There is nothing quite so appealing as a collection of bibliographies and auction catalogues that took a lifetime to collect and soon, over a scant few hours, will be again dispersed. Such material and such events are uniquely appealing for the skilled and determined collectors that pursue such material. Such collections rarely appear. So it is interesting, even exciting, that a substantial amount of bibliographies, dealer and auction catalogues are coming up at Christies in London this month. One hopes that the motived will know of this sale for if they do, they will be bidding. Such opportunities do not come up often enough.
The sale is comprised of 286 lots, the first 149 a general selection of interesting collectible material thereafter followed, beginning at lot 150 with the Hobson Collection of Bibliography. For reference I have selected a few lots from the first section and a larger quantity from the second.
Lot. 61 [PUBLISHING EPHEMERA] — A group of approximately 224 19th-century publisher’s prospectuses and advertisements, the vast majority 8° (most approx. 225 x 143mm), all disbound but some with original stitching intact (some edges frayed). A REMARKABLE COLLECTION IN FINE CONDITION. Estimated £1,000-1,500 $1,600-2,300 €1,500-2,100
115 ROCQUE, John (c.1704-1762). An exact survey of the cities of London and Westminster, the borough of Southwark, with the country near ten miles round; begun in 1741, fnished in 1745 ... Engrav’d by Richard Parr, and printed by W. Pratt. London: J. Rocque, 1746 [but 1747]. 2° (516 x 373mm), very large engraved plan within engraved ornamental border on 16 double-page sheets, title in English, Latin and French, printed in red and black, emblematic group in cartouche at upper border surmounted by arms of the City of London, leaf with subscribers’ list and index of towns and villages to verso. (Without the dedication to Lord Burlington, a few very minor marginal nicks and tears to a couple of sheets, light variable browning and offsetting.) 19th-century purple half roan (rubbed, head and tail of spine defective with short splits to joints). ‘Rocque’s famous map includes several of the new features he introduced to English cartography. The hilly ground behind the Royal Hospital [Greenwich, sheet II] ... shows to dramatic effect in his technique of hachure, while most of his land-use symbols are included — marsh, market garden, orchard, ploughland, park and common’ (Glanville). Glanville 28; Howgego 94 (2). £2,500-3,500 $3,800-5,300 €3,600-4,900
117 WISDEN, John. The Cricketer’s Almanack for the year 1864 [-1866]. London: John Wisden, 1864-1866. 3 volumes in one, 8à (148 x 91mm). (First 18pp. of 1864 with waterstain at upper margin, end leaves of 1866 a little creased at lower corners.) Contemporary green calf, marbled endpapers, red speckled edges (rebacked with old spine laid down, corners bumped, without wrappers); modern yellow cloth case. Provenance: H.R. Reynolds — Rev. C. WolleryDod, 17 June 1873 (ownership signatures on front free endpaper). first to third edition. good, clean copies of the first years, united in the same binding from 1872 or earlier. £10,000-15,000 $16,000-23,000 €15,000-21,000
122 WISDEN, John. Cricketers’ Almanack for 1873 [-1875]. London: John Wisden, 1873-1874. 3 volumes in one, 8à (154 x 96mm). (1873 with front free endpaper and title detaching, 1874 with light soiling to title.) Contemporary half calf, marbled boards, red morocco labels, red speckled edges (rubbed, without wrappers). Provenance: H.R.K. Rogers, 1875 (frst owner, his inscription on front free endpaper and initials in pencil on title to 1875). tentH to tWelftH edition, united in the same binding since publication. A FINE COPY OF 1875. ‘The rarest Wisden of all’ (Rice and Renshaw), it was actually published in late 1874. This issue has 212pp. £15,000-20,000 $23,000-30,000 €22,000-28,000
Anthony Hobson Collection of Bibliography [Lots 150 – 286]
