By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Prices of Books - An Inquiry into the Changes in the Price of Books which - have occurred in England at different Periods
Author: Wheatley, Henry B. (Henry Benjamin), 1838-1917
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Prices of Books - An Inquiry into the Changes in the Price of Books which - have occurred in England at different Periods" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

The Library Series





The Library Series


I. THE FREE LIBRARY: Its History and Present Condition. By J.
J. OGLE, of Bootle Free Library. Cloth, 6s. net.

BURGOYNE, of the Tate Central Library, Brixton. With 141
Illustrations. Cloth, 6s. net.

Museum. Cloth, 6s. net.

Arts. Cloth, 6s. net.






  [_All rights reserved_]

  At the Ballantyne Press


The history of prices is one of the most interesting subjects that can
engage research. As language has been called fossil poetry, from which
the primitive workings of the mind of man may be elicited, so the story
of his progress in material well-being lies enfolded in the history of
the prices which have at various periods been procurable for
commodities, whether of prime necessity, of general utility, or simply
ornamental. The prices of books, so ably investigated and recorded by
Mr. WHEATLEY in the following pages, are a small but significant
department of a great subject. If we had no record of the price of any
other article of commerce, we should still perceive in them an index to
the world\x92s advance in wealth, taste, and general intelligence. With
every allowance for the fall in the value of money, it would yet be
manifest that prices could now be afforded for books which at an earlier
period would have been out of the question; and not less so that while
some classes of books had risen in worth with the enhanced standard of
wealth, others had accommodated themselves to the requirements of the
poor. We should trace the effect of mechanical improvements in
diminishing the prices of things, and of fashion and curiosity in
augmenting them. We should see the enormous influence of scarcity in
forcing up the value of products, while we should learn at the same time
that this was not the sole agent, but that intrinsic merit must usually
to some extent co-operate with it, and that prices must bear some
relation to the inherent reason of things. It must, for instance, have
been entirely unforeseen by the early printers that the books which they
advertised with such exultation as cheaper than the manuscripts they
were superseding would in process of time become dearer, but we can
discern this metamorphosis of relative value to have been rational and
inevitable. Finally, the fluctuations of price would afford a clue to
the intellectual condition of the age. Observing, for example, the great
decline which, as a rule, has taken place in the value of early editions
of the classics, we should conclude that either the classical writers
were less generally esteemed than formerly, or that such progress had
been made in their study that the old editions had become inadequate;
and both conclusions would be well founded.

Books occupy a middle position between ordinary products and works of
art. Like the latter, they are in theory the offspring of an exceptional
talent. The humblest bookman views himself as in some measure the
superior of his readers for the time being; he would have no excuse for
addressing them if he did not suppose himself able to convey to them
some pleasure which they could not have attained without him, or to
inform them of something, however insignificant, which but for him
would have remained unknown. But whereas in the arts price is usually in
the ratio of the real or supposed intellectual merit of the production,
in books it may almost be said that the reverse rule obtains. The fine
picture or statue cannot be reproduced as an original work; copies may
be made to any extent, but no amount of copying impairs the value of the
unique original. Again, such a work, whether absolutely perfect or not,
once finished is complete for all time, and allows of no further
improvement. But the book admits of indefinite multiplication, and the
extent to which this proceeds is commonly in the ratio of its
intellectual worth. It is the very greatest authors, the Homers, the
Shakespeares, that are usually the easiest and cheapest to procure.

It appears, therefore, that, although great books unquestionably demand
more intellectual power for their production than great works of art,
their very superiority tends to cheapen them in comparison by
encouraging their dissemination. There could not be a stronger instance
of the power of scarcity in determining price; and, in fact, the rarity
of a book is the most important element in its commercial worth. Yet
intrinsic desert plays its part, though an inferior one. There are some
cases in which it utterly fails. The commercial value of the productions
of the Dutch prototypographers, for example, would probably not be
augmented in the least if they could be transformed from fragments of
dull lesson-books into leaves from sages and poets. The Papal Bulls
relating to the Turks in Cyprus, which have the honour to be the first
documents to have issued complete from an European press, would hardly
gain in commercial value if they were briefs announcing the foundation
of the Vatican Library, or official announcements of the fall of
Constantinople. On the other hand, the first edition of Virgil, one of
the rarest of books, would assuredly be less valued if, while equally
rare, it were the _editio princeps_ of a Latin author of inferior
reputation. In general, the celebrity of an author will be found a
considerable factor in determining the value of a book; but while rarity
without celebrity will effect much, celebrity without rarity, or some
other adventitious circumstance devoid of relation to the intellectual
value of the book, will effect very little.

Many other circumstances besides scarcity will contribute to render a
book highly prized, and consequently dear. Some of these are obvious at
once, such as fine paper, fine print, fine binding, or the autograph of
a celebrated man. A book will be valued because it has been the subject
of a judicial condemnation, or because it is a copy containing a plate
in general deficient or mutilated, or perhaps only because it has an
erratum corrected in other copies. Mr. Sidney Lee\x92s recent discovery of
a unique peculiarity in the Baroness Burdett-Coutts\x92 Shakespeare folio
may probably have doubled the value of the book. Sometimes such causes
are very singular. King Charles the First dropped a pamphlet into the
mud; the stain remains to this day, and centuples the value of a tract
which would have been only deteriorated if it had slipped from the
fingers of a lord-in-waiting. Such a fact introduces the element of
sentiment, a powerful factor, and one of far-reaching influence; for the
Quaker or Freemason who collects literature interesting to his society,
or the local patriot who buys up the books printed in his native town,
sets others upon collecting them too, and raises the value all round.
Next to scarcity and great beauty, nothing, perhaps, imparts such
stability to the worth of a book as to be addressed to a small but
well-defined circle of readers. Books on chess and angling are familiar
instances. They are not too numerous to dismay a collector, and every
one differs from the rest in some feature sufficient to make it
indispensable to a collector ambitious of completeness.

A certain description of books would excite lively interest if they
could be identified with certainty, those which are not valuable now,
but which are about to be. It may probably be considered that almost any
book which can manage to exist for five hundred years will find itself
augmented in value at the end of this period, but some classes will have
proved much better investments than others. Two may be signalised with
considerable confidence--illustrated books, which portray the fashions
and humours of the age for posterity, and newspapers. Nothing grows in
value like a newspaper; the sheets of to-day, which, perhaps, contain
nothing of interest to any contemporary reader, will be priceless to the
historian and antiquary of the centuries to come. They fructify in
silence, and imperceptibly make their possessor rich. Their intellectual
as well as their pecuniary value augments by lying still. Nothing so
faithfully depicts an age for its successors; they are worth all the
histories and all the novels. Their preservation--which involves their
assemblage in one place for the sake of accessibility and of comparison
with each other and with books--is a momentous trust, neglect of which
would strike a heavy blow at historical, arch\xE6ological, and sociological
research, and inflict a grievous injury upon the ages to come.

                                                   R. GARNETT.
  _March 1898._


The subject of the prices of books is one which always exercises a
certain fascination over the minds of book-lovers, although some have
expressed their objection to any discussion of it, lest this should have
the effect of enhancing prices.

In a single volume it is impossible to deal with so large a subject in
any fulness of detail, and I have therefore endeavoured to give a
general view, merely instancing a few cases in illustration of the
whole, but making an exception in respect of two of the most interesting
and high-priced classes of books in literature, namely, the productions
of the press of Caxton, and the original editions of Shakespeare\x92s

It is necessary for the reader to bear two points in mind--

(1) That the value of money has changed during each century of our
history to an extent not easy to calculate with precision, because the
prices of all articles have not been equally affected. We can say
generally that definite incomes a hundred years ago were equivalent in
worth to twice their nominal amount at the present day, and that those
of two hundred years ago would be worth about five times as much. In the
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries money was worth ten or twelve times
what it is now, but there is some difficulty in calculating correctly
the rates respectively of necessaries and luxuries. This is a matter for
experts, and cannot be more than alluded to here, as a warning to the
reader that he must always remember that a pound or a shilling in
previous centuries was of more value than it is to-day, and possessed a
much greater purchasing power.

(2) That in dealing with prices we are interested with rare and
specially valuable books. Ordinary standard books, even in good
editions, were never cheaper than at present.

A writer of a work of this kind must feel grateful to predecessors, who
have made it possible for him to gather satisfactory material for his
purpose. Special gratitude is due to Thomas Frognall Dibdin, Hartwell
Horne, and William Clarke (author of the _Repertorium Bibliographicum_),
who were all thorough workers in this field. The labours of Dibdin have
been unjustly depreciated by many modern writers. His works, besides
being among the most beautiful books produced in Europe, are mines of
bibliographical anecdote and useful literary information. Objections may
be made by some to his descriptions, but he certainly greatly
influenced the bibliomania of a former age, and made many sales famous
which otherwise would have been forgotten except by the few.

There is a gap in the literature of our subject between authors at the
beginning of the century and the modern writers, who largely obtain
their information from French sources.

                                                      H. B. W.


  INTRODUCTION                                            1

  SELLERS OF BOOKS                                       26

  PRICES OF MANUSCRIPT BOOKS                             49

  PUBLISHED PRICES                                       79




  PRICES OF EARLY PRINTED BOOKS                         179


  PRICES OF SHAKESPEARE\x92S WORKS                         223

  PRICES OF VARIOUS CLASSES OF BOOKS                    241

  INDEX                                                 265




The treatment of such a subject as the Prices of Books necessarily
obliges us to range over a wide field, for books have been bought and
sold far back in the historical period, and to books, both manuscript
and printed, we have to refer largely for records of the past. It is,
however, only possible in the space at our disposal to take a very
general view of the subject; and it is to be hoped that, in recording
the main points in the vicissitudes of prices, the information may not
be deemed too desultory to be serviceable.

We might go back to the earliest times, even to Job\x92s famous
exclamation, but for our present purpose there would not be much
advantage in roaming in this early period, as the results to be recorded
would partake more of an arch\xE6ological, than of a practical character.
There is very little chance of a copy of the first book of Martial\x92s
Epigrams (which, when first composed by the author, cost at Rome about
three shillings and sixpence of our money) coming to auction, so that
we are not likely to be able to record its present value.

A consideration of the subject opens up a large number of interesting
subjects, which can only casually be alluded to, such as the position of
authors, and their remuneration.

For several centuries monasteries were the chief producers of
literature, and it seems probable that it was worth the while of the
chiefs of some of these literary manufactories to pay a poet such as
Chaucer something for a new Canterbury Tale, which they could copy and
distribute over the country. We know by the number of manuscripts, and
the different order in these, that several establishments were employed
in the production of the manuscripts, and we may guess that there would
probably be competition among them, which would naturally result in a
settlement of some terms of payment.

