Page images

most part, brought together by the former owner, whose name is printed on the catalogue.

The most important sale of the season—indeed, for several seasons was that of the library of the late Augustin Daly, sold at the American Art Galleries the last of March. The sale of the art objects, books, and manuscripts occupied ten days of two sessions each. The library was primarily dramatic in character, but rather as a history of the stage than as a collection of the works of the great dramatists. No attempt had been made at bringing together a series of the early quarto editions of the separate plays of the English dramatists, nor were there even early collected editions of these writers, nor, indeed, generally even modern editions. Shakespeare was an exception. Mr. Daly owned good copies of the four folios, and a number of sets of the author's works in various editions. Of early quartos, there was only one, a copy of the second edition, 1631, of "Love's Labour's Lost."

On the other hand, the collection of material relating to the English stage, particularly as exemplified in the lives of its great players, was remarkable. The majority of the extra-illustrated books and these must be considered the characteristic pieces of the collection were of this character. The prices brought by some of these masterpieces of extra illustration seem stupendous to the uninitiated, but they were generally, probably in every case, much less than their original cost. When scarce prints and autograph letters, worth separately from fifty dollars to several hundred dollars, are inserted lavishly in a work, the total soon runs well into the thousands for a single book. His great copy of Peter Cunningham's "Nell Gwynn," inlaid from 12mo to folio, and extended to four volumes by the insertion of extra matter, brought $4300.00. The copy of Ireland's "Records of the New York Stage," inlaid from 8vo to folio, and extended from two volumes to forty-nine volumes, brought $6125.00. These were the two items of this character bringing the highest prices, but a number of other pieces of similar character brought upward of one thousand dollars.

Among the extra illustrated books, not dramatic in character, the most notable was the great Bible, extended to forty-two vol

Spence's "Anecdotes," in four volumes, brought $3800.00. Forster's "Life of Dickens," extended from three to nine volumes, with Dickens's "Letters," extended from two to eight volumes, brought $2200.00, and an additional volume, uniformly bound, of autograph letters to and from Dickens, brought $610.00 more. Brotherhead's "Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence," with autographs of all of them, including a signature of Thomas Lynch, brought $4650.00. His copy of Boswell's "Johnson " and "Johnsoniana," together forming nineteen folio volumes, and containing a wonderful lot of original Johnson manuscript, brought $2965.00.

Our descriptions of these great books are of course very meagre, but as we give the catalogue number of each lot reported, those desiring fuller particulars can consult the sale catalogue.

Of early English books besides the Shakespeares already mentioned, there were only a few, the most notable being Milton's "Paradise Lost," first edition, 1667, the variety with Milton's name in small type on the title-page (the variety with the name in large type is, we believe, generally considered the earlier, and is certainly the rarer), a very fine copy in the original sheep, which brought $460.00, and a copy of the first edition of Milton's "Poems," 1671, also in the original sheep, which brought $490.00. A fine copy of the first edition of Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy," 1621, brought $160.00, a good copy of Spenser's "Faërie Queene," first three books, 1590, brought $290.00, and a copy of the second edition, with the first edition of books four to six, all ever published, two volumes, 1596, brought $225.00.

Of first editions of modern nineteenth-century authors the only collections worthy of mention in this connection were those of Dickens, Lamb, Scott, and Thackeray. A start had been made towards sets of a few other authors, such as Tennyson, Longfellow, etc., but they did not generally include any specially rare items. The sets of Dickens and Thackeray were very extensive, including most of the first-class rarities, all of which brought good prices. The second-rate, commoner books of these authors, with few exceptions, brought little more than the cost of the binding. This was largely because the most careful collectors now demand that when first editions are bound they must include all the original covers, advertisements, etc., which the book had when first issued.

not as complete as the Dickens and Thackeray. It did not contain Lamb's first book, "Rosamund Gray," but did the even rarer "Poetry for Children." This latter, two little volumes, in very good condition, brought $2220.00, an astonishing price, even considering the great rarity of the book. Mr. Foote's copy brought $420.00 in 1895, which was then generally thought to be an extravagant price. A copy lacking nine leaves, which were supplied from the reprint, which was sold at Sotheby's in 1899, brought only £4 4s., and the late Mr. Tuer's copy, also imperfect, sold at Sotheby's in July of this year for £81. A copy of Vol. II. only, in the original binding, was recently offered by a London bookseller at £20. The series of first editions of Scott included a complete set of the Waverley Novels, all in the original boards, uncut. The "Waverley" in this set was the famous copy which brought £150.00 at auction in London last summer.

