Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2021 Issue

House Sold with Very Large Library in Place

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Part of the collector's extensive library (Revive Property Auctions photo).

A house was sold recently in Liverpool which must have had just about the largest “library” included with a home. An exact count is unknown but it was certainly a large number. The unnamed owner must have been an avid book collector to amass such a collection.

 

This wasn't quite like the library and collection of J. Pierpont Morgan. What comes to mind is that of Sir Thomas Phillipps, the eccentric 19th century book collector. His house was jammed to the ceiling with books, books everywhere, with narrow passageways between them just wide enough to get around. He wanted to have a copy of every book ever published and while he didn't quite achieve that goal, he came as close as anyone has. He died trying.

 

It is unclear what this collector's goal was or if he or she even had one. The why is unknown. What we can say is his/her system of organizing the library was more like Phillipps' than Morgan's. Then again, Morgan had the money to pay for more space and librarians to keep it organized. This collector clearly did not.

 

This was a large house. The seller, Revive Property Auctions, politely described it as a “three story period home which is in need of full refurbishment.” However, they also noted “this property has lots of potential due to its sheer size.” Looking at the condition in the most positive way, Revive explained, “The property is in need of full refurbishment allowing the new buyer to put their own design ideas into the property and potentially returning the property back to a lovely family home.” It contains four bedrooms, on three stories, and is located in a “highly sought after and popular residential location.”

 

Their were eight bidders willing to take on the challenge. The winning bid was for £213,000 (US $291,500). We will never know whether it would have sold for more or less if the books weren't there.


Posted On: 2021-12-01 06:23
User Name: bukowski

It isn’t a library. It’s a hoard hoarded by a hoarder. Great price for the house. Obviously not in Mayfair. Heh.


Rare Book Monthly

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