On This Day: 28 April 2017

On this day a copy of John Seller’s Practical Navigation: or an Introduction to the Whole Art. Containing The Doctrine of Plain and Spherical Triangles. Plain, Mercator, Great-Circle Sailing; and Astronomical Problems. The Use of divers Instruments; as also of the Plain-Chart, Mercator’s Chart and both Globes. Sundry Useful Tables in Navigation: And a Table of 10000 Logarithms, and of the Logarithm Sines, Tangents, and Secants is to be sold at Cutterstones Auctions http://www.cuttlestones.co.uk/index.htm

A copy of this book which sold by Richard Mount at the Postern on Tower-Hill and Jeremiah Seller at the Hermitage in Wapping in 1699 appears on Bowrey’s Catalogue of my Books Dec 1711.

You know that you have become obsessed with your subject when:

  • You cannot sleep the night before a book he could have owned (but almost certainly did not
  • The auction house emails you to check that you have read the condition report because, clearly, your bid is higher than they expected
  • You are willing to bid a ridiculous amount for a tatty old book (quote my husband’s)

It is likely that Bowrey prepared his Catalogue as he put his affairs in order in anticipation of his death. In his Will, he left those books his widow did not want to keep to his cousin, Thomas Studds. This copy of Practical Navigation signed John Hughes 1715 on the Preface page – rather too soon after Bowrey’s death for it to be likely to be his copy.

Reader, I purchased it!

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