Book bought for £5 turns out to be first edition worth £20k

The book was published in 1664

Friday, July 5, 2019

A book bought for £5 at a second hand book store has turned out to be a 17th century first edition worth £20,000.

Sarah Hickman bought the book nearly 20 years ago, but has only just found out she’s sitting on a literary goldmine.

The book, titled England's Treasure by Forraign Trade, details Britain’s trade deals with the rest of the world during the reign of Charles 1.

It was written by East India Company trader Thomas Mun in 1628 and published three years after his death in 1664.

It argues for the importance of foreign trade and how the country's fortunes are tied with making deals with other countries.

Ms Hickman said she rediscovered the book while tidying, and was “extremely pleasantly surprised”.

“My partner said ‘this one’s an old one’ and I Googled it,” she said.

“Having studied printing I knew it was an original and in good condition and it was a handsome book.”

A high-quality copy of the book has not been sighted at auction since 1977, and it goes under the hammer at Christie’s next week.

Ms Hickman said the book could be interesting to Boris Johnson should he win the Conservative Party leadership race.

“All it is extolling is foreign trade is critical for the economy so it's perfect for Boris Johnson as he is going to lead the charge,” she said.

She hopes to invest the money from the sale into her natural dog products business.

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