In the early times it was only rich men who could afford to collect
books. Amongst these, one of the most distinguished was Richard de Bury,
Bishop of Durham, Treasurer and Chancellor of Edward III., who collected
everything, and spared no cost in the maintenance of a staff of copyists
and illuminators in his own household. Not only was he a collector
(whose books, however, have been dispersed), but he was the author of an
interesting relic of that devotion to an ennobling pursuit, the famous
_Philobiblon_. This book had never been satisfactorily produced until
the late Mr. Ernest Thomas issued in 1888 an admirable edition, founded
on a collation of many manuscripts, and a spirited translation.[1] This
work occupied Mr. Thomas several years, and before he completed it he
saw reason to doubt the high literary position which had been
universally accorded to the author; and his opinion was confirmed by an
unpublished passage in a manuscript of the _Chronicon sui temporis_ of
Adam de Murimuth, to which he was referred by Sir Edward Maunde
Thompson, where Adam characterised the bishop in very harsh terms. Mr.
Thomas published in \x93The Library\x94 (vol. i. p. 335) an article entitled,
\x93Was Richard de Bury an Impostor?\x94 In this he expressed the opinion that
Richard Aungerville--

    (1) Was _not_ an excellent bishop, _but_ an ambitious self-seeker,
    who bought his way to preferment.

    (2) Was _not_ a scholar and patron of scholars, _but_ merely a
    collector of books, that he might appear as a scholar.

    (3) _Did not_ bestow his collections on Durham College, Oxford, as
    he expressed his intention of doing; _but_ that these collections
    were sold to pay debts incurred by his ostentatious extravagance.

     (4) _Did not_ write _Philobiblon_. The authorship was claimed for
    Robert Holkot, a Dominican, who for some time was a member of the
    bishop\x92s household.

It is certain that the evidence is such as to force us to lower our
estimate of the prelate\x92s merits, but these four charges are certainly
not all proved. He may not have been so learned and so unselfish a lover
of books as was supposed, but there is no satisfactory reason for
depriving him of the credit of being the author of the _Philobiblon_.

Mr. Thomas shows that Richard de Bury was born on 24th January 1287, and
not 1281, as stated in the \x93Dictionary of National Biography.\x94 He
completed the _Philobiblon_, and on the 14th April of the same year
_Dominus Ricardus de Bury migravit ad Dominum_.

A singularly appropriate chapter from the earliest \x93book about books\x94
may here be quoted:--


    (Chapter III. of the _Philobiblon_ of Richard de Bury.[2])

    \x93From what has been said we draw this corollary, welcome to us, but
    (as we believe) acceptable to few; namely, that no dearness of price
    ought to hinder a man from the buying of books, if he has the money
    that is demanded for them, unless it be to withstand the malice of
    the seller, or to await a more favourable opportunity of buying. For
    if it is wisdom only that makes the price of books, which is an
    infinite treasure to mankind, and if the value of books is
    unspeakable, as the premises show, how shall the bargain be shown to
    be dear where an infinite good is being bought? Wherefore that
    books are to be gladly bought and unwillingly sold, Solomon, the sun
    of men, exhorts in the _Proverbs_: _Buy the truth_, he says, _and
    sell not wisdom_. But what we are trying to show by rhetoric or
    logic, let us prove by examples from history. The arch-philosopher
    Aristotle, whom Averroes regards as the law of Nature, bought a few
    books of Speusippus straightway after his death for seventy-two
    thousand sesterces. Plato, before him in time, but after him in
    learning, bought the book of Philolaus the Pythagorean, from which
    he is said to have taken the _Tim\xE6us_, for ten thousand denaries, as
    Aulus Gellius relates in the _Noctes Attic\xE6_. Now Aulus Gellius
    relates this that the foolish may consider how wise men despise
    money in comparison with books. And on the other hand, that we may
    know that folly and pride go together, let us here relate the folly
    of Tarquin the Proud in despising books, as also related by Aulus
    Gellius. An old woman, utterly unknown, is said to have come to
    Tarquin the Proud, the seventh King of Rome, offering to sell nine
    books in which (as she declared) sacred oracles were contained; but
    she asked an immense sum for them, insomuch that the king said she
    was mad. In anger she flung three books into the fire, and still
    asked the same price for the rest. When the king refused it, again
    she flung three others into the fire, and still asked the same price
    for the three that were left. At last, astonished beyond measure,
    Tarquin was glad to pay for three books the same price for which he
    might have bought nine. The old woman straightway disappeared, and
    was never seen before or after. These were the Sibylline books....\x94

The destruction of libraries, which was common in the Middle Ages,
naturally caused an increase in the value of those which remained. How
completely these libraries passed away may be seen by the instance of
that which was once preserved in St. Paul\x92s Cathedral, and is noticed by
the late Dr. Sparrow Simpson in his \x93St. Paul\x92s Cathedral Library\x94
(1893). Walter Shiryngton Clerk founded the library, the catalogue of
which (1458) fills eight folio pages in the first edition of Dugdale\x92s
\x93History of St. Paul\x92s.\x94 Of all the manuscripts in this catalogue, only
three are now known to exist: one is still at St. Paul\x92s, the second is
at Aberdeen, and the third at Lambeth.

The British Museum is fortunate in possessing the beautiful library of
the Kings and Queens of England since Henry VII., which is full of the
most splendid specimens of artistic bindings. What the market value of
such literary gems as these may be can scarcely be estimated, and
fortunately they are safe from the arising of any occasion which might
afford a test of their value. From this library we are able to
appreciate the good taste of James I., who, whatever his faults may have
been, was certainly a true bibliophile, and to him we owe some of the
finest books in the collection.

It may be safely said that few collections of books have been formed
under such difficult and trying circumstances as the invaluable Thomason
Collection of Civil War Tracts, now happily preserved in the British
Museum. Mr. F. Madan has contributed to _Bibliographica_ (vol. iii. p.
291) a most valuable article on the labours of the worthy Royalist
bookseller, George Thomason. Thomason commenced in November 1640, when
the \x93Long or Rebel Parliament\x94 began, his great undertaking of
collecting all the pamphlets published in England, and he continued it
until May 1661. Many of these were printed surreptitiously, and were
obtained with the greatest difficulty; in fact, seventy-three of these
were in manuscript, \x93which no man durst then venture to publish without
endangering his ruine.\x94 The King and the Cavalier party knew of the
existence of the collection, but every endeavour was made to keep the
knowledge from the other party. If it were difficult to form the
collection, it was still more difficult to preserve it. We are told
that, \x93to prevent the discovery of them, when the army was Northwards,
he packed them in several trunks, and, by one or two in a week, sent
them to a trusty friend in Surrey, who safely preserved them, and when
the army was Westward, and fearing their return that way, they were sent
to London again; but the collector durst not keep them, but sent them
into Essex, and so according as they lay near danger, still by timely
removing them at a great charge, secured them, but continued perfecting
the work.\x94 Afterwards, for greater security, they were lodged in the
Bodleian Library, and a pretended bargain was made, and a receipt for
\xA31000 given to the University of Oxford, so that \x93if the Usurper had
found them out the University should claim them, who had greater power
to struggle for them than a private man.\x94

On one occasion Charles I. wished to consult a particular pamphlet, and
applied to Thomason for the loan of it. In small quarto vol. 100 is a
manuscript note describing the particulars of this interesting loan:--

    \x93Memorandum that Col. Will Legg and Mr. Arthur Treavors were
    employed by his M?tie K. Charles to gett for his present use, a
    pamphlet which his M?tie had then occasion to make use of, and not
    meeting with it, they both came to me, having heard that I did
    employ my selfe to take up all such things, from the beginning of
    that Parlement, and finding it with me, tould me it was for the
    King\x92s owne use, I tould them all I had were at his M?ties command
    and service, and withall tould them if I should part with it and
    loose it, presuming that when his M?tie had done with it, that
    little account would be made of it, and so I should loose by that
    losse a limbe of my collection, which I should be very loth to do,
    well knowing it would be impossible to supplie it if it should
    happen to be lost, with which answer they returned to his M?tie at
    Hampton Court (as I take it) and tould him they had found that peece
    he so much desired and withall how loath he that had it, was to part
    with, he much fearing its losse; whereupon they were both sent to me
    againe by his M?tie to tell me that upon the worde of a Kinge (to
    use their own expressions) he would safely returne it, thereuppon
    immediately by them I sent it to his M?tie, who having done with it,
    and having it with him when he was going towards the Isle of Wight,
    let it fall in the durt, and then callinge for the two persons
    before mentioned (who attended him) delivered it to them, with a
    charge, as they would answer it another day, that they should both
    speedily and safely return it to him, from whom they had received
    it, and withall to desire the partie to goe on and continue what had
    begun, which book together with his M?ties signification to me by
    these worthy and faithfull gentlemen I received both speedily and
    safely. Which volume hath the marke of honor upon it, which no
    other volume in my collection hath, and very diligently and
    carefully I continued the same, until the most hapie restoration and
    coronation of his most gratious m?tie Kinge Charles the second whom
    God long preserve.--GEORGE THOMASON.\x94

Here we have surely an interesting instance of the poetry of

According to Mr. Madan\x92s calculation, there are 22,834 pamphlets in
about 1983 volumes, and apparently some hundred or so pieces have been
lost from the original set. The collection of these pamphlets was made
at very considerable expense, and Thomason is said to have refused \xA34000
for them, \x93supposing that sum not sufficient to reimburse him.\x94 On his
death in 1666 a special trust was appointed under his will to take
charge of the collection, and Dr. Thomas Barlow (Bodley\x92s librarian,
1652 to 1660) was one of the trustees. In 1675 Barlow was appointed
Bishop of Lincoln, and in the following year requested the Rev. George
Thomason (son of the bookseller) to take over the charge. After many
vicissitudes the books were bought for the absurdly small sum of \xA3300
for George III., who presented the collection to the British Museum. It
is impossible to guess at the present price of what is practically

The famous antiquary Elias Ashmole, whose treasures are now preserved at
Oxford in the Ashmolean Museum, records in his Diary some of his
purchases, as, on May 1667, \x93I bought Mr. John Booker\x92s study of books,
and gave \xA3140 for them\x94; and again, on June 12, 1681, \x93I bought Mr.
Lilly\x92s library of books of his widow for \xA350.\x94[3] We can judge of the
character of his library by these purchases of the collections of two of
his famous astrological friends.

Even in the seventeenth century men began to be frightened at the
increase of books, and Sir Thomas Browne in his _Religio Medici_
suggested a system of destruction: \x93\x92Tis not a melancholy _utinam_ of my
own, but the desires of better heads, that there were a general
synod--not to unite the incompatible difference of religion, but--for
the benefit of learning, to reduce it, as it lay at first, in a few and
solid authors; and to condemn to the fire those swarms and millions of
rhapsodies, begotten only to distract and abuse the weaker judgments of
scholars, and to maintain the trade and mystery of typographers.\x94 If
there was reason for this complaint two centuries ago, how much more
must there be now! but the project is unworkable, and Time takes the
matter in his own hand and destroys. Fortunately the destruction chiefly
takes place among books not likely to be missed.

