The Under the Hammer column with Morphets of Harrogate

A Royal Binding, part of the Hayhurst library being sold on 3 and 4 April.
A Royal Binding, part of the Hayhurst library being sold on 3 and 4 April.

Coming Under the hammer on the Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 April at Morphets of Harrogate is Part One of The Hayhurst Library, the private collection of the Late Robert James Hayhurst (1929 - 2016), which in its entirety encompasses over 8,000 volumes.

Robert Hayhurst was born in Nelson, Lancashire and educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Chelsea College, London where he qualified as a Chemist and Druggist in 1952.

Dr Worm's 'Wonder-Room' is being sold on Wednesday 3 April.

Dr Worm's 'Wonder-Room' is being sold on Wednesday 3 April.

London was where Bob began his serious collecting , visiting the areas of Bloomsbury, Cecil Court and Charing Cross Road where names such as Maggs Brothers, B. Quarich and Charles Traylen were housed.

He also attended many country house auctions during which time he encountered ‘The Ring’ in operation and was indeed warned off bidding at certain auctions!

By 1969 Bob’s ever expanding collection had outgrown the marital home.

An ex cotton mill was purchased and his library was housed on the top floor along with his local photography/postcard collection and model railways.

This Windsor chair sold for a hammer price of �8,000.

This Windsor chair sold for a hammer price of �8,000.

It was here that for over 30 years a three man bibliographical society met weekly over cheese and wine to share knowledge, experiences and plan trips to famous libraries.

Like his collection his knowledge was extraordinarily wide and deep, although he refused to embrace new technology he asked his closest friend when he needed the internet.

He saw book fairs and dealers’ catalogues wax and wane and was a link between book collecting past and present which will not be seen again.

The first of four sales, Part One of the Library includes over 1,000 lots of Elzevier and other early printed works.

One of the highlights of the sale is a copy of Museum Wormianum seu Historia Rerum Rariorum by Ole Worm (1588-1654) a Danish physician who began collecting artefacts, objects and curiosities sometime in the 1620s becoming one of the most famous collectors of his time.

As a young man he travelled extensively throughout Europe finally returning to Denmark and going on to become Professor of Physics at the University of Copenhagen.

Dr Worm’s museum consisted of hundreds of items displayed in a room in his house and which he used to aid his teaching.

The book is a detailed catalogue of his collection written by Dr Worm and printed by his son the year after his father’s death.

Some 370 years later this iconic double page engraving, of Dr Worm’s ‘Wonder-room’, illustrated here, provides a fascinating window into the 17th century museum and how it was arranged.

The full catalogue for The Hayhurst Library Part One is available to view on our website now. The Hayhurst Library sale will be followed by another unique sale when, on the 18th April, a large collection of furniture from The Barnsley Chambers comes under the hammer.

Commissioned in the early 1930s for the newly built Town Hall, the sale will include mahogany breakfront bookcases of various sizes, writing tables, sets of hide upholstered chairs, committee debating tables, cabinets and desks.

Finally, following the success of our March Fine Art and Antiques sale we are already busy working on the June sale.

One of the outstanding results of the March sale was this mid-18th century elm and ash comb back Windsor chair, illustrated here, which saw buyers in the room battle it out against the internet and phones to achieve a hammer price of £8,000.

An oil painting of the Gates of Bruges by Jan Hendrik Verheyen (1778-1846) was also hotly contested and sold for £7,000 against an estimate of £2-3,000.

We are currently accepting entries for our next Fine Art and Antiques sale, which is being held on Thursday 6 June, up until the entry deadline of Friday 10 May. The preceding evening we will be holding our always popular Fine Wine Vintage Port and Whisky sale for which the entry deadline is Friday 29 April.

If you have items you are considering consigning to either sale or would like a no obligation appraisal please contact Elizabeth Pepper Darling or Nicholas Mellors on 01423 530030 or email enquiries@morphets.co.uk