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Rare Tudor copy of Magna Carta under the hammer in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 17:17 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:16 20 August 2019

1556 edition of the Magna Carta, estimate £800-£1,200. Pictures: Newman Associates PR

1556 edition of the Magna Carta, estimate £800-£1,200. Pictures: Newman Associates PR

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One of the earliest printed editions of the Magna Carta is to go under the hammer in Norfolk.

1846 edition of John Milton's ‘Paradise Lost’, illustrated by John Martin, estimate £1,500-£2,000. Pictures: Newman Associates PR1846 edition of John Milton's ‘Paradise Lost’, illustrated by John Martin, estimate £1,500-£2,000. Pictures: Newman Associates PR

The rare Elizabethan legal text will be auctioned as part of a two-day book sale at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers in Aylsham.

The 1556 book, published during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, puts the 13th century charter into the context of Tudor law, reflecting an upsurge in interest in the document in the 16th century following the Wars of the Roses. Both Henry VII and Henry VIII sought to emphasise the illegitimacy of any sort of rebellion against royal power.

The Magna Carta, a charter of rights, was signed in 1215 at Runnymede by King John in an attempt to make peace between the crown and rebel barons.

Four copies of the original document are still in existence with two in the British Library, one at Lincoln Cathedral and one at Salisbury Cathedral.

1851 Great Exhibition telescopic view, estimate £250-£300. Pictures: Newman Associates PR1851 Great Exhibition telescopic view, estimate £250-£300. Pictures: Newman Associates PR

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Keys head of books Andrew Bullock said: "The 16th century saw a huge upsurge in interest in the Magna Carta, with a belief that it was an essential foundation for the contemporary powers of Parliament and legal principles such as habeas corpus."

Significant interest has already been shown in the work by legal and historical institutions around the world.

Other rare books going under the hammer in the sale include a stunning Victorian illustrated edition of John Milton's Paradise Lost, and an extremely rare telescopic view of the 1851 Great Exhibition, which expands to give the viewer a three-dimensional view of the event.

Daniel Smith of Keys book department looks at the Great Exhibition telescopic view. Pictures: Newman Associates PRDaniel Smith of Keys book department looks at the Great Exhibition telescopic view. Pictures: Newman Associates PR

Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost was first published in 1667. The Great Exhibition was the world's first international display of design and manufacturing.

The 1556 edition of the Magna Carta has a pre-sale estimate of £800-£1,200; the edition of Paradise Lost has a pre-sale estimate of £1,500-£2,000; the Great Exhibition telescopic view has a pre-sale estimate of £250-£300.

The sale takes place at Keys' Aylsham salerooms on Thursday, August 29 and Friday, August 30. Full details of the sale, and of all lots, can be found at www.keysauctions.co.uk

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