A RARE book from 1903 has been found in York’s Low Petergate Oxfam shop.

The book, based on archaeological and geographical exploration in Chinese Turkestan, has been valued at between £300 and £500 and will be auctioned at Bonham’s of Oxford.

The author, Mark Stein Aurel, was a famous Hungarian explorer of central Asia in the early 1900s and the book was only his third publication.

Luke Batterham, manager of the Bonham’s book department, said: “It is a first edition so it’s a very rare book. Exploration of that period does especially boom in the auctions and it’s an area that continues to be popular.”

John McKay, who runs the Oxfam shop where the book was discovered, said: “I just think it’s really great that people are happy to give us books like that.”

“The fact that it’s in a high profile auction and that anything it makes will go to Oxfam is really good for us.”

Oxfam is Europe’s biggest seller of secondhand books, with about £1.7 million worth selling every month.

The charity says this helps it to buy 50,000 emergency shelters and build over 100,000 classrooms and some of the neediest areas of the world.

Meanwhile, a vintage railway poster of York will go under the hammer at Bloomsbury’s Auctions in London later this month. The poster, by artist Fred Taylor, shows Micklegate Bar, although some artistic licence has been used in the position of the Minster.

It is expected to fetch between £150 and £250. For information on this and other railway posters visit bloomsburyauctions.com The sale of the Mark Stein Aurel book takes place on June 28. Visit bonhams.com/eur/home and search for Lot 32.