157 TWYN, John (c.1619-1664). An Exact Narrative of the Tryal and Condemnation of John Twyn, for Printing and Dispersing of a Treasonable Book. London: Thomas Mabb for Henry Brome, 1664. 4° (190 x 135mm). With the fnal blank. (Some spotting and browning, faint marginal dampstaining.) Modern blue quarter morocco and blue cloth boards. Provenance: small label and shelf-marks on the title. first edition. Twyn was executed for publishing A Treatise of the Execution of Justice (1663), a pamphlet advocating the ousting of the ‘bloody and oppressing’ house of Stuart. Twyn’s co-conspirators, Thomas Brewster, bookseller, Simon Dover, printer, and Nathan Brooks, bookbinder, were pilloried and fined. Most of the witnesses, and half the jurors, were drawn from the trade. As a result the whole trial is of considerable bibliographical interest. Wing E-3668. £600-800 $910-1,200 €840-1,100
228 PEIGNOT, Etienne-Gabriel (1767-1849). Dictionaire raisonne de bibliologie. Paris: vols I-II = Villier, 1802; Supplement = Renouard, 1804. 3 volumes, 8° (212 x 129mm). Half-titles. 3 folding tables. 8pp. Prospectus bound in at beginning of vol. I. 5 mss. bound in at beginning of vol. I. Review of the work mounted and pasted in at beginning. (Occasional very faint spotting.) Red half morocco, top edges gilt (extremities lightly rubbed). Provenance: ANTOINE AUGUSTIN RENOUARD (1765-1853). a crisp, clean copy with close association between two of France’s most prominent bibliographers. The Prospectus contains a lengthy autograph note signed by Peignot in the lower margin of the first 3pp. addressed to Renouard, and there are two autograph letters, one signed, by Peignot bound in at the beginning of vol. I, together with a fair copy of a letter sent to Peignot, and another letter received by Renouard. One of 15 copies on paper velin £8,000-12,000 $13,000-18,000 €12,000-17,000
231 FRENCH AUCTIONS – [CHARDIN, Charles.]. Catalogue des livres rares et precieux. Paris: G. de Bure, 1806. 8° (207 x 130mm). (Occasional faint spotting.) Slightly later half calf (extremities lightly rubbed). Second sale of the stock of the important Parisian bookseller; the first happened in 1779, and there were further dispersals in London in 1819 and once more in Paris in 1824 – BIGNON, Jérôme. Catalogue des livres precieux, rares et singuliers, manuscrits et imprimes. Paris: Leblanc, 1837. 8° (211 x 131mm). (Tiny marginal hole and light soiling to title.) Library cloth, original yellow printed wrappers bound in – DE BERRY, Duchesse. Catalogue de la riche bibliothèque de Rosny. Paris: Bossange, Techener and Bataillard, . 8° (230 x 145mm). 2 lithographic plates, of which one folding. (Occasional light spotting, heavier to title.) Contemporary half calf (extremities faintly rubbed). The sale catalogue of the Duchesse de Berry, including 170 original drawings on vellum of Redouté’s Roses – SOLAR, Félix. Catalogue de la bibliothèque de M. Felix Solar. Paris: J. Techener, 19 November 1860. 8° (232 x 149mm). Half-title. Title printed in red and black. Contemporary purple quarter sheep (spine faded, extremities rubbed). ‘The celebrated financier Solar, within ten years, had brought together a library that had no equal since that of Count MacCarthy-Reagh [d. 1811], but suffering from ill-health, in a quarter-hour of disillusionment, vexation, and perhaps weariness, decided to separate himself from his beloved books, a decision which he already regrets, and will always do so’ (Paul Lacroix, preface p.viii). Only a few months before, Solar had made what was probably his most important single acquisition, that of the library of Marquis de Clinchamps. The sale realized the vast sum of 600,000 frs. This copy is on ordinary paper. Blogie II, col.93; Brunet VI; 1821; Vicaire, III, 205. (4) £600-800 $910-1,200 €840-1,100
234 VENTENAT, Etienne Pierre (1757-1808). – Catalogues des Livres de la Bibliothèque de feu M.E.P. Ventenat ... suivi de la Description de differens herbiers, grains, fruits etrangers, etc., et objets curiosite. Paris: Tilliard Frères, December 1808. 8° (218 x 140mm). (Margins lightly soiled.) Modern boards, front drab wrapper bound in, uncut (spine of boards lightly worn). Provenance: ‘Dept. de la Seine’ (stamp). Auction catalogue of the library of the botanist to Joséphine and botanical collaborator with Redouté, containing 602 lots, followed by 9 lots of herbarium specimens (the largest of which contained some 15,000 plants). Ventenat died in 1808 and his widow arranged this sale of his library and herbaria. The latter included a large collection of Australian plants resulting from the Dentrecasteaux voyage. The catalogue is well-organized by general categories outlined on the ‘Table des Divisions’ at the beginning, and with an Index at end. The catalogue includes 10 lots illustrated by his collaborator P.J. Redouté, including De Candolle’s Plantarum histoira succulentarum (1804), and Redouté’s Les Liliacees (described in the note as ‘Exemplaire trèsprécieux, toutes les planches ayant été retouchées par M. Redouté’). The copy of Ventenat’s Jardin de la Malmaison (Paris, 1803-05) is described as, ‘Exemplaire très-précieux. Les figures peintes ont toutes été retouchées par M. Redouté, et les figures en noir sont avant la lettre.’ Short correction in manuscript on p.vii. Not in the Grolier Club Library. £800-1,200 $1,300-1,800 €1,200-1,700
238 MERLY LIBRARY – A catalogue of the well known and celebrated library of the late Ralph Willet. London: Leigh and Sotheby, 1813- 1814. 8° (224 x 142mm.) Prices and names of buyers supplied in a neat contemporary hand. Loosely inserted is Willet’s anonymously published 38pp. A description of the library at Merly, issued only with a drop-head title. (Latter disbound, first 4 and last 4 leaves stained, minor marginal chip to first leaf, a few leaves lightly dogeared.) Contemporary scarlet half calf rebacked preserving original spine). Provenance: Henry B.H. Beaufoy FRS (1750-1795; bookplate) – Wilfred Merton (booklabel dated 1844). Thick-paper copy. £500-800 $760-1,200 €700-1,100
251 CURRER, Frances Mary Richardson (1785-1861) – C.J. STEWART. A Catalogue of the Library collected by Miss Richardson Currer, at Eshton Hall, Craven, Yorkshire. London: printed for private circulation only by J. Moyes, 1833. 8° (250 x 160mm). Engraved frontispiece and 3 plates. (A few leaves lightly spotted.) Half calf by J. Mackenzie, top edges gilt (extremities rubbed). Provenance: John Norcliffe Preston (bookplate). Presentation copy, inscribed on front blank: ‘Cooper Preston Esq. With Miss Currer’s Kind Regards’. Catalogue of the great collection of England’s first acknowledged female bibliophile. One of one hundred copies printed for private circulation. An earlier (and less augmented) catalogue of the collection was published in 1820 [see lot 253]. Most of the books in her library were auctioned at Sotheby’s in 1862, realizing £6,000. Taylor, p. 5. £800-1,200 $1,300-1,800 €1,200-1,700
260 LIBRI, Guglielmo (1803-1869). Catalogue of the extraordinary collection of splendid manuscripts, chiefly upon vellum, in various languages of Europe and the east. London: sold at Auction by Messrs S. Leigh Sotheby & John Wilkinson, 28 March – 5 April, 1859. [With:] – Catalogue of the choicer portion of the magnificent library, formed by M. Guglielmo Libri... London: sold at Auction by Messrs S. Leigh Sotheby & John Wilkinson, 1-15 August, 1859. 2 volumes, 8° (260x 180mm). Introduction to first work in English and French, that to second in English, first work with 37 plates, of which 3 folding, both works ruled in red throughout and annotated with buyers’ names and prices. (Occasional light spotting, mostly confined to plates.) Red cloth (rebacked, corners rubbed). Provenance: Lord Crawford (pencil inscription stating provenance and adding that they were rebacked by:) – John Pearson. fully annotated auction catalogues from the collection of the Bibliokleptic Guglielmo Libri. Although accusations of book theft against Libri had been made as early as 1842, his friendship with high-level librarians, such as Antonio Panizzi, the keeper of printed books at the British Museum, and other persons in authority meant that he was able to evade justice, despite being sentenced in absentia by a French court to ten years’ imprisonment. Sotheby’s held ten sales of Libri’s books between 1849-1865, which elevated the books with extensive introductions, notes and illustrations. Despite all, Libri ‘must be reckoned among the great collectors and manuscript scholars of his century’ (Maccioni and Mostert, The life and times of Guglielmo Libri, 1995, p.302). [Sold with:] – 7 autograph letters signed to Monsieur Desnoyer, Librarian at the Jardin des Plantes, Paris, 1830s-40s, discussing mutual bibliophile acquaintances and sharing opinions on books, as well as asking for the return of some books lent – which Libri would like to inscribe – and mentioning a possible visit to see the plants; with three envelopes. (2) £2,000-4,000 $3,100-6,000 €2,900-5,600
