A first edition copy of Anthony Burgess’s The Worm and the Ring (1961), plucked from a house clearance, was among a number of star performers when it sold at specialist sale at Greennslade Taylor Hunt’s Octagon Salerooms in Taunton.

Retaining its original, bright dustjacket, and with clean pages, it was purchased for £450 by a room buyer against stiff on-line competition.

Two limited edition Folio Society titles, Ulysses and Don Quixote, surprised at £160 each, and a signed copy of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Listen! The Wind, signed by both her and her husband Charles, the famous aviator, flew to £320 thanks to spirited internet involvement.

A buyer in France secured a nine-volume set of the Count de Buffon’s Natural History of Birds (1793) for £260, and also picked up the same author’s Natural History, General and Particular (1791), which was lacking one volume, for a healthy £190.

Further overseas interest helped to push the price of Ferdnando Ongania’s illustrated study of the city and canals of Venice (1890-91), also incomplete, to £450, and helped Don Juan Alvarez de Colmenar’s Annals of Spain and Portugal, printed in French in 1741, to £260.
Indications that the market is rallying for books with engraved plate illustrations came in the form of Willis’s American Scenery (1840), which sold for £200; but it was another type of image, bringing to life the Portraits of Curious Characters in London (1814), which was responsible for a heady hammer price of £280.

An early edition of Charles Darwin’s Descent of Man was claimed with a bid of £350 but this was immediately bettered by the following lot,- W. Baigent’s privately printed Book on Hackles for Fly Dressing. This came with its full complement of specimens and, although the card sheets and the box into which they fitted were rather bowed, the set’s rarity saw it draw £420.
A sizeable section of maps included a copy of John Speed’s overview of Wales, at £350, but also a Folio Society limited edition facsimile reprint of The Queen Mary Atlas, which made £200.

Entries for Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s next book sale in November are already being accepted, and potential vendors are encouraged to contact the firm’s specialist, Dr Peter Rixon, for confidential advice, without charge or obligation, on 01823 332525.