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Rare book Auction: Miniature Propaganda

Posted on Roger Collicott's Blog

The English Civil War (1642-1652) was the first major conflict where propaganda was used on a wholesale basis. It is also the only time regicide (killing of a king) has been carried out in the United Kingdom.

Two lots being offered in the Rare Book Auction on 6th September 2017 perfectly illustrate these two unique features. Both are essentially the same work and reflect the change in fortunes of the monarchy of the time.


'the works of king charles the martyr' published in london 1637 (bk18/268)

'The Works of King Charles the Martyr' published in London 1637 (BK18/268)

There is the magnificent large paper copy of The Works of King Charles the Martyr published in London 1637 (BK18/268). Published at the height of Charles' belligerent belief in the Divine Right of Kings and just five years before the start of the English Civil War, which would eventually lead to the beheading of Charles I for high treason in 1649.

Measuring some 46cm tall, this edition stands in stark contrast to the miniature volume titled Reliquiae Sacrae Carolinae. Or the Works of that Great Monarch and Glorious Martyr King Charles the I (BK18/267) Published in the Hague in 1657, this rare pocket edition of essentially the same work stand just 11cm tall.


'reliquiae sacrae carolinae. or the works of that great monarch and glorious martyr king charles the i' (bk18/267)

'Reliquiae Sacrae Carolinae. Or the Works of that Great Monarch and Glorious Martyr King Charles the I' (BK18/267)

At this time, the Restoration still some three years distant, what remained of the Court of Charles I was in exile on the continent of Europe, including Queen Henrietta and Charles II. This clandestine work would have been produced to be shipped back into England to keep the memory and ideas of the monarchy alive, almost regarded as a relic.

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This article was originally published on Roger Collicott's Blog on Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:38:49 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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