Ten Minutes Advice to every Gentleman going to purchase a Horse out of a Dealer, Jockey, or Groom’s Stable.

London, for the author and sold by John Bell, and York, C. Etherington, [c. 1775].

12mo, pp. [5], 8-22; copper-engraved device ‘The Mask is off’ printed in red to title; light dust-staining to title, very small paper-flaw, subtly repaired tears to final leaf; a good copy in early twentieth-century green paper over boards; gilt morocco lettering-piece lost from spine.


US $3087€2883

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Very rare second edition of advice on the purchase of horses, with the tricks used by dealers to deceive buyers. Though the text is commonly attributed to Bracken, he is unlikely to have published anything a decade after his death; the author’s preface, signed ‘S.’, may offer a more productive lead. A concise work, the author notes: ‘This Treatise might have been swelled to a much greater size, but the Author thought it would prove too tedious; he hopes the shortness of it will not be deemed a fault, but rather a recommendation’ (p. 22); evidently not deemed a recommendation, the work was much expanded for future editions.

ESTC records only one institutional copy worldwide, at the British Library, and we could trace only one copy at auction (Christie’s, 2008). The first edition, published in 1774, is recorded in two copies (Bodleian and RVC). The collation is as described by ESTC, despite the discontinuous pagination and register.

ESTC T78787; not in Mellon nor Dingley; Christie’s, The Sporting Sale (2008), lot 26.

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