Three of the greatest book collectors of the eighteenth century were
Bishop Moore, the Earl of Sunderland, and the Earl of Oxford. Bishop
Moore\x92s fine library, which consisted of about thirty thousand volumes,
was offered in 1714 to Harley, Earl of Oxford, for \xA38000, but the latter
did not accept the offer because the bishop insisted that the earl
should pay the money at once, although he was not to receive the books
till the collector\x92s death. He would not really have had long to wait,
for the bishop died on July 31st of the same year. The library, mainly
through the influence of Lord Townshend, was purchased for \xA36000 by
George I., who presented it to the University of Cambridge. This
presentation gave rise to two well-known epigrams, which have been
frequently misquoted. Dr. Trapp, the first Professor of Poetry at
Oxford, expressed the disgust of his University in these lines--

    \x93Contrary methods justly George applies
    To govern his two Universities;
    To Oxford sent a troop of horse; for why?
    That learned body wanted Loyalty.
    To Cambridge he sent books, as well discerning
    How much that loyal body wanted learning.\x94

Sir William Browne, the physician, put the Cambridge case in a form
which extorted praise from the Oxonian Samuel Johnson--

    \x93Contrary methods justly George applies
    To govern his two Universities;
    And so to Oxford sent a troop of horse,
    For Tories hold no argument but force.
    To Cambridge Ely\x92s learned troops are sent,
    For Whigs admit no force but argument.\x94[4]

When Lord Treasurer Harley recommended Queen Anne to purchase Sir
Symonds d\x92Ewes\x92 manuscripts as the richest collection in England after
Sir Robert Cotton\x92s, and to present them to a public library, the Queen
answered, \x93It was no virtue for her, a woman, to prefer, as she did,
arts to arms; but while the blood and honour of a nation were at stake
in her wars, she could not, till she had secured her _living_ subjects
an honourable peace, bestow their money upon _dead_ letters.\x94 Thereupon
the Lord Treasurer bought the collection himself for \xA36000.[5] The whole
collection of the Harleian MSS. (one of the greatest treasures of the
British Museum Library), which consists of 7639 volumes, exclusive of
14,236 original rolls, charters, deeds, and other legal instruments, was
purchased by Government for \xA310,000, or only \xA34000 more than the Earl of
Oxford gave for Sir Symonds d\x92Ewes\x92 manuscripts alone.

The Earl of Sunderland\x92s fine library was for several years housed in
the mansion which formerly stood on the site of the Albany in
Piccadilly. It was removed to Blenheim in 1749, where it remained till
the great sale of 1881-83. Oldys reports that the King of Denmark
offered Lord Sunderland\x92s heirs \xA330,000 for the library,[6] and that the
great Duchess Sarah of Marlborough was in favour of the offer being
accepted, but it was not.

We learn from Hearne\x92s \x93Remains\x94 that \xA33000 was offered by the
University of Oxford for the noble library of Isaac Vossius, the
free-thinking Canon of Windsor, and refused. Hearne adds, \x93We should
have purchased them, and not stood in such a case upon punctilio and
niceties, when we are so lavish of our money upon trifles that bring
dishonour on the University.\x94 The library was taken abroad, and soon
afterwards sold to the University of Leyden for the same amount as that
previously offered by Oxford (\xA33000).[7]

Thomas Osborne, the chief bookseller of his time, bought the great
Harley library, consisting of about 50,000 volumes of printed books,
41,000 prints, and about 350,000 pamphlets, for \xA313,000. This seems a
small amount for so matchless a collection, but it is not certain that
Osborne made a very profitable investment by his purchase. We shall have
more to say of the bookseller and the library in the next chapter.

As an instance of the low price of books at this time, the anecdote of
Mr. David Papillon\x92s agreement with Osborne may be mentioned here. The
contract was that the bookseller should supply Mr. Papillon (who died in
1762) with one hundred pounds\x92 worth of books at threepence apiece, the
only conditions being that they should be perfect, and that there should
be no duplicates. Osborne was at first pleased with his bargain, and
sent in a large number of books; but he soon found that it would be
impossible to carry out the agreement without great loss, as he was
obliged to send in books worth shillings instead of pence. Long before
he had supplied the eight thousand volumes required, he begged to be let
off the contract.

Things were worse in Russia, where Klostermann, the bookseller to the
Imperial Court, sold books by the yard (fifty to one hundred roubles,
according to binding). Every courtier who had hopes of a visit from the
Empress Catharine was expected to have a library, and as few of them had
any literary taste, they bought them at this rate. Sometimes waste-paper
books were lettered with the names of celebrated authors.

Authorship could hardly become a profession until after the invention of
printing, and even then it was long before a living could be got out of
books. Dr. Edward Castell laboured for seventeen years in the
compilation of his immense undertaking--the _Lexicon Heptaglotton_, to
accompany Walton\x92s Polyglot Bible. During this time he maintained at his
own cost as writers seven Englishmen and as many foreigners. All of them
died before the work was completed. Besides expending \xA312,000 of his own
money he was obliged to borrow \xA32000 more, and this not being
sufficient, he petitioned Charles II. that a prison might not be the
reward of so much labour. Notwithstanding a circular letter from the
king recommending the purchase of this work the author ended his days in
poverty, and a great part of the impression was thrown into garrets,
where many of the copies were destroyed by damp or rats.

A similar case was that of Thomas Madox, the learned author of the
\x93History of the Exchequer,\x94 who wrote to Dr. Charlett requesting him to
get his book into the College Libraries at Oxford, and explaining that
the cost of the impression was \xA3400 for paper and print, and as only 481
copies were printed, \x93when all the books shall be sold I shall be just
able to pay the charges with a trifling over-plus.... This affair,\x94 he
adds, \x93has given me much perplexity, and perfectly cured me of

Thomas Hearne was more fortunate, and amassed a small fortune by his
publications. One thousand guineas were found in gold in his rooms at
St. Edmund Hall after his death. His books were soon out of print, and
fetched large prices even in his own lifetime.

Lord Spencer bought the whole of the library of Count Revickzky, a
catalogue of which had been privately printed by the original owner at
Berlin in 1784. According to Dibdin, when the Count was in England he
offered his whole collection to Lord Spencer for a certain round sum to
be paid to him immediately, and for a yearly sum by way of annuity. The
offer was accepted, and as the Count died soon afterwards, Lord Spencer
obtained the library at a cheap rate. The same noble collector offered
the Duke di Cassano Serra \xA3500 for two books, viz., the _Juvenal_ of
Ulric Han, and the _Horace_ of Arnaldus de Bruxella, Naples, 1474, but
the offer was not accepted. In 1820 Lord Spencer bought the whole

The Duke of Devonshire purchased the valuable library of Dr. Thomas
Dampier, Bishop of Ely, for nearly \xA310,000 after the bishop\x92s death in
1812. Dr. Dibdin has printed in his \x93Reminiscences\x94 (vol. i. p. 363) a
list of prices at which Dr. Dampier valued the various classes of books
in his library.

Little idea of the prices of books can be obtained from the amounts
given for a whole library, but as in future chapters particulars will be
printed of the great libraries that have been disposed of by auction, it
seemed well to mention here a few instances of libraries that have been
sold entire. The greatest of these is the magnificent library of Earl
Spencer, which was sold in 1892 to Mrs. Rylands, and has been
transferred from Althorpe to Manchester. The exact amount paid for this
library has not been announced, but it is supposed to have been about a
quarter of a million pounds.

In respect to the history of prices of books, there have been times of
inflation and times of depression, just as in the history of prices
generally, but it will be seen that in spite of these vicissitudes
scarce books have gradually increased in value. The first signs of the
growth of _bibliomania_ are seen in the sales of Dr. Mead\x92s and Dr.
Askew\x92s libraries in the middle of the last century, which aroused a
great interest among book collectors.

During the great Napoleonic wars books became very scarce, because
Englishmen were prevented from purchasing on the Continent, but upon
the conclusion of the peace there was a steady flow of books into the

The Duke of Roxburghe\x92s sale in 1812 was a great event, forming, as it
did, an epoch in the history of book collecting, and the widespread
fervour of bibliomaniacs may be dated from that period. Great sales
followed, and then came the sale of the enormous Heber library, which
let out too many books on the market at once. After this there followed
a dull time, but a revival came with the Bright sale in 1846 and Stowe
sale in 1849, and the Daniel and Corser sales between 1860 and 1870, and
the Henry Perkins sale in 1873, were great events. The last few years
have been marked by many great sales, those of the Sunderland, the
Beckford, and Hamilton Libraries, and the Turner, Gaisford, Crawford,
and Ashburnham collections being among the most remarkable. The greatly
increased prices obtained for books have induced many proprietors to
sell their literary treasures.

It is well to remember that the value of all books is not rising, but
that whole classes have fallen in price. Greek and Roman Classics, and
the Fathers and Theological Literature generally, have been most
markedly depreciated in value.

Fashion guides alterations in the prices of books, just as she does in
other less important matters. Thus we find at one time certain books
quoted at high prices, which not many years afterwards have become drugs
in the market. Still, a careful review of the subject will show that
fashion is not nearly so potent as in some other departments, say, for
instance, in the case of pictures, which certainly vary in price more
than books. In spite, therefore, of signs of variableness, it will be
seen that there is a continuous increase of price among certain classes
of books which are sure to retain their value, and even to be still more
esteemed as time passes.

It may be well to inquire what are some of the causes which lead to an
increase in the price, and to distinguish between those which are
permanent and those which are ephemeral. The growth of book-collecting
in the United States has had a most potent influence, and large
purchases made for many years in England have drained off a large number
of books, low priced as well as high priced, which will never return to
this country. Another cause is the increase of public libraries in Great
Britain, and when books are bought for these libraries they are
permanently removed from the open market, as they are not when sold to
an individual, because his library will most probably eventually come to
the hammer. These two causes would be sufficient in themselves to
permanently increase the price of scarce books, but there are still
others to be mentioned. There has been of late years a greatly increased
interest felt in the history of books--in printing, in binding--and
increased knowledge has shown the great claims of a large number of
books to a higher appreciation than hitherto. Then again, the class of
the wealthy who can afford to collect choice libraries has largely
increased; and lastly, the belief that the collecting of books is by no
means a bad investment has not been without effect. This last point
opens up a very interesting question in ethics, Should a collector look
upon his collections as an investment? The late Mr. J. Hill Burton
argues very strongly against this view in his \x93Book-Hunter.\x94 He writes--

    \x93The mercenary spirit must not be admitted to a share in the
    enjoyments of the book-hunter.... If [he] allows money-making, even
    for those he is to leave behind, to be combined with his pursuit, it
    loses its fresh relish, its exhilarating influence, and becomes the
    source of wretched cares and paltry anxieties. When money is the
    object, let a man speculate or become a miser.\x94...

This is quite true, but we must remember that, after all, increased
price is only an outward manifestation of increased public estimation,
and it is always satisfactory to know that our opinion has been accepted
by the public. The real point seems to be that the collector should use
his judgment in respect to price, and not trouble himself whether the
market value of individual books goes up or down, for he may be sure
that if he buys wisely, the ups and the downs will balance each other.
If a fair-sized library is purchased with judgment and knowledge, it
cannot fail to become a profitable investment, because good books
increase in value by reason of their companionship. All worthless books
should therefore be ruthlessly weeded out. For instance, a library of
1000 choice books would probably sell for less with 500 books of little
value added to them than if these were ruthlessly eliminated.

Mr. Andrew Lang writes in his pretty little book, \x93The Library\x94--

    \x93When Osborne sold the Harley collection, the scarcest old English
    books fetched but three or four shillings. If the Wandering Jew had
    been a collector in the last century, he might have turned a pretty
    profit by selling his old English books in this age.\x94

But Mr. Lang did not think of a calculation, by which Mr. A. W. Pollard,
in an interesting article on \x93English Booksales, 1676-86\x94
(_Bibliographica_, vol. ii. p. 126), overthrew this view of the
possibility of great gains. He writes--

    \x93It is perhaps in accordance with precedent to remark that, by the
    judicious expenditure of five-and-twenty pounds during the ten years
    we have reviewed, a library of about two hundred volumes might have
    been acquired, which would now be cheap at \xA310,000. But as the \xA325,
    if invested at compound interest at five per cent., would now have
    amounted to nearly a million, it is well for bookmen not to make too
    much of such mercenary considerations.\x94

This question of price was formerly a delicate one. Thus William Beloe
was censured by some collectors for drawing attention to the subject in
his \x93Anecdotes of Literature\x94; but that this objection is got over now
may be seen from the great success of such a valuable annual as the
\x93Book-Prices Current,\x94 notwithstanding the complaints of some
second-hand booksellers of injury to their business from its revelation
of the real value of their books!

Dibdin mentions a book-collector to whom he was pointed out at the
Roxburghe sale, who exclaimed, \x93Hang him! why did he not publish his
book in 1810? My books would have brought double the prices.\x94[9]

Dibdin doubtless influenced the market; and in later times two men have
exerted a very special influence in raising the prices of books: these
are the late Mr. Henry Stevens and Mr. Bernard Quaritch. The former drew
his countrymen\x92s attention to early books printed in and relating to
America, and he caused a considerable increase in the price of
Americana. But neither of these great book-buyers could have permanently
raised the price of books if they had not devoted their attention to
books which were well worth these advanced prices. When we deal with
books of great beauty and value, and of rare occurrence, which are
wanted by several rich book-collectors, it is difficult to say what
price is too great for such treasures.

It becomes, therefore, an important matter for the book-collector to
consider what are the rules that guide the enhancement of price in
books. It is not easy to codify these rules, for varying circumstances
alter cases: thus new editions reduce the value of some high-priced
books, but have no effect in the case of others; and time supersedes
some books, while it enhances the value of others. There are, however,
one or two points which may be mentioned as regulating price, for those
persons who suppose prices to be altogether erratic are certainly wrong.

What, then, are the chief characteristics of a book which make it
valuable? \x93Uniquity,\x94 to use Horace Walpole\x92s word, is one of these;
but this is not always sufficient to keep up the price.

Good condition is the grand enhancer of value, and dirty copies of even
scarce works are seldom worth much. But nowadays much is done by the
artist to improve these books. The leaves can be washed, torn pages can
be mended, imperfections can be filled up by fac-similes, and then the
whole can be handsomely bound in morocco, so that the owner scarcely
knows his book again. Still, however, one difficulty remains in the
artistic make-up--a short copy cannot be made into a tall one.

It is useless for the artist to spend his labour upon other than the
best books, such as the productions of the early presses, original
editions of masterpieces, and works of permanent value in their best
possible form, with the authors\x92 final corrections. The only high-priced
books which can dispense with interesting contents are specimens of fine
bindings; while here again, if the historical binding covers a really
valuable book, the two elements of value united will cause a remarkable
enhancement of price.

Little need be said as to those books which fetch high prices for a
time, and then when fashion alters sink to a much lower level, as it
will usually be found that there was no intrinsic value attached to
these books, and therefore they were not such as would be bought by the
wise collector at a high price. The fictitious value has usually been
attained by a system of limited editions and of judicious advertising.
Success in these cases is attained among a class outside the experts in
bibliography, and therefore there is no cause for wonder that mistakes
are made. Sometimes the depression is caused by the unexpected
appearance of several copies of a book, of which one or two copies only
were believed to exist.

In considering the probability of high prices being sustained, it must
always be borne in mind that the peaceful and prosperous condition of
the country is taken for granted. In times of national calamity little
money is available for luxuries. Two other important points must be
remembered. (1) That it is of no use for a book to be scarce if nobody
wants it. The money value of the phenomenally dull book mentioned by Sir
Walter Scott is not recorded.

    \x93We have heard of one work of fiction so unutterably stupid that the
    proprietor, diverted by the rarity of the incident, offered the
    book, which consisted of two volumes duodecimo, handsomely bound, to
    any person who would declare upon his honour that he had read the
    whole from beginning to end. But although this offer was made to the
    passengers on board an Indiaman during a tedious outward-bound
    voyage, the \x93Memoirs of Clegg the Clergyman\x94 (such was the title of
    this unhappy composition) completely baffled the most dull and
    determined student on board, when the love of glory prevailed with
    the boatswain, a man of strong and solid parts, to hazard the
    attempt, and he actually conquered and carried off the prize.\x94

(2) That good books are still very cheap, particularly those which it is
necessary to possess. So much is talked about the high prices which
books fetch, that many are led to believe that he must be a rich man who
commences to collect a library; but this is not so, for many good books
in good condition can be bought for a few shillings; in fact, some of
the best library books, well bound, do not range at more than ten
shillings per octavo volume, and this cannot be called a high price.
Ordinary collectors must make up their minds to do without Mazarin
Bibles and first folios of Shakespeare, and they will find that life can
be lived without these expensive luxuries.

In conclusion, it is necessary to strike a note of warning respecting
the bad paper which is used for some books, and which render these books
quite worthless in a few years. Old books were made to last; the
materials used--paper and ink--were of the very best, but many books of
the present day are made of bad materials, and contain within them the
elements of decay. Lately a German Commission investigated this subject,
and for their purpose took out from the Berlin Library one hundred
volumes. They classified the paper upon which these books were printed
under the four headings of (1) good; (2) medium; (3) bad; (4) very bad.
About five books came under the first two classes, and the remainder
were about equally divided between the third and fourth classes. Can we
with any confidence claim a better average for English books? If not,
the future of our modern books is a dark one.


[1] A still more elaborate edition was published by the Grolier Club in
1889. This was edited by Professor A. F. West, and printed in three
volumes small quarto. It was issued in a small edition, and a sight of
it is therefore difficult to obtain.

[2] From Ernest C. Thomas\x92s translation, 1888.

[3] Dibdin\x92s _Bibliomania_, Part V.

[4] The versions given in Noble\x92s Continuation of Granger are inferior
to the above, which were taken from an old MS. by the Rev. Cecil Moore,
and are believed by him to be the originals. See \x93Bibliographer,\x94 vol.
vi. p. 92.

[5] William Oldys\x92s \x93Choice Notes,\x94 1862, p. 38.

[6] Ibid. p. 92.

[7] Bliss\x92s _Reliqui\xE6 Hearnian\xE6_, 1869, vol. i. pp. 206, 207.

[8] \x93Letters from the Bodleian,\x94 vol. i. p. 214.

[9] Dibdin\x92s \x93Reminiscences,\x94 vol. i. p. 356 (note).



It has been frequently remarked that a history of bookselling would be a
valuable addition to our literature, but such a book would require
extensive research. In place of this a history of some booksellers has
been produced; but although the volumes of Mr. Curwen and Mr. Roberts
are interesting in themselves, they do not go far to fill the vacant
space still open for a history of bookselling. Mr. G. H. Putnam has
gathered together much curious information in his \x93Authors and their
Public in Ancient Times,\x94 and \x93Books and their Makers during the Middle
Ages,\x94 which, notwithstanding some errors, form certainly a useful
contribution towards this history. The sellers of books have greatly
changed their habits with the altered conditions of their trade. Among
the Greeks there were public shops for the sale of manuscripts, and in
them the learned met together to hear the manuscripts read. In Rome the
general mart for books was to be found in the district devoted to the
bibliopole, and in his shop advertisements of new works were stuck up.

At the break up of the Roman Empire the producers of books were mostly
found in the monasteries, and booksellers were sellers of Paternosters,
Aves, &c., as well as of books.

In the thirteenth century the _stationarii_ not only sold books, but
accumulated much money by lending them at high rates. Bookstalls were
sometimes placed in the church porch, and one of the doors of Rouen
Cathedral is still called _le portail des libraires_.

When manuscripts were superseded by printed books the business of
selling books naturally became a more important concern, although the
London company established by printers and publishers was called the
Company of Stationers. At first one man often undertook all the
varieties of book production and bookselling, but gradually the four
broad divisions of printers, publishers, second-hand booksellers, and
auctioneers came into existence.

We know but little of the early publishers, although much attention is
now being paid to the lives and works of the old book producers, and we
may hope to have in course of time much material for a history of them.
The great houses founded in the eighteenth and at the beginning of the
present century are still with us, and large additions have been made of
late years to the ever-increasing roll. At all events, there is no sign
of a failure of published books; whether they are all worthy to be
published is another matter.

Great changes have been made in the publishing business, and one of the
chief of these is the frequent sale of remainders of new books. It is
worth a remark in passing that good books which have been sold off often
become scarce and more valuable than those which have only been sold in
the ordinary way. James Lackington was one of the first to make a great
business out of the sale of remainders; he was followed by Tegg, and
these two men did much to cheapen and popularise literature.

Charles Knight will ever be remembered with honour as the great pioneer
in the cheapening of good literature. The excellence of his shilling
volumes was a marvel when they were first published, and even now it
would be difficult to find their equal. Knight had a great belief in the
adequacy of the penny as a price for a number of a book. He published
large quantities of books at a penny a number--as one of the first cheap
periodicals--the _Penny Magazine_, and the first of cheap
encyclop\xE6dias--the _Penny Cyclop\xE6dia_. How much good has been done by
the large issues of such excellent books as Knight\x92s weekly and monthly
volumes, the Libraries of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge, Constable\x92s
Miscellany, Murray\x92s Family Library, Home and Colonial Library, and
Bohn\x92s Libraries!--books all of which are worthy of a place in the
library, and not like too many of the cheap books of the present day,
books to be read and then thrown aside.

In taking note of some of the old second-hand booksellers, special
mention must be made of Joseph Kirton of St. Paul\x92s Churchyard, whose
sign was \x93The King\x92s Arms,\x94 because he was Samuel Pepys\x92s
bookseller--\x93my poor Kirton,\x94 as the latter calls him when he was ruined
by the Fire of London. Pepys tells us that \x93Kirton was utterly undone
by the loss of all his stock, so that from being worth seven or eight
thousand pounds, he was made two or three thousand pounds worse than
nothing.\x94 (See \x93Diary,\x94 October 5, 1666.) The poor bookseller did not
live long after his great loss, for he died in October 1667. Pepys
records an interesting instance of the rise in price of one of the books
burnt in the great fire. On March 20, 1666-67 he writes: \x93It is strange
how Rycaut\x92s \x91Discourse of Turky,\x92 which before the fire I was asked but
8s. for, there being all but twenty-two or thereabouts burned, I did now
offer 20s., and he demands 50s., and I think I shall give it him, though
it be only as a monument of the fire.\x94 On April 8, 1667, he gives us
some fuller particulars, which are of interest: \x93So I away to the
Temple, to my new bookseller\x92s; and there I did agree for Rycaut\x92s late
\x91History of the Turkish Policy,\x92 which costs me 55s.; whereas it was
sold plain before the late fire for 8s., and bound and coloured as this
for 20s., for I have bought it finely bound and truly coloured, all the
figures, of which there was but six books done so, whereof the King and
Duke of York, and Duke of Monmouth and Lord Arlington had four. The
fifth was sold, and I have bought the sixth.\x94 There is no copy of this
edition in the British Museum.

John Dunton, the erratic bookseller and projector of the eighteenth
century, has left us in his \x93Life and Errors\x94 a most curious account of
the booksellers of his time, who are all, oddly enough, either handsome
themselves or have beautiful wives. Nearly all are also eminent
Christians; in fact, we are told that of three hundred booksellers
trading in country towns the author knew not of one knave or blockhead
amongst them all.

Thomas Osborne, the most celebrated bookseller of his day, is
interesting to us as having had the honour of being knocked down by Dr.
Samuel Johnson. Whether or no he deserved such a summary punishment we
cannot now tell, but although he appears to have been more of a business
man than a literary character, what he did is sufficient to place him in
an honourable position in the history of English bibliography. He bought
the finest library of the time, and sold it piecemeal at reasonable
prices. He employed two of the most capable men of his day--Johnson and
Oldys--to make a Catalogue, which does credit to all concerned in its
production, and he did not make much money by the transaction. The
amount he gave for the Harley library in 1742 (\xA313,000) was less by
\xA35000 than the binding of a portion of the library had cost, but had he
given more he would certainly have been a loser. Osborne projected a
Catalogue, in which it was proposed \x93that the books shall be distributed
into distinct classes, and every class arranged with some regard to the
age of the writers; that every book shall be accurately described; that
the peculiarities of the editions shall be remarked, and observations
from the authors of literary history occasionally interspersed, that by
this Catalogue posterity may be informed of the excellence and value of
this great collection, and thus promote the knowledge of scarce books
and elegant editions.\x94 Maittaire drew up the scheme of arrangement, and
wrote the Latin dedication to Lord Carteret, who was then Secretary of
State. Dr. Johnson wrote the \x93Proposals\x94 for printing the _Bibliotheca
Harleiana_, which afterwards were prefixed to the first volume. But in
spite of having such eminent helpers, Osborne had to give up his project
of an annotated Catalogue, and he informed the public in the preface to
the third volume of his failure--

    \x93My original design was, as I have already explained, to publish a
    methodical and exact Catalogue of this library, upon the plan which
    has been laid down, as I am informed, by several men of the first
    rank among the learned. It was intended by those who undertook the
    work, to make a very exact disposition of all the subjects, and to
    give an account of the remarkable differences of the editions, and
    other peculiarities, which make any book eminently valuable; and it
    was imagined that some improvements might, by pursuing this scheme,
    be made in Literary History. With this view was the Catalogue begun,
    when the price [5s. per volume] was fixed upon it in public
    advertisements; and it cannot be denied that such a Catalogue would
    have been willingly purchased by those who understood its use. But
    when a few sheets had been printed, it was discovered that the
    scheme was impracticable without more hands than could be procured,
    or more time than the necessity of a speedy sale would allow. The
    Catalogue was therefore continued without notes, at least in the
    greatest part; and though it was still performed better than those
    which are daily offered to the public, fell much below the original

The public were not very grateful for what they did receive, and
resented Osborne\x92s charge of five shillings a volume for the Catalogue,
which seems reasonable enough now, but was then denounced as \x93an
avaricious innovation.\x94 In answer to the clamour the bookseller
announced that \x93those who have paid five shillings shall be allowed at
any time within three months after the day of sale either to return them
in exchange for books, or to send them back and receive their money.\x94
Another complaint was that the books were priced too high. As this was a
serious charge, Osborne got Johnson to put his answer into sonorous
language, that would at least make the complainers ashamed of
themselves: \x93If, therefore, I have set a high value upon books, if I
have vainly imagined literature to be more fashionable than it really
is, or idly hoped to revive a taste well-nigh extinguished, I know not
why I should be persecuted with clamour and invective, since I shall
only suffer by my mistake, and be obliged to keep those books which I
was in hopes of selling.\x94

Dibdin proves that this charge of over-pricing is quite unjust. He
writes: \x93Whoever inspects Osborne\x92s Catalogue of 1748 (four years after
the Harleian sale) will find in it many of the most valuable of Lord
Oxford\x92s books; and among them a copy of the Aldine Plato of 1513 struck
off upon vellum, marked at \xA321 only--for this identical copy Lord Oxford
gave 100 guineas, as Dr. Mead informed Dr. Askew; from the latter of
whose collections it was purchased by Dr. Hunter, and is now in the
Hunter Museum. There will be found in Osborne\x92s Catalogues of 1748 and
1753 some of the scarcest books in English literature marked at 2 or 3
or 4s. for which three times the number of _pounds_ is now given.\x94[10]
Dibdin has given a useful analysis of the contents of the Harleian
Library in his _Bibliomania_. Osborne published a large number of
catalogues full of literary curiosities, and with interesting notes and
prefaces. In Mr. Thorpe\x92s Catalogue of 1851 there is a notice of a set
of Osborne\x92s Catalogues from 1729 to 1768, in forty-three volumes
octavo. This famous bookseller died on 27th August 1767, and he is said
to have left behind him some forty thousand pounds.

No bookseller has ever been held in higher esteem than Thomas Payne, who
was honourably known as \x93honest Tom Payne.\x94 Payne\x92s shop at the Mews
Gate, where the National Gallery now stands, was for years the great
afternoon resort of the chief book collectors. Here met such men as
Cracherode, George Steevens, Malone, Lord Spencer, Grenville, Bishop
Dampier, Towneley, and Colonel Stanley. Payne lived at the Mews Gate for
forty years, having commenced business as an assistant to his elder
brother, Oliver Payne. Thomas\x92s first catalogue, when he set up for
himself, is dated 1740. He removed to Pall Mall, and retired from
business in 1790. He died in 1799, at the age of eighty-two. He was
succeeded by his son, who, in partnership with Henry Foss, carried on a
first-rate bookselling business in Pall Mall for many years. The
catalogue of the Grenville Library was made and published by them.

George Nicol, styled by Beloe in his _Sexagenarian_ \x93a superb
bookseller,\x94 was a man of great influence in his day. He was largely
instrumental in the purchase of much of two magnificent libraries--those
of George III. and the Duke of Roxburghe--and he was highly esteemed by
both his employers. He always spoke of the King as his beloved master.
It was he who induced R. H. Evans, the bookseller, to adopt the business
of an auctioneer by offering him the sale of the Roxburghe library.

Another bookseller who occupies a prominent position in the roll of
learned and high-principled members of the calling was Thomas Rodd, of
Great Newport Street. His catalogues were of great interest, and he
numbered among his customers most of the book-collectors of his time.
Lord Campbell referred to him in one of his books as \x93that very learned
and worthy bookseller, my friend Thomas Rodd.\x94

A rival of Rodd was Thomas Thorpe, who commenced business in Covent
Garden, removed to Piccadilly, and in his later days returned to Covent
Garden. Thorpe was a masterful man, who carried everything before him,
and published a series of valuable catalogues, from which may be
obtained a history of prices for many years. Dibdin, in his
\x93Reminiscences\x94 (1806), says, \x93I know of no such dogged, indomitable
energy and perseverance as that of this renowned bibliopolist\x94; and
again, in the preface to his \x93Library Companion,\x94 he writes, \x93Mr.
Thorpe is indeed a man of might. His achievements at book-sales are
occasionally described in the ensuing pages. It is his catalogues I am
here to treat. They are never-ceasing productions; thronged with
treasures which he has gallantly borne off at the point of his lance, in
many a hard day\x92s fight in the Pall Mall and Waterloo Place arenas. But
these conquests are no sooner obtained than the public receives an
account of them; and during the last year only, his catalogues in three
parts, now before me, comprise not fewer than seventeen thousand nine
hundred and fifty-nine articles. What a scale of buying and selling does
this fact alone evince! But in this present year two parts have already
appeared, containing upwards of twelve thousand articles. Nor is this
all. On the 24th day of September, in the year of our Lord 1823, there
appeared the most marvellous phenomenon ever witnessed in the annals of
bibliopolism. The _Times_ newspaper had four of the five columns of its
last page occupied by an advertisement of Mr. Thorpe, containing the
third part of his catalogue for that year. On a moderate computation
this advertisement comprised eleven hundred and twenty lines.\x94 Greater
things have been done since.

The Bohns were mighty booksellers in their time--John the father, and
Henry and James the two sons; but Henry Bohn made the greatest name. His
famous Guinea Catalogue (\x93the guinea pig\x94) was long a marvel, at least
in respect to thickness, till Mr. Quaritch decided to far outrival it,
and make it appear slim by the side of his huge volumes. Henry Bohn was
a remarkable man, and the cultivator of many tastes. In later life he
neglected second-hand bookselling for publishing and the selling of
remainders. He has already been mentioned as one of the chief of those
who have supplied the public with sound cheap literature. Bohn was fond
of exhibiting his importance, and when at a book-sale he would,
catalogue in hand, inspect the lots far ahead, and occasionally look up
and arrest the course of the sale by inquiring of the auctioneer what
was the number of the lot then selling.

Mr. Quaritch has outdone all previous booksellers by the grandeur of his
catalogues. They have grown in size and importance, until the last
General Catalogue, in seven volumes and nine supplements, a large paper
copy of which is in the Reading-room of the British Museum, throws all
other catalogues into the shade. The volumes containing the various
classes into which the catalogue is divided each form a most valuable
bibliography and a grand record of the present prices of books.

This is not a history of booksellers, and therefore more need not be
said of them here than that a body of men to whom book collectors are
greatly indebted may well be proud of numbering in their ranks those
already named, as well as the Pickerings, the Lillys, the Boones, the
Ellises, and the Bains, upon whose exploits we have not space to


William Cooper, a bookseller in a good way of business at the sign of
the Pelican in Little Britain, was the first to introduce into England
the practice of selling books by auction, when in 1676 he sold Dr.
Seaman\x92s library, and for some years he was the chief auctioneer in
London. His first catalogue--the first sale catalogue in England--is
exhibited in the Kings\x92 Library at the British Museum.

In 1680 Edward Millington, a better known man and a bookseller of
standing, took to auctioneering, and he and Cooper together divided the
chief business in this department. Other booksellers, such as Moses
Pitt, Zachary Bourne, Nathaniel Ranew, Richard Chiswell, and John
Dunsmore, Robert Scott, &c., sold books by auction, and Oldys styles
Marmaduke Foster, who made the catalogue of Thomason\x92s Civil War Tracts
in twelve folio manuscript volumes, an auctioneer. It is, however, of
the two foremost men, Cooper and Millington, that we want to know more,
and fortunately a wit of Christ Church, Oxford, George Smalridge,
afterwards Dean of Christ Church and Bishop of Bristol, was struck by
the humours connected with the sale in 1686 of the stock of a bankrupt
Oxford bookseller--Richard Davis, the publisher of several of the Hon.
Robert Boyle\x92s works. Smalridge wrote a skit on the proceedings, under
the title of \x93Auctio Davisiana Oxonii habita per Gulielmum Cooper,
Edoar. Millingtonum, Bibliop. Lond. ... Londini: Prostant venales apud
Jacobum Tonson, 1689.\x94 This was reprinted in _Musarum Anglicanarum
Analecta_, vol. i. 1691.[11]

The sale, according to Anthony \xE0 Wood, took place \x93in a large stone
fabric opposite St. Michael\x92s Church, in Oxon., near the north gate of
the city, called Bocardo\x94 (a prison in the Middle Ages), and apparently
it attracted a great deal of attention on account of the novelty of the
mode of sale. Smalridge fastened on the salient points, and he has thus
given us information respecting the conduct of a sale in the seventeenth
century which we should not otherwise have possessed. The persons of the
little drama are six Christ Church men--Arthur Kaye, Walter Bacon, Ed.
Stradling, George Dixon, Christopher Codrington, and William
Woodward--and in the pride of their learning they make sad fun of the
pomposity and ignorance of the poor auctioneers. We must, however,
remember that this is a satire and a caricature. Cooper is described as
\x93a man of wonderful and notable gravity,\x94 with a monstrous paunch; and
Millington as having a Stentor\x92s lungs and consummate impudence, a very
windbag, whose hollow bellows blow lies.

Woodward took the part of Cooper, and Codrington that of Millington, but
when these characters were first pressed upon them, the latter urged
that \x93if a book is bad, I cannot pile encomiums on it, and prefer
Wither to Virgil, or Merlin to the Sibyls.\x94 We are told that bids of one
penny were taken, and that when the third blow of the hammer has been
struck the sale was irrevocable. The auctioneers seem to have offended
the ears of the Oxonians by saying \x93Nep?tis\x94 and \x93Steph?ni.\x94 At the end
of the day Woodward is made to say, \x93I have spoken, I the great Cooper,
whose house is in Little Britain.\x94 Codrington recites a long
rhodomontade ending thus: \x93I check myself and put a curb on the runaway
muses. But this mallet, the badge of my profession, I affix as a
dedicatory offering to this post--To Oxford and the Arts Millington
consecrates these arms.\x94 Dunton draws a favourable portrait of
Millington in his \x93Life and Errors.\x94 He says he \x93commenced and continued
auctions upon the authority of Herodotus, who commends that way of sale
for the disposal of the most exquisite and finest beauties to their
_amorosos_; and further informs the world that the sum so raised was
laid out for the portions of those to whom nature had been less kind: so
that he\x92ll never be forgotten while his name is Ned, or he, a man of
remarkable elocution, wit, sense, and modesty--characters so eminently
his, that he would be known by them among a thousand. Millington (from
the time he sold Dr. Annesly\x92s library) expressed a particular
friendship to me. He was originally a bookseller, which he left off,
being better cut out for an auctioneer. He had a quick wit, and a
wonderful fluency of speech. There was usually as much comedy in his
\x91once, twice, thrice,\x92 as can be met with in a modern play. \x91Where,\x92
said Millington, \x91is your generous flame for learning? Who but a sot or
a blockhead would have money in his pocket and starve his brains?\x92
Though I suppose he had but a round of jests, Dr. Cave once bidding too
leisurely for a book, says Millington, \x91Is this your \x93Primitive
Christianity?\x94\x92 alluding to a book the honest doctor had published under
that title. He died in Cambridge, and I hear they bestowed an elegy on
his memory, and design to raise a monument to his ashes.\x94 Thomas Hearne
does not give him so good a character. He writes under date 13th
September 1723: \x93Though the late Mr. Millington of London, bookseller,
was certainly the best auctioneer in the world, being a man of great wit
and fluency of speech, and a thorough master of his trade; though, at
the same time, very impudent and saucy, yet he could not at the end of
the auction, be brought to give an account to the persons who employed
him, so that by that means, he allowed what he pleased and no more, and
kept a great number of books that were not sold to himself. Whence arose
that vast stock of books, though most of them but ordinary, that he had
when he dyed, and which, after his death, were sold by auction.\x94[12]

\x93An Elegy upon the Lamented Death of Mr. Edward Millington, the famous
Auctioneer,\x94 alluded to by Dunton, is printed in the \x93Works of Mr.
Thomas Brown,\x94 ed. 1744, iv. p. 320, but the Rev. C. H. Hartshorne
quotes it in his \x93Book Rarities of Cambridge,\x94 1829, p. 450, from
Bagford\x92s Collection, British Museum, Harleian MSS., No. 5947. It reads
as follows:--

    \x93Mourn! mourn! you booksellers, for cruel death
    Has robb\x92d the famous auctioneer of breath:
    He\x92s gone,--he\x92s gone,--all the great loss deplore;
    Great Millington--alas! he is no more:
    No more will he now at your service stand
    Behind the desk, with mallet in his hand:
    No more the value of your books set forth,
    And sell \x92em by his art for twice the worth.
    Methinks I see him still, with smiling look,
    Amidst the crowd, and in his hand a book:
    Then in a fine, facetious, pleasing way
    The author\x92s genius and his wit display.

    O all you scribbling tribe, come, mourn his death,
    Whose wit hath given your dying fame new birth.
    When your neglected works did mouldering lie
    Upon the shelves, and none your books would buy,
    How oft has he, with strain\xE8d eloquence,
    Affirm\x92d the leaves contained a world of sense,
    When all\x92s insipid, dull impertinence?
    \x91Come, gentlemen,--come bid me what you please;
    Upon my word it is a curious piece,
    Done by a learned hand--and neatly bound:
    One pound--once, twice, fifteen: who bids?--a crown!\x92
    Then shakes his head, with an affected frown,
    And says \x91For shame! consider, gentlemen,
    The book is sold in shops for more than ten.
    Good lack a day!--\x92tis strange!\x92 then strikes the blow,
    And in a feign\xE8d passion bids it go.

    Then in his hand another piece he takes,
    And in its praise a long harangue he makes;
    And tells them that \x92tis writ in lofty verse,
    One that is out of print and very scarce:
    Then with high language, and a stately look,
    He sets a lofty price upon the book;
    \x91Five pound, four pound, three pound,\x92 he cries aloud,
    And holds it up to expose it to the crowd,
    With arm erect,--the bidders to provoke
    To raise the price before the impending stroke;
    This in the throng does emulation breed,
    And makes \x92em strive each other to outbid;
    While he descants upon their learned heats,
    And his facetious dialect repeats:
    For none like him, for certain, knew so well
    (By way of auction) any goods to sell.
    \x92Tis endless to express the wayes he had
    To sell their good, and to put off their bad.
    But ah! in vain I strive his fame to spread;
    The great, the wise, the knowing man is dead.

    And you in painting skill\x92d, his loss bewail;
    He\x92s dead!--that did expose your works to sale.
    Can you forget how he for you did bawl,
    \x91Come, put it in?--a fine original,
    Done by a curious hand:--What strokes are here,
    Drawn to the life? How fine it does appear!
    O lovely piece!--Ten pound,--five pound;--for shame,
    You do not bid the value of the frame.\x92
    How many pretty stories would he tell
    To enhance the price, and make the picture sell!
    But now he\x92s gone!--ah! the sad loss deplore;
    Great Millington!--alas! he is no more.
    And you, the Muses\x92 darlings, too, rehearse
    Your sorrows for the loss of him in verse:
    Mourn! mourn! together, for that tyrant death
    Has robb\x92d the famous auctioneer of breath.\x94


    Underneath this marble stone
    Lies the famous Millington;
    A man who through the world did steer
    I\x92 th\x92 station of an auctioneer;
    A man with wondrous sense and wisdom blest,
    Whose qualities are not to be exprest.

We have given so much space to Millington, because it is interesting to
see how similar were the practices of auctioneers at the first
institution of the business to what they are at the present time, and
also because Millington seems to have been considered the most famous of
auctioneers, until James Christie arose to take his place as chief
representative of the profession. It may be added to his honour that he
was a friend of Milton, who lodged in his house.

Richard Chiswell (1639-1711) was more of a bookseller than an
auctioneer, but his name must be mentioned here. He was one of the four
who issued the fourth folio edition of Shakespeare\x92s Plays, and he was
the official publisher of the Votes of the House. Dunton describes him
as \x93the metropolitan bookseller of England, if not of all the world,\x94
and says that he never printed a bad book, or one on bad paper.

Jonathan Greenwood, bookseller and auctioneer, is described by Dunton
as a worthy but unfortunate man, \x93so that the chief thing he has left to
boast of is a virtuous wife and several small children.\x94 He adds, \x93But
he still deserves the love and esteem of all good men, for the worst
that can be said of him is, \x91There goes a poor honest man,\x92 which is
much better than \x91There goes a rich knave.\x92\x94

How little is known of some of these early auctioneers may be seen from
the fact that John Bullord, who sold books at the end of the seventeenth
century, is said by the careful John Nichols to be a member of the
well-known bookselling family of Ballard. I cannot find any information
respecting Bullord, but it is very improbable that this name was merely
a misspelling of Ballard.

The name of Samuel Paterson (1728-1802) will always be held in honour
among English bibliographers, for he was one of the first to improve the
art of cataloguing, and he gained great fame from his labours in this
department. He had one great fault, however, for he was so insatiable a
reader, that when in cataloguing he came upon a book he had not seen
before, he must needs read the book then, and thus his work was much
delayed, and often his catalogues could not be obtained until a few
hours before the sale. He was the son of a woollen draper in St. Paul\x92s,
Covent Garden, but lost his father when he was only twelve years old;
his guardian neglected him, and having involved his property in his own
bankruptcy, sent him to France. Here he acquired a considerable
knowledge of French literature, which served him in good stead through
life. When little more than twenty years of age he opened a shop in the
Strand, opposite Durham Yard. This bookselling business was
unsuccessful, and he then commenced as a general auctioneer at Essex
House. It was during this period of his life that he saved the
collection of valuable manuscripts formerly belonging to Sir Julius
C\xE6sar from being sold as waste-paper to a cheesemonger. He classified
the MSS., and made an excellent catalogue of them, and when they came to
be sold by auction they realised \xA3356. Although Paterson made an
excellent auctioneer, he was no more successful financially than in his
other ventures. He therefore accepted the post of librarian to the Earl
of Shelburne (afterwards first Marquis of Lansdowne); but after a few
years there was a quarrel, and he was obliged to return to the business
of cataloguing and selling of libraries.

The Rev. C. H. Hartshorne, in his \x93Book Rarities,\x94 mentions a print by
Nicholls in the British Museum, called \x93The Complete Auctioneer,\x94
representing a man with spectacles on, standing at a table covered with
books, which are lettered at the tops. Underneath are these lines--

    \x93Come, sirs, and view this famous Library;
    \x92Tis pity learning should discouraged be:
    Here\x92s bookes (that is, if they were but well sold)
    I will maintain \x92t are worth their weight in gold.
    Then bid apace, and break me out of hand:
    Ne\x92er cry you don\x92t the subject understand.
    For this I\x92ll say--howe\x92er the case may hit,--
    Whoever buys of me--I\x92ll teach \x92em wit.\x94

Although the London booksellers went into the country to sell books,
there were some local auctioneers, as, for instance, Michael Johnson
(the father of Dr. Samuel Johnson), who kept a bookstall in Lichfield,
and attended the neighbouring towns on market days. Johnson\x92s address to
his customers is taken from \x93A Catalogue of Choice Books, ... to be sold
by auction, or he who bids most, at the Talbot, in Sidbury, Worcester,\x94
and is quoted from Clarke\x92s _Repertorium Bibliographicum_ (1819)--

    had several auctions in your neighbourhood, as Gloucester,
    Tewkesbury, Evesham, &c., with success, and am now to address myself
    and try my fortune with you.--You must not wonder that I begin every
    Day\x92s Sale with small and common books; the reason is a room is some
    time a filling, and persons of address and business, seldom coming
    first, they are entertainment till we are full; they are never the
    last books of the best kind of that sort for ordinary families and
    young persons, &c. But in the body of the Catalogue you will find
    Law, Mathematicks, History: and for the learned in Divinity there
    are Drs. Souter, Taylor, Tillotson, Beveridge, and Flavel, &c., the
    best of that kind: and to please the Ladies I have added store of
    fine pictures and paper hangings, and, by the way, I would desire
    them to take notice that the pictures shall always be put up by the
    noon of that day they are to be sold, that they may be view\x92d by day
    light. I have no more but to wish you pleas\x92d and myself a good
    sale, who am

                                        Your Humble Servant,

                                                     M. JOHNSON.\x94

The sale took place in the evening, commencing at six o\x92clock and
continuing till all the lots were sold.

The existing firms of literary auctioneers, Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge;
Puttick & Simpson; Christie, Manson & Woods; and Hodgsons, are all of
considerable standing, but Sotheby\x92s is of the greatest antiquity.
Samuel Baker, the founder of the house, commenced business in 1744 with
sale of Dr. Thomas Pellet\x92s library (\xA3859) in York Street, Covent
Garden. He continued sole member of the firm till 1774, when he entered
into partnership with George Leigh (who is styled by Beloe \x93the finical
bookseller\x94). Baker died in 1778, in his sixty-sixth year, when he left
his property to his nephew, John Sotheby, who in 1780 was in partnership
with Leigh. In 1800 the style was Leigh, Sotheby & Son, John Sotheby\x92s
son Samuel being taken into partnership. In 1803 the business was
removed from York Street to 145 Strand, opposite Catharine Street, and
in 1818 to the present house in Wellington Street. The third and last
Sotheby, Mr. Samuel Leigh Sotheby, became a partner in 1837, and in 1843
Mr. John Wilkinson entered the firm as a partner. The style was Sotheby
and Wilkinson till 1864, when Mr. Edward Grose Hodge became a partner,
and from that date the name of the firm has been Sotheby, Wilkinson, and

The firm of Puttick & Simpson dates back to the establishment of the
business by Mr. Stewart in 1794 at 191 Piccadilly. The business was
bought by Wheatley & Adlard on the retirement of Mr. Stewart. For a
short time it was carried on by Mr. Fletcher, who was succeeded in 1846
by Messrs. Puttick & Simpson. In 1858 the business was removed from
Piccadilly to 47 Leicester Square. Mr. Puttick died in 1873.

The firm of Christie\x92s was established soon after that of Sotheby\x92s, and
James Christie the elder\x92s (1730-1803) first sale was on the 5th
December 1766, at rooms in Pall Mall, formerly occupied by the print
warehouse of Richard Dalton. Christie afterwards removed next door to
Gainsborough, at Schomberg House, and died there, 8th November 1803. His
son, James Christie the younger (1773-1831), was born in Pall Mall, and
was educated at Eton. In 1824 he removed to the present premises in King
Street, formerly Wilson\x92s European Emporium. Mr. Christie died in King
Street, 2nd February 1831, aged fifty-eight. Mr. George Christie
succeeded his father. Mr. William Manson died in 1852, and was succeeded
by his brother, Mr. Edward Manson. In 1859 Mr. James Christie, the
great-grandson of the founder, and Mr. Thomas Woods, joined the firm.


[10] _Bibliomania_, Part V.

[11] An annotated translation of _Auctio Davisiana_ was published in
\x93Book-Lore,\x94 vol. iii. p. 166; vol. iv. p. 1. The translator possesses a
copy formerly belonging to Bishop Wordsworth of Lincoln, in which is
written, in a contemporary hand, _ex dono Bibliopol\xE6 Ric Davis_.

[12] _Reliqui\xE6 Hearnian\xE6_, 1869, vol. ii. p. 172.



In a treatise devoted to an inquiry concerning the varying prices of
books, it is necessary that at least one chapter should be devoted to
manuscripts. There is no field of investigation which offers a more
interesting subject for study, and few that are more difficult to
master. Manuscripts are really more attractive than printed books,
because they are so various, and have been produced over a much longer
period of the world\x92s history. It is therefore strange that so few
authors care to trouble themselves about them; that this is so may be
seen from the large number of readers at the British Museum who are
contented to quote over and over again from the much-used printed books,
and the comparatively few who cultivate the virgin soil of the
Manuscript Department, where there are endless stores of unused

Manuscripts are usually somewhat miscellaneous in character, for they
consist (1) of some of the finest examples of the pictorial art of many
ages; (2) of the originals of the great works of antiquity; (3) of a
large number of valuable works that have never been printed; (4) of
charters, documents, letters, memoranda, &c., which are of great value,
but which are not books, and therefore do not come within the scope of
our present inquiry. In respect to the prices of the manuscripts, it is
very difficult to say anything of much value, because (1) many of the
most important manuscripts have been transferred from library to library
in bulk, and it is comparatively seldom that they come up for public
sale; (2) the buyers of manuscripts are fewer than those of printed
books, and therefore it is more difficult to arrive at a real standard
price for books which are practically unique, as there is no wide public
opinion upon the subject. But for the present purpose, a still more
important reason why this vast subject cannot be dealt with in a
succinct manner is, that the materials for its history have not yet been
thoroughly investigated by experts. The relative prices at different
periods are hard to understand, even in England, where money has been
better regulated than in most countries; but when we have to deal with
foreign countries and foreign coins, we are necessarily at a loss how to
convert into their present value coins which may have been depreciated
at the time we are dealing with, and have certainly been still more
depreciated since: for instance, what idea is communicated to the mind
of the modern reader when he is told that \x93Borso d\x92Este paid forty
ducats for a _Josephus_ and a _Quintus Curtius_, while his large
two-volume Bible cost him 1375 sequins\x94?[13]

In dealing with manuscripts, it is most important to distinguish between
plain and illuminated manuscripts. The neglect of this caution has led
to an exaggerated idea of the cost of books before the invention of
printing. Instances have been given of purchases at sums equal to a
king\x92s ransom. Hence it is supposed that books were so dear that they
were quite out of the reach of any but the richest personages. But this
view is erroneous, for we know that by means of the slave labour at Rome
and the organised work in the monasteries, plainly written manuscripts
could be obtained at a reasonable price. We know now that transcripts of
MSS. can be had at a price which, if dear when compared with the price
of a newly-published printed book, is by no means extravagant. What
could be done at a centre of civilisation like Rome, where books were
produced in large numbers and at low prices on account of the
organisation of literary production, could be done at other places.
There is evidence that at London, and at those seats of learning, Oxford
and Cambridge, where caligraphy was a profession, books were not
difficult to obtain. Every church and chapel must have had
service-books. Probably during the Middle Ages, when travelling was
arduous and expensive, persons living in out-of-the-way places had to
pay special prices for their literary treasures.

The late Professor J. Henry Middleton referred to this matter of cost in
his valuable work on \x93Illuminated Manuscripts\x94 (1892). After quoting
from Aulus Gellius, he wrote--

    \x93But ordinary copies of newly-published works, even by popular
    authors, appear to have been but little more expensive than books
    of this class are at the present day. The publisher and bookseller
    Tryphon could sell Martial\x92s first book of _Epigrams_ at a profit
    for two denarii--barely two shillings in modern value (see Mart.
    xiii. 3). It may seem strange that written manuscripts should not
    have been much more costly than printed books, but when one
    considers how they were produced, the reason is evident. Atticus,
    the Sosii, and other chief publishers of Rome, owned a large number
    of slaves, who were trained to be neat and rapid scribes. Fifty or a
    hundred of these slaves could write from the dictation of one
    reader, and thus a small edition of a new volume of Horace\x92s _Odes_
    or Martial\x92s _Epigrams_ could be produced with great rapidity, and
    at very small cost\x94 (p. 19).

