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The Edition of this Volume IX. of AMERICAN Book
PRICES CURRENT is limited to Eight Hundred
RECORD OF BOOKS, MANUSCRIPT'S, AND AUTOGRAPHS
COMPILED FROM THE AUCTIONEERS' CataLOGUES
LUTHER S. LIVINGSTON.
HE event of the season in the book-auction world was the
closing out of the old house of Bangs & Co., which, under
various names had been for many years the leading bookauction house in New York. The business and good-will were purchased by Mr. John Anderson, Jr., Bangs & Co.'s principal . New York competitor in the business. The transfer took place on April ist.
Back in the thirties Mr. James E. Cooley was a bookseller and commission merchant in New York, holding occasional auction sales of books. In March, 1837, he took into partnership Mr. Lemuel Bangs, and it was announced in the newspapers of the time that "the business will be conducted hereafter under the firm name of Cooley & Bangs.” Mr. Bangs, however, seems to have induced some friends to buy out Mr. Cooley's interest, and on March 19th the advertised name of the firm became Bangs, Richards & Platt. Later changes in name were made in 1849, to Bangs, Platt & Co.; in 1852, to Bangs, Brother & Co.; in 1858, to Bangs, Merwin & Co.; and finally, in 1876, to Bangs & Co., who carried on the business until its recent extinction. At least four members of the Bangs family were interested in the business during its long history, the last owner being Mr. F. H. Bangs, a nephew of Lemuel Bangs, the founder.
Although the number of lots included in this Volume IX. of “American Book-Prices Current" is greater than that of any previous volume, an examination of the sales of the season shows that comparatively few large or important libraries have been dispersed during the period. Indeed, when we think of a great library as a collection of books which the owner has added to year by year, generally over a long period, then to be sold in its entirety at his decease, or, perhaps, during his lifetime, the number which can come into the salesroom in a single year must necessarily be very small. The majority of sale catalogues (and this must continue to be the fact, in the very nature of the case)