265 AUCTION CATALOGUES – CORSER, Rev. Thomas (1793-1876). Catalogue of the First [– Eighth and Concluding] Portion of the Valuable & Extensive Library. London: Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 28 July 1868 – 13 December 1876. 9 parts in one vol., 8° (253 x 176 mm). Contemporary green half morocco, original wrappers bound in, gilt spine (light rubbing to extremities). Provenance: some related correspondence about the sale tipped in. De Ricci, p.150 – ELLIS, Mr. Catalogue of the very choice collection of rare books. London: Sotheby’s, 1885. 8° (250 x 155mm). Half morocco (extremities rubbed). Provenance: DR ROSENBACH (priced and ruled in red) – Dr Schwarz (pencil inscription noting provenance and gift to:) – Anthony Hobson). – JEFFREY, Mr. A catalogue of books in the various branches of literature... London: P. Martin, 1811. 8° (250 x 155mm). Later half calf preserving early marbled-paper covered boards, uncut – CRAWFORD, William Horatio. The Lakelands Library. Catalogue of the Rare & Valuable Books, Manuscripts & Engravings of the late... London: Sotheby’s, 12 March 1891. 8° (248 x 154 mm). Library cloth. Provenance: Graham Pollard (booklabel). De Ricci, p. 165 – GARDNER, John Dunn. Catalogue of the principal portion of the valuable library of... London: Sotheby’s 6 July 1854. 8° (220 x 140mm). Half morocco. PRICED and ruled in red – CROFTS, Thomas (1722-1781). Bibliotheca Croftsiana. A Catalogue of the Curious and Distinguished Library. London: Samuel Paterson, 7 April 1783. 8° (230 x 138 mm). Modern half morocco (rubbed). PRICED and ruled in red. De Ricci, p.56 – ROSCOE, William (1753-1831). Catalogue of the Very Select and Valuable Library of... Liverpool: Winstanley, 19 August 1816. 8° (230 x 140mm). (First few leaves lightly browned and soiled.) Contemporary blue cloth (lightly soiled). Provenance: Sir Thomas Phillips – W.H. Robinson (booksellers, pencilled note by:) – Anthony Hobson. De Ricci, pp. 93-94; Blogie III, col. 12 – TITE, Sir William (1798-1873). Catalogue of the extensive, important and valuable Collection of Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, and Engravings. London: Sotheby’s, 18 May 1874. 8° (245x 174 mm). Contemporary dark green hardgrained half morocco, original wrappers bound in. PRICED and ruled in red – BAKER, George. A catalogue of the very choice and select library of the late... London: Sotheby, 6 June 1825. 8° (255 x 150mm). Engraved frontispiece. Modern half russia, antique style. PRICED with a few leaves of manuscript ledgers at beginning and end – SLADE, Felix (1790-1868). Catalogue of the Exceedingly Choice and Valuable Library of... in Magnifcent Specimens of Binding, comprising Books of Prints, in the finest State; early and modern Typography, specimens of Printing on Vellum... London: Sotheby’s, 3 August 1868. 8° (248 x 155mm). (Title lightly spotted.) Modern half calf. Blogie III, col. 28. Sold with 11 others, including: [PRINCE OF CASTELCIALA]. A catalogue of the elegant and choice selection of duplicates (1806); COUNT BORROMEO. A catalogue of the celebrated library (1817); RANUZZI, Vincenzo. Catalogue of manuscripts (1847); Stock of Books of Messrs. Payne and Foss (1850); TWOPENY FAMILY. Catalogue of the valuable libraries (1872) and Catalogue of a collection of porcelain (1873); [BLACKER, John.] Catalogue of a remarkable collection of books (1897); and 5 20th-century catalogues. (21) £500-800 $760-1,200 €700-1,100
273 AMERICAN AUCTION CATALOGUES – DU BOIS, Pene. The library and art collection. New York: George A. Leavitt, June 1887. 8° (240 x 150mm). Later cloth, original printed wrappers bound in (front hinge and head of spine splitting, original wrappers chipped and soiled) – IVES, Brayton. Catalogue of the books and manuscripts belonging to... New York: Thomas E. Kirby of the American Art Association, 1891. 8° (250 x 170mm). Half-title, title printed in red and black, frontispiece of Gutenberg Bible, with a photograph of another copy tipped in. Library cloth (lightly fnger-soiled). – FRENCH, Frederick W. Catalogue of the valuable private library of the late ... Boston, MA: C.F. Libbie, 23-25 April 1901. 8° (233 x 148mm). Portrait frontispiece, plates, list of prices realised at end. Contemporary half calf, original wrappers bound in, gilt spine top edge gilt (upper joint splitting) – BORDEN, M.C.D. Illustrated catalogue of the valuable library formed by the late... New York: Thomas E. Kirby of the American Art Association, 1913. 2 parts in one volume, 8° (250 x 176mm). Plates, some folding, titles printed in red and black. Library cloth, original wrapper bound in (soiling to cloth and original wrappers) – AVERY JR., Samuel P. Rare and valuable books and bindings collected by the late ... New York: The Anderson Galleries, 10-12 November 1919. 8° (225 x 147mm). Colour frontispiece, monochrome plates. (Occasional faint marginal spotting.) Library cloth, original wrappers bound in (lightly soiled). Provenance: priced in pencil – illegible ownership inscription on front wrapper – WALTER, Mrs Henry. Four centuries of French literature. New York: Parke-Bernet Galleries, 23-25 April 1941. 4° (274 x 195mm). Plates. Library cloth (lightly soiled). Provenance: Geoffrey D. Hobson (typed correspondence and newspaper clippings tipped in) – BISHOP, Cortlandt F. The ... library ... sold by order of the executors. New York: Anderson Galleries, 1938. 2 parts in one volume, 4° (250 x 186mm). Plates. Library cloth (spine darkened, covers lightly soiled). [And:] – The magnifcent French library. New York: Kende Galleries, 1948. 4° (250 x 186mm). Plates. Library cloth (spine darkened, covers lightly soiled). Both Bishop catalogues priced in pencil. – WILMERDING, Lucius. Rare XV-XIX century continental literature ... Part II of the important library belonging to the estate of the late ... [Bound with:] – Rare XV-XIX century continental literature ... Part III of the important library belonging to the estate of the late ... New York: Parke-Bernet, 1951. 2 parts in one volume, 4° (245 x 175mm). Plates. Library cloth (soiled). (9) £400-600 $600-900 €560-840
279 AUCTION CATALOGUES – HOE, ROBERT. Catalogue of the Library of .. .to be sold ... by the Anderson Auction Company. New York: 1911- 12. Parts I-IV. 4 volumes, 8° (232 x 152mm). Quarter blue morocco, original wrappers bound in, top edges gilt (spines slightly faded and rubbed). Printed prices realized at end of each volume – CHESTER BEATTY. Western Manuscripts: Part I. Catalogue of thirty-seven illuminated manuscripts ... Part II. Catalogue of thirty-eight illuminated manuscripts. London: Sotheby’s, 3 December 1968 and 24 June 1969. 4°. Plates, some in colour. Original printed boards. Provenance: inscribed by Hobson in ink in upper margin of front covers – PRINTERS’ PENSION CORPORATION. Catalogue of printed books, manuscripts and autograph letters, coloured lithographs and etchings present on behalf of... London: Sotheby’s, 9 November 1966. 4°. Plates and text-illustrations. Modern marbled-paper covered boards. Provenance: THE AUCTIONEER’S OWN COPY, with estimate and price lists bound in at end together with correspondence relating to the sale – THE BROWNING COLLECTIONS. Catalogue of oil paintings, drawings & prints; autograph letters and manuscripts; books; statuary, furniture, tapestries, and works of art; the property of R.W. Barrett Browning. London: Sotheby’s, 1 May 1913. 4°. Plates, some folding. Contemporary green half morocco (spine lightly faded). PRICED, complete with inserted typescript list of prices realised and buyers – Catalogue of a collection of illuminated manuscripts on vellum, the property of an English gentleman, recently deceased, who lived abroad. London: Sotheby’s, 6 May 1909. 4°. Plates, some folding. Contemporary red quarter morocco (lightly rubbed). PRICED AND RULED IN RED THROUGHOUT. And seven others, includuing 2 copies of TERDECK, Sullivan de. Livres anciens. Collection O ... Deuxième partie: Livres et recueils illustrés du XVIII siècle. Romantiques, reliures, divers, albums. Brussels: 1910, and parts VIIII, X and XI of the illuminated manuscripts from the Sotheby’s sales of Major J.R. Abbey’s collection (1970, 1978 and 1989), together with parts I and II of the Hornby Manuscripts (1974 and 1975). (16) £400-600 $600-900 €560-840
286 FROM THE LIBRARY OF SIR THOMAS PHILLIPPS (1792-1872) AT THIRLESTAINE. AN ENGLISH GILT-BRASS-MOUNTED ROSEWOOD BOOKCASE PART EARLY 19TH CENTURY, ADAPTED Mounted with brass rosettes and palmettes, the later ebonised and parcel giltwood cornice above a single door faced as two doors, enclosing six adjustable shelves, on a parcel gilt and grained base, the sides in stained pine, the whole adapted from a larger bookcase 93 in. (237.5 cm.) high; 40 in. (101 cm.) wide; 16 in. (41 cm.) deep £700-1,000 $1,100-1,500 €980-1,400
Here is a link to the sale.