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  • Writer's pictureAyshford Sansome

Guess our oldest book!

Ayshford Sansome has a history that spans over 110 years. With the practice opening its first office in 1911. Today we dug into our wonderful library to see what gems we have inherited from the original partnership. Here is a selection of some of the oldest and most valuable books from our collection. We invited our LinkedIn followers to guess at the chronology of these publications from oldest to newest without Googling. Congratulations if you guessed correctly (answers below).

The most recent publication was A) “Modern Flats” by FRS Yorke and Frederick Gibberd – published in 1958. Originally printed by The Architectural Press, this book can now be found listed for £210 for a second-hand hardcover. A well-illustrated survey of 1950’s Modernist architecture both in the UK and abroad.


Next was C) “Foundations for Houses and Other Small Structures” by W.H. Elgar – published in 1951. Arguably one of the least valuable but no less useful.


Closely followed by D) “Ferien- und Landhäuser – Weekend and Country Houses” by Paul Artaria – published in 1947. Found for sale online for over £125. Published in Switzerland and containing text in both English and German. Many wonderful photographs. This book has a sticker concealed behind the jacket revealing the book shop it originally came from – Foyles of Charing Cross Road, London, WC2 (established in 1903 the Foyles book shop still trades at Charing Cross today).


The oldest was B) “Cassell’s Carpentry & Joinery” by Paul N. Hasluck – published circa 1907-1912.

This version is a special edition hard back, that wasn’t available from book sellers and only came from a subscription service run by Cassell & Company. Even after more than 100 years the book is packed with carpentry techniques in use today and beautifully illustrated.


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