a strong educational purpose, the charmingly illustrated The Book of Birds and Beasts by Mary Elliott, with 48 beautifully hand coloured plates must have been a delight to children when they were given it.

According to the British Library, it was published in 1826, just over fifty years after Captain Cook reached the South East Coast of Australia. One of the illustrations is of a Duck-billed Platypus from New Holland, which must be one of the earliest depictions of the animal in a children's book.

one of the illustrations from the book of birds and beasts.

One of the illustrations from the Book of Birds and Beasts.

The estimate for this unusual book is £100-£200 and it will be included in the forthcoming Antiquarian Book Auction in Exeter, Devon on 6th September 2017.

This weblog is produced by Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.

This article was originally published on Roger Collicott's Blog on Wed, 19 Jul 2017 14:42:02 GMT.

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Roger CollicottRoger Collicott

Roger Collicott has an ingrained passion for books, having been bought up with a background in printing.

On leaving school, it seemed that a career in the printing trade was almost inevitable. Roger served a six year apprenticeship at the prestigious WS Cowells in Ipswich before changing careers and moving to St Ives in Cornwall, where he developed skills as a leather craftsman, exhibiting at the inaugural exhibition of the highly regarded Cornwall Crafts Association.

Roger went on to have a successful career selling his craft work all over the World. While in St Ives, he developed a keen interest in the St Ives School of Artists and befriended a number of the artists. He has built up an extensive library of reference books relating to them over the years.

Roger is also a passionate collector of maps, focussing on Cornwall, but has developed an extensive knowledge of antique maps in general.

Roger became the book consultant at our predecessor firm of Hampton & Littlewood in 2002, where he was responsible for the sale of a number of important collections, including the Ron Morris Optical Toy and Moveable Image Collection, the Janet Hill Collection of Costume and Fashion Books and the Eileen Oates Collection of Cornish Books to name a few.

Since the the formation of Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood, he has helped to build one of the few dedicated specialist auction book departments in the West Country, capable of handling all printed materials, books, maps, manuscripts and early photography.

Roger Collicott now lives in the heart of Dartmoor. Moving from collecting to selling is a small step. Roger has been retailing books, maps and prints for well over thirty years, these days with a strong online presence. A keen footballer when younger, he has swapped codes and is now more often found following Exeter Chiefs on a Saturday, when not trekking across his beloved moor with his two dogs.

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