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In August 2012, Lyon and Turnbull had the privilege of auctioning a large part of the library of Stobhall, Perthshire. Stobhall is the original seat of the Drummond family and, until it was sold in Spring 2012, home to Viscount Strathallan. A large part of the castle’s library was created by Lord Strathallan’s grandfather, the late David Drummond, 17th Earl of Perth, the great bibliophile. The family later built Drummond Castle, but Stobhall was always retained and provided the opportunity to enjoy fishing on the River Tay.
Stobhall's library was a colourful and accurate reflection of Drummond family history. A fine armorial binding, showing the coat of arms in gilt of Henry Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York and Bonnie Prince Charlie’s younger brother, is a reminder of the Drummond family’s support of the Jacobite cause. (The Drummonds were stripped of their titles following defeat at Culloden in 1746, not being restored for another 76 years.) Despite being the last of the Royal Stuarts in direct descent to the throne, Henry abandoned his birthright upon accepting the cardinalate in 1747.This small book, containing a manuscript copy of the funeral oration of James II, in many ways typified the collection, both in terms of beauty and subject matter.The binding sold for £3375.
The library also contained a wonderful collection of natural history books. This included several works by Eleazar Albin, watercolourist turned naturalist. Albin’s History of Esculent Fish neatly catalogues a range of sea and river fish which might make it to the dining table following a day’s fishing and his Natural History of Birds shows the care and effort which went into hand colouring these books. As far as possible, Albin tried to model his engravings on live specimens – notably keeping an eagle in a cage. This liveliness is reflected in the engraving The Laurey, showing a mischievous parrot reaching down to inspect a cricket. Albin’s Natural History of Birds became the star lot of the sale, selling for £13,750.
If you would be interested in consigning any books, maps, manuscripts or photographs to one of our sales, or would like any further information, please contact Simon Vickers or Cathy Marsden: