Page images
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


The Collection of which the following pages form a Catalogue, was at once the pride, the pleasure, and the occupation of its late venerable owner for upwards of half a century, and is of so varied and interesting a character as to warrant some few remarks upon its leading specialties.

The long Index of Subjects which is appended, renders a minute analysis unnecessary. First in point of completeness as a Series, are the “Emblems," which are sufficiently numerous to invite the attention of some of our Public Libraries; and it is hoped some Institution will secure them as a nucleus for a more perfect Collection. They should be regarded as something more than a mere collection of Pictures, for assuredly they convey much poignant satire, and many political pasquinades which the then Licensers of the Press would have suppressed as prose, but which escaped their notice disguised as the Fine Arts.

The most important and valuable department, however, is that of Illustrated Books, by which are meant books to which have been added Plates not originally published with the works. They are both numerous and beautiful ; and as many of them were illustrated by Mr. Allan himself, they possess special interest for his friends. Most prominent among them are Dr. Francis's and Irving's Knickerbocker's New York, Dibdin's Bibliomania, Burnet's Own Times, Life of Sir H. Davy, Mary Queen of Scots, together with the various editions of Burns, Byron, Campbell, Ramsay, and other of the Standard Poets; Maberly's Print Collector, Wilson's Catalogue, etc.

Under the term Fine Arts, in the Index, many books are included which are merely illustrated, and, in a strict classification, would not be so placed.

Wood Engraving was a subject in which Mr. Allan took much interest, and his Illustrated Copies of Chatto or Jackson sufficiently indicate his taste.

[blocks in formation]

Penmanship was an accomplishment in which Mr. Allan excelled, and a few rare books on that Art are included. Scientific Books are not numerous. The Medical Books do not include any of the Modern writers, but the early treatise of Eucharius Rhodion on the “Byrth of Mankinde," and others of that class, invite the attention of the Medical Antiquary.

Numismatics is rather largely represented, and contains some rare works. Coin Collecting was once a hobby with Mr. Allan, and his Collection was at one time quite large; but some years since he was tempted to sell it. The Books on the subject were retained, , and some Coins and Medals have been collected since, and are included in this Catalogue.

Bibliography, if not strong, is tolerably varied, and includes a number of Dibdin's Works: his Bibliomania has been before referred to. Priced Catalogues and Treatises on Typography are also included.

Scotland (Mr. Allan's birth-place), as illustrated by her Historians, Poets, Artists, and Novelists, is largely represented, and in some cases by books of acknowledged rarity; and if any part of the Collection had precedence over another in his affections, it was this. This was particularly the case with reference to the books illustrative of Mary Queen of Scots, who was held in reverent admiration by Mr. Allan.

England and Wales, with some other European Countries, are represented in Books of Travel and Picturesque Scenery.

Of Works Relating to America, and History in general, there are but few, but some of them are very scarce.

Of Unique and Presque Unique Books, there is an almost unequalled Collection. It may be safely asserted that an equal number of Missals, Books printed upon Vellum, etc., have never before been offered for sale in this country; and some of them are fine specimens.

The Indian Department is the most limited, consisting of two books only; one of which, however, is the crowning glory of the Sale, and will, it is believed, realize more money than any other book. Reference is made to Eliot's Indian Bible, which is fully described on pages 80 and 81 of this Catalogue.

Under the comprehensive, and perhaps sometimes inappropriate appellation of Theology, in the Index, is grouped a large number of curious books. The analyst who could discover Mr. Allan's

religious belief from his Collection of “Theology,” would possess much skill. The books have evidently been bought more for their singularity than for their religious principles.

One of the most extensive departments is that of Poetry, including Songs and Ballads. There are a few of the rare Old English authors, in good condition, and very much of Scottish Poetry. The Kilmarnock Edition of Burns is a book of much rarity, and the first offered for sale on this continent. Other of the Standard Poets, having been copiously illustrated, have been before referred to.

Among the other departments of Literature, it may be mentioned that there is a little Dramatic, and more Occult Literature. Angling is represented by a splendid set of Pickering's Walton and Cotton. Of Fables there are a few, and enough of Facetive to add piquancy to the lot.

Of Black Letter Books there are some very good specimens, by Ullrich Zell, Vostre, Kerver, etc., one of Wynikyn de Worde, several by Day, Berthelet, and other early English Printers. There are also a few American books printed by Benjamin Franklin, Zenger, etc.

Autographs include a very choice letter by George Washington; a most interesting public document by Benjamin Franklin; a patriotic letter of Lafayette, and others of interest.

Engravings comprise a vast number of Portraits and Plates, well suited to the taste of some

“ Illustrator." Of Coins and Medals the number is small, but some of the latter are very fine and scarce.

Among the Minerals are a few specimens of great beauty, and Lot 4791 is one of much rarity.

Relics, Curiosities, and Antiquities, if not numerous, are singular and interesting, and, it is believed, genuine.

The Silver Plate is mostly Antique, and includes a Silver ToddyLadle, once the property of Robert Burns; a Silver Indian Pipe; Incense-Burner, and other Curious Articles.

Among the unusual features of the Sale are several Scottish or Highland Costumes, Buckles, Scarfs, etc., admirably adapted for Tableaux or Private Theatricals.

Sculpture is represented by one specimen only: a fine Bust of Napoleon, in Carrara Marble.

« PreviousContinue »