A rare 17th century copybook giving insight into the education of women in the era and the history of a Cork family is to be sold in Tennants Auctioneers’ Spring Sale on 19th and 20th March, with an estimate of £1,000-1,500 plus buyer’s premium. The book is part of the Selected Contents of Forcett Hall, North Yorkshire, as instructed by the Executors of the late J.H. Edwards-Heathcote Esq., that are up for auction in the two-day sale.
The illustrated copybook demonstrating calligraphy, handwriting and arithmetic, was completed by Sarah North in 1686, a student under private tutor Elizabeth Beane ‘mistress in the art of writing and arithmetic’. The leather-bound volume is filled with mathematics and embellished with calligraphic drawings, demonstrating the penmanship and education of Miss North. Three other similar copybooks produced under Beane’s tutelage are known; one by Mary Serjant of 1688 held in the Beinecke Rare Book Library, Yale, one by Sarah Cole of 1685 held in the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C., and one by Anna Dowe of 1689 that was sold at Sotheby’s in 1972.