In the fifteenth century, even, illustrated Books of Hours were produced
in France, Flanders, and Holland at a cheap rate. Mr. Middleton wrote--

    \x93Education had gradually been extended among various classes of
    laymen, and by the middle of the fifteenth century it appears to
    have been usual not only for all men above the rank of artizans to
    be able to read, but even women of the wealthy bourgeois class could
    make use of prayer-books. Hence arose a great demand for pictured
    _Books of Hours_, which appear to have been produced in enormous
    quantities by the trade scribes of towns, such as Bruges, Paris, and
    many others. These common manuscript Hours are monotonous in form
    and detail; they nearly always have the same set of miniatures,
    which are coarse in detail and harsh in colour\x94 (p. 141).

Mr. Middleton gives some further information respecting the cost of
production of certain service-books taken from some church records in
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries--

    \x93From these accounts (1379-1385) we learn that six manuscripts were
    written, illuminated, and bound, one of them with gold or silver
    clasps or bosses, at a total cost of \xA314, 9s. 3d., more than \xA3150 in
    modern value\x94 (p. 222). \x93Three Processionals only cost \xA31, 17s. 4d.,
    being on forty-six quaternions of cheap parchment made of sheepskin,
    which cost only 2-1/2d. the quaternion\x94 (p. 223).

There was thus great variety of cost in the production of the various
kinds of books, but when we consider the matter, we shall find it
impossible to do other than believe that a demand for service-books, the
price of which was not prohibitive, must have existed.

The Rev. T. Hartwell Horne gave in his \x93Introduction to Bibliography\x94
some instances of the prices of manuscripts in the Middle Ages, but as
some of these were evidently exceptional cases, although they have been
used by historians to draw conclusions which we must consider as
erroneous, they need not be repeated here.

Dr. S. R. Maitland in his admirable work on the \x93Dark Ages\x94 comments
with much acuteness on some of these cases as quoted by Dr. Robertson,
and shows that the historian has drawn a general conclusion from special
instances, which in certain cases have not been correctly reported.
Maitland adds that some writer a few centuries hence might--

    \x93Tell his gaping readers ... that in the year 1812 one of our
    nobility gave \xA32260 and another \xA31060 for a single volume, and that
    the next year a Johnson\x92s Dictionary was sold by public auction to a
    plebeian purchaser for \xA3200. A few such facts would quite set up
    some future Robertson, whose readers would never dream that we
    could get better reading, and plenty of it, much cheaper at that
    very time. The simple fact is, that there has always been such a
    thing as bibliomania since there have been books in the world, and
    no member of the Roxburghe Club has yet equalled the Elector of
    Bavaria, who gave a town for a single manuscript\x94 (pp. 66-7).

Interesting particulars respecting the composition, binding, and
expenses of Petrarch\x92s library will be found in M. de Nolhac\x92s monograph
on the subject. Petrarch kept copyists in his house, whose shortcomings
occasioned him much vexation. He bequeathed his library to Venice, and
the Venetians are accused of having suffered it to be dispersed, but it
would seem that it never reached them.

We may judge from the immense number of manuscripts still existing, in
spite of the wholesale destruction that occurred at various times, how
large was the output in the Middle Ages. It is therefore preposterous to
suppose that when books were being produced in large numbers in hundreds
of monasteries in Europe they were only bought by kings or great nobles.

During the troubled times of the Barons\x92 Wars there must have been great
destruction of literary treasures, and at the Reformation, when whole
libraries were destroyed and made waste-paper of, the ignorant waste was
appalling. \x93The splendid and magnificent abbey of Malmesbury, which
possessed some of the finest manuscripts in the kingdom, was ransacked,
and its treasures either sold, or burnt to serve the commonest purposes
of life. An antiquary who travelled through that town many years after
the dissolution, relates that he saw broken windows patched up with
remnants of the most valuable MSS. on vellum, and that the bakers hadn\x92t
even then consumed the stores they had accumulated in heating their
ovens.\x94[14] That so much is left after the wholesale raid on the
monasteries is largely due to the sound antiquarian taste of John
Leland, to whom we of later ages are supremely indebted.

In all times of political convulsions the learning of the world stands a
bad chance of escaping great loss, and we are told that twenty-five
thousand manuscripts were burnt during the horrors of the French

Carelessness and the contempt felt for old books are still the great
destructive forces in the East, and the Hon. Robert Curzon, who
travelled in search of manuscripts, gives in his \x93Visits to the
Monasteries in the Levant\x94 (1849) a lively account of the irreparable
losses that are constantly occurring. (See also Archdeacon Tattam\x92s and
M. Pacho\x92s narratives of their negotiations with the monks of the
Nitrian Desert for Syrian MSS., and the subsequent experiences of
Tischendorf and Mrs. Lewis.) One of the most recent literary events is
the recovery of a number of Jewish manuscripts from a _Genizah_ or
storehouse of old papers and parchments at Cairo, where they were
preserved indeed, but entirely neglected.

The late Mr. Thorold Rogers paid considerable attention to the prices of
books, and recorded many valuable facts respecting them in his
important work, \x93History of Agriculture and Prices in England.\x94 After
commenting on some prices in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, he
adds, \x93such prices indicate that written literature was not wholly
inaccessible to the general public\x94 (vol. i. p. 646).

The particulars of the cost of church books give perhaps the best idea
of prices, because these were needed by a large number of the
population. Some of them were of small price, while others of a more
elaborate character were of great price. In the year 1278 the bailiff of
Farley spent six shillings and eightpence for books for the church, and
in 1300 the monks of Ely paid six shillings for a _Decretal_, and two
shillings for _Speculum Gregorianum_. In 1329 the precentor received six
shillings and sevenpence, with an instruction to go to Balsham to
purchase books.[15] In 1344 a Bible cost three pounds, and in 1357 a
book was bought for Farley church for four shillings.

Mr. Blades printed in his Life of Caxton an inventory of the library of
Jean, Duc de Berri, at the ch\xE2teau of Mohun sur Yevre, 1416. At the
death of the duke the library contained one hundred and sixty-two
volumes, valued at 14,909 livres.

In 1443 twenty-seven volumes were purchased by the authorities of King\x92s
Hall, Cambridge, from the executors of John Paston (who had been their
steward), at a cost of \xA38, 17s. 4d. In 1447 the same college bought a
Psalter for three shillings and eightpence, and a Donatus for one

In 1449 twenty new Processionals cost All Souls College one hundred and
thirteen shillings and fourpence, and in 1453 a book of Wycliffe\x92s was
bought for seven shillings and sixpence, and one written against him for
three shillings and sixpence.[16] A manuscript of 157 leaves, containing
some of the works of St. Gregory, was bought in 1455 for \xA33, 6s. 8d.

In 1459 Fastolfe\x92s books were highly priced; thus a fair Mass book was
fixed at ten pounds, and a Holy Legend at the same sum, while two new
great Antiphons were together \xA313, 6s. 8d.

One of St. Augustine\x92s Epistles, containing 179 leaves, sold sometime
after 1468 for \xA31, 13s. 4d., and about the same time one of St.
Bernard\x92s Treatises, written on 211 leaves, was bought by Richard Hopton
from the executors of a former possessor for twenty shillings.

Perhaps a rather more accurate idea of the cost of manuscript books can
be obtained from a consideration of the cost of materials and the pay of
the scribes, and, fortunately, particulars have come down to us which
allow of a comparison of the various expenses.

A pocket lectionary was made in 1265 for the use of Eleanor de Montfort,
Countess of Leicester, and sister of Henry III. Twenty dozen of fine
vellum were purchased for the work at the price of ten shillings, and
the writing, which was executed at Oxford, cost fourteen shillings.

Richard du Marche, an illuminator, was paid forty shillings for
illuminating a Psalter and a pair of tablets for Queen Eleanor, consort
of Edward I.

In the same accounts of this queen an entry is made of \xA36, 13s. 4d. to
Adam the royal goldsmith for work done upon certain books.[17]

Professor Middleton printed in his \x93Illuminated Manuscripts\x94 (pp.
220-23) extracts from the Manuscript Records of the Collegiate Church of
St. George at Windsor, from which it appears that John Prust (Canon of
Windsor from 1379 to 1385) was paid \xA314, 9s. 3d. for six manuscripts
written, illuminated, and bound, one of them with gold or silver clasps
or bosses. The six books were an _Evangeliarium_, a _Martyrologium_, an
_Antiphonale_, and three _Processionals_. The items of each are as

                                                      \xA3   _s._ _d._
  19 quaternions (quires) of vellum at 8d. each       0   12    8
  Black ink                                           0    1    2
  Bottle to hold the ink                              0    0   10
  Vermilion                                           0    0    9
  The scribe\x92s \x93commons\x94 (food) for eighteen weeks    0   15    0
  Payment to the scribe                               0   13    4
  Corrections and adding coloured initials            0    3    0
  Illumination                                        0    3    4
  Binding                                             0    3    4
  Goldsmith\x92s work (on the binding)                   1    0    0
                                                     \xA33   13    5

  Two journeys to London and some smaller items made a total of
  \xA33, 15s. 8d.


                                                      \xA3   _s._ _d._
  7 quaternions of vellum at 8d.                      0    4    8
  Payment to the scribe                               0   15    0
  Illumination                                        0    5   10
  Binding                                             0    2    2
  Coloured initials                                   0    0    8
                                                     \xA31    8    4


  34 quaternions of larger and more expensive
      sheets of vellum at 15d                         2    2    6
  Payments to the scribe                              3    3    0
  Adding to the musical notation                      1    0    6
  Coloured initials                                   0    1    0
  Illumination                                        0   15   11
  Binding                                             0    5    0
                                                     \xA37    7   11

  (Twelve quires of vellum which were in stock were also used for this

The three _Processionals_ only cost \xA31, 17s. 4d., being written on
forty-six quaternions of cheap parchment made of sheepskin, which cost
only 2-1/2d. the quaternion.

Mr. Falconer Madan tells us that \x93in 1453 John Reynbold agreed at Oxford
to write out the last three books of Duns Scotus\x92s _Commentary on the
Sentences of Peter Lombard_, in quarto, for 2s. 2d. each book,\x94 and that
\x93a transcript in folio by this Reynbold of part of Duns Scotus on the
_Sentences_ is in both Merton and Balliol College Libraries at Oxford,
one dated 1451.\x94[18]

Sir John Fenn quotes in illustration of one of the _Paston Letters_ the
account of Thomas, a limner or illuminator of manuscripts residing at
Bury St. Edmunds, against Sir John Howard of Stoke by Neyland in Suