AN auction catalogue for the library of the well-known and celebrated Ralph Willet (1719-1795) realised £550 in Tamlyns Auctioneers’ Specialist Auction of Books and Maps held on Wednesday, June 7.

Willet was an avid book collector who in 1751 bought the estate of Merly in Great Canford in Dorset, later building an extension to house his collection. The auction took place in 1813 and was held by Leigh and Sotheby. The auction catalogue was one of several sold by Tamlyns in their specialist sale, with a further catalogue for the Late Honourable Topham Beauclerk realising £480. Another for late James West realised £420.

Further included in the sale was a collection of local history books relating to the counties of Cornwall, Somerset and Devon. A copy of William Borlase’s book on the County of Cornwall realised £350, and a single owner collection carefully split down by specialist Ed Bailey sold for over £300.

The sale also included a collection of literature books with a collection of 18th Century and later literary books realising £190; a set of The Arabian Tales of 1001 Nights, £170, and a twelve volume set of the Bronte Sisters works, £140.

Children’s and Illustrated books, which have become very popular and collectable, once again sold well with a collection of Hugh Thomson illustrated books realising £220.

The next specialist auction of books and maps at Tamlyns will be held on Wednesday, September 6 and entries are now invited. Please contact Ed Bailey, Tamlyns Book and Map Specialist, on 01278- 445251 or via e-mail at