Rare book all set to go under the hammer

A book left by a kind-hearted stranger at a Doncaster charity shop turned out to be a rare 250-year-old publication - and is now expected to sell for between �200 and �400 at an auction.
A book left by a kind-hearted stranger at a Doncaster charity shop turned out to be a rare 250-year-old publication - and is now expected to sell for between �200 and �400 at an auction.
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At FIRST glance the book left at a South Yorkshire charity shop did not look that remarkable.

But on closer inspection the leather-bound tome, entitled History Of All Nations, turned out to be a rare 250-year-old gem - which is now expected to sell for between £200 and £400 at auction.

The book was dropped off at the Oxfam shop, Buttercross Court, Tickhill, Doncaster, by an anonymous donor.

Now it is among about 30 books from Oxfam shops across the country which are set to fetch about £30,000 in total at the annual Oxfam book sale at Bonhams in Oxford.

Ahead of tomorrow’s sale, the book, pictured left, has been described by Bonhams books expert Laurence Goodwin as ‘very rare’ - so rare there are no other known copies of the edition, which was published in 1763.

The book gives a brief and entertaining account of the situations, customs and manners in every country throughout the known world.

It is illustrated with woodcuts of the national costumes of, among others, Turkey, Persia, Russia and Lapland.

Oxfam is now Europe’s biggest seller of secondhand books.

Every month, the charity sells £1.7 million worth of books at its shops and 140 specialist book stores throughout Britain.

Staff at its books warehouse in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire sort and sift through about 150,000 secondhand books a week.