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Cuneiform Tablet of Amar-Suen [King of Ur]

Clay tablet (43x51x15mm) with economic text and figures from the first year of the reign of King Amar-Suen. The impression on reverse with a pictorial cylinder seal depicting a seated figure is a rare, early example of pictorial printing.

Hubert de Burgh (d.1243), Chamberlain to King John and Justiciar of England

20 lines on vellum, 230x240mm, in brown ink, in a large well-written Romanesque hand, undated, c.1201. The fine green heraldic seal is attached by a striped linen cord and shows on the obverse three leopards passant and the legend "Sigill: Huberti: de: Burgo" and on the reverse a standing figure and the legend "Celo: Secretum." (Minimal wear and staining, with four tiny holes, but otherwise in excellent condition.) A very fine charter in Latin as chamberlain to King John by which Hubert de Burgh grants to the Cistercian House of Abbey Dore in Herefordshire the land at Linchoit which Henry II had given to the Abbey but which had come into Hubert's hands as governor of Herefordshire when King John gave him Grosmont and the land around it. The grant is conditional on four priests praying for ever for his soul and that of the king. Witnesses include John de Kilpac, Walter de Muchegros and Henry de Grosmont. [Maggs catalogue 977, item 68]

London Charter

Grant by Simon Bonde, citizen of London, and his wife Johanna, to Thomas son of Simon Dolseley, citizen and piperarius (pepperer or spicer) of London, of the rent from a tenement with its appurtenances in Cordwainer Street in the parish of St. Mary Aldermary. The list of seven witnesses includes John Not, Mayor of London in 1364, and Nicholas Chaucer. The list of witnesses is preceded by the statement that Simon Franceys is now Mayor of London, and Thomas de Brandon and Walter le Forestier, sheriffs. There is a note on the verso that the charter was read and enrolled in the Husting Court of Common Pleas on16 May

  1. 13.5 lines in Latin, on vellum, in a good hand, with flourished initial letter "S", of "Sciant". The original vellum seal tags are present but the seals are lacking. London, 3 May 30 Edward III.(1356). [Maggs catalogue]

Cologne Chronicle

An original leaf from "Cronica van der hilliger Stat van Coelle printed in 1499 by Johan Koelhoff in Cologne. Contemporary colouring." [Information from label affixed to mat.] Matted and framed between two sheets of Plexiglas, area visible: ca. 310x213 mm. Upper outside corner torn off (4x8 mm), lower outside corner creased with some flaking of paper. Recto: [p.?] CXX at head, 42 lines text printed in black, many letters embellished with red vertical strokes. 3 Portraits (2 of clerics and 1 of an emperor) printed in black and coloured yellow, blue, green, brown, and red; ca. 50x40mm. Verso: 44 lines text printed in black and embellished as above.

Map of the World

1 leaf engraved, with original outline and wash colour double hemisphere map consisting of two circles joined at the sides, with two additional smaller circles at the top and bottom centre(between the two larger circles), containing the orbits of the planets -with a border of astrological signs. The remainder of the leaf is illustrated with allegorical scenes. The coastline of North America is not drawn above California, New Zealand coast is deficient, Australian coast is deficient and attached to New Guinea. Visscher/Stupendahl Rotterdam 1663, 1680 or later-corresponds to description of 1663 version in Shirley, 431. Removed from a
Dutch Bible. 12x17.5".

Wooden Egyptian Block with Hieroglyphs

Fragment of wood, painted over gesso in red and blue on a yellow ground, with some white on the reverse. The front has at the top a frieze of stylized uraei, alternating with Maat feathers: below, a metopal border, which also flanks the main scene. This shows two deities at an offering table on which are Nile vases: at each side djed pillars. The seated figure on the left has the head of a cobra surmounted by a feather, holds crook and flail and is probably a personification of Maat. Above are two columns of epithets, which read 'Great God[dess], Lady of Heaven'. On the right is a standing figure, headless apart from the Feather of Truth, representing one of the transformations of Re on his journey across the
sky. The two columns to the right can be read 'Revered before Osiris, foremost in the divine booth, the good god, lord of...' and 'They grant all good and pure offerings, and all good and sweet things...' The decoration on the reverse,
included three larger standing figures, but these are much damaged. 21st-22nd Dynasty (1085-730 BC). 8 5/8"x10 1/8" (219x257 mm). Little of the blue remains on the front, which also has minor surface damage consolidated and is stained as shown. Slot for a dowel in top right corner. On a mahogany plinth.

Wax Seal of Edward VI

[Donor's information] Dark green wax seal (diameter 147mmx10-17mm thickness; 65x15mm portion missing from upper edge with loss of text on both sides) over two vellum tags (250x36mm). Obverse side shows an enthroned figure flanked by two standards held by heraldic lion and unicorn surrounded by Latin text: "[break]DEI GR[ ]TIA MAGNAE BRITANNIA [blank portion] FRANCIAE ET HIBER.REX FIDEI DEFENSO [back at break]." Square hole (2 1/2 mm) in right margin [to test for melting point?] Reverse side shows a knight on a charger flourishing a drawn sword with a greyhound running alongside horse. Coat of arms (undecipherable through wear) in upper left quarter. Text: "[break]FIDEI DEFENSOR MAGNVS BRITANNIAE [illegible portion] HIBERNIAE REX FIDEI [back at break]" Provenance: Antique Shop in Hartingford Bury, U.K.

Philip II (1527-98), King of Spain; the Husband of Mary Tudor

Letter (in Spanish) signed "Yo El Rey", to the Marques de Ayamonte, Governor of Milan. 1 page folio [283x207 mm] countersigned by Philip's Secretary of State Antonio Perez, and with address, contemporary endorsements and paper seal on the verso [as well as two modern ink stamps by an Italian dealer]. San Lorenco el Real, xxij de Septiembre MDLXXVij. A few small holes caused by ink corrosion, in clear and legible condition with good signatures. Antonio Perez was for many years Philip's closest counsellor and chief minister. He fell from favour and incurred the king's deadly enmity when he fell in love with Philip's mistress the Princess of Eboli, and was forced to flee abroad. He was given asylum in England, where as 'Don Antonio' he became a well-known figure at court and a close friend of Francis Bacon and the Earl of Essex. His relationship with Queen Elizabeth's Jewish physician Roderigo Lopez is believed to have suggested to Shakespeare the character of Shylock's enemy Antonio in 'The Merchant of Venice.' [Maggs catalogue 988, item 193]

Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Queen of England

Privy Council Letter of her reign, addressed to the High Sheriff and Commissioners for the Musters of the County of Norfolk, ordering them to levy a force of 100 men to serve in Ireland because of "the contynuance of the troubles there." 2 pages folio with integral address leaf [336x463 mm, folded once, letter on the two sides of one of the resulting leaves, the address on one side of the other leaf] (seal tear professionally repaired), Richmond, 15 Jan. 1599. Signed by Sir Thomas Egerton, later Lord Ellesmere, Master of the Rolls; Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, the poet, Lord Treasurer; Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham, who had held chief command against the Armada, Lord High Admiral; George Carey, Lord Hunsdon, Elizabeth's cousin, Lord Chamberlain; Roger North, Treasurer of the Queen's Household; William Knollys, Comptroller of the Queen's Household; Robert Cecil, later Earl of Salisbury, Secretary of State; Sir John Fortescue, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sir John Popham, Lord Chief Justice. [Maggs catalogue 1021, item 65]

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