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'Rarest Find' at Christian Aid Sale

Wednesday June 12 2019

The rare 1601 atlas discovered at this year's Christian Aid sale.


The Christian Aid Week sale at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church in Edinburgh this year raised over £130,000, the organiser has revealed.

In a letter to supporters, Mary Davidson writes that  the 2019 event was ‘one of the most dramatic years in our history’, and included the rarest find of the sale’s 46 years: the 1601 atlas An Epitome of Ortelius’ Theatre of the World, discovered in a bag of novels delivered on the final day of donations, which sold for £5000.

Mrs Davidson writes that the vestibule team who found the atlas knew it was ‘of incredible rarity and antiquity': “Still in its original vellum binding, the atlas has images printed on copper plates from Leiden, in the Netherlands. One of only eleven in the world, none of them in Scotland, this the rarest find in our 46-year history, was brought for the Library of the University of Edinburgh.”

Other highlights of the sale included a signed first edition of T S Eliot’s Dante, and a first edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.

Mrs Davidson adds: “A prodigious amount of work was done, there was unity of purpose, and the result was the raising of a significant sum…

“The sun shone on George Street throughout. Not a drop of rain fell. We are profoundly grateful for that and countless other blessings.”

A cheque will be presented to Christian Aid at the  11am service on Sunday June 23 by the church’s locum minister, the Very Rev Dr John Chalmers.

The annual sale of pictures and Scottish books in the church takes place from October 24-26.


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