A wonderful series of original autograph letters and drawings by Thackeray, including the correspondence with Mrs. Brookfield, with many additions, was the highest priced item in the sale. The material had been inlaid and made up into two folio volumes, handsomely bound by Stikeman. It brought $16,200.00. There were also remarkable collections of original letters by Dickens and Lamb and some autograph manuscripts of Sir Walter Scott.

There was a separate catalogue of the autographs, being Mr. Daly's collection of loose material not inserted in his books. Few items of the first class were included, and, in selling, the auctioneer, in many cases, bunched together two or more lots. It was, therefore, impossible to incorporate many of them in our record.

The library of the late Charles S. Richmond, of Brooklyn, was sold by Bangs in three sales which took place September 13-15, 25-27, and October 2-5, 1899. The collection included few rare books, but contained a good selection of miscellaneous books in various classes, especially travel and history.

The library and collection of autographs belonging to the late Thomas Donaldson were sold by Mr. Henkels in two sales, October 23-24 and 26. The books were of less interest than the autographs. Among the latter were included a number of fine Civil War letters, some of them "autograph copies" of world-famous letters and orders, and a quantity of Whitman autographs, being

prose pieces. The most valuable piece of the collection was a copy of the thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution, with autograph signatures of Abraham Lincoln and the other signers. reserve price was put upon this item, but, no bid reaching the amount, it was not sold and hence does not appear in our record.


The collection of Americana formed by Mr. William Clogston, of Springfield, Massachusetts, was sold by Libbie, November 14-16, 1899. It was especially rich in books relating to Vermont, and to the city of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Mr. Henkels had a series of minor sales from January 30 to February 3. These included the libraries of James H. and Nellie Shakespeare; Thomas Paxson Clive (including several important extra-illustrated books); Albert W. Slee, of St. Louis (voyages and travels, etc.); a collection of autograph letters belonging to the late Rev. Richard Kaines, of Lykens, Pennsylvania; and a collection of material brought together by Washington G. Craddock, for extra-illustrating Irving's "Life of Washington."

A part of the library of the late Justin Winsor, Librarian of Harvard University, and author of many books on American History and Bibliography, was sold by Libbie, February 20-21. It was, however, mainly his working library.

The library and art collection of the late Carl Edelheim, of Philadelphia, was sold by the American Art Association, March 7-10. The books included a number of rarities, among them first editions of the Brontës, Lamb, Keats, Hardy, George Eliot and others, and nearly complete sets of the publications of the Grolier Club and the Kelmscott Press.

The library of Mr. Christian P. Roos, made up largely of first editions of American authors, was sold by Bangs, March 12-13. This was Mr. Roos' second collection, the first having been sold at Libbie's, in April, 1897. The books sold at Bangs had been mostly purchased since that sale. The lot included a number of the rarer books of Bryant, Emerson, Hawthorne, Longfellow, Lowell, Whittier, and others. The books were mostly in good condition and many brought record prices.

The very large collection of Trials and Legal Literature brought together by John H. V. Arnold, was sold by Bangs, April 23-26. While there can be no question as to the rarity of many of the

while the collection of trials was a very remarkable one, there was apparently slight interest in them as such.

The library of George H. Mackay, of Nantucket, was sold in two sales by Libbie. The first, comprising mostly first editions of American authors, was sold on April 25-26, and the second, largely made up of books on Nantucket, Whale Fisheries, etc., was sold May 2-3.

The library of the late William F. Poole, Librarian of the Newberry Library of Chicago, was sold by Libbie, May 9-10. It was mostly a working library, but included some rare books. The most notable item, perhaps, was an original copy of the famous "Ordinance of 1787." This was one of the early copies, printed, probably, for the Committee, before the last Article was added.

A few other named sales took place, but the books were generally of comparatively slight importance. As shown by the record, the books printed at the Kelmscott Press have been increasing in price perhaps more rapidly than those of any other class. Besides the collection included in the Edelheim sale, a complete set was offered by Bangs, in their catalogue of April 16-18, and a number of volumes were offered in other sales.

In this volume we record for the first time sales carried on under the management of Mr. John Anderson, Jr. While Mr. Anderson has been in business, as a bookseller, in New York for a number of years, he has just entered the book auction business. His first sale took place on February 6, 1900.

The increasing interest in those single sheet publications known as "Broadsides," especially those relating to American history, and the difficulty of classifying them as "books," has induced us this year to give a small selection of such pieces in a separate section of our record, following the books and preceding the autographs.

As the majority of subscribers to this volume already own one or more of the preceding volumes, it seems almost unnecessary to explain again our system of arrangement. For the benefit of new subscribers, however, we copy a few paragraphs from last year's volume.

Books are entered under their author, where the author is known; otherwise, under the first important word of the title. To this there are some exceptions. Anonymous histories and bio

« PreviousContinue »