Hunting book collection on offer for six-figure sum

The Rolleston Foxhunting Collection, a gem of a book collection about early foxhunting is available for purchase for the first time.

Begun in the 19th century, it is probably the largest in private hands and was much enlarged by the originator’s family to its present 534 titles, of which the great majority are first editions.

“It was started by my wife Georgina’s family – she is a niece of Sir Lancelot Rolleston,” said Moray Scott-Dalgleish, a well-known hunting man who has been a strong promoter of cross-country races such as the Melton Hunt Club Ride.

“It is a fascinating collection which contains much important social history, and is worth a six-figure sum.”

The Rolleston Collection features just about everything to do with hunting from 1650 to 1950, biographies, advice on hunting, cartoons, poetry, care of hunters, songs, great runs, fiction and more.

Moray said: “Any serious hunting man or woman should seriously consider it as an investment. This is a field where prices rise very quickly and rarely decline.”

The collection includes a number of extremely rare publications, such as the earliest imprint of The Meynellian Science by John Hawkes.

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“Many books are beautiful. Some are just very special, such as Nicholas Coxe’s The Gentleman’s Recreation of 1674 and Peter Beckford’s Thoughts on hunting of 1781. It is unlikely that the collection will ever be matched, except at great cost.”

A feature of the collection is a complete set of RS Surtees’ hunting novels in first edition, featuring famous hunting characters such as John Jorrocks, Soapey Sponge and Lucy Glitters.

The collection may currently be viewed by appointment with Nicky Dunne, telephone number 0203 9504763, of Heywood Hill, 10 Curzon Street, London W1J 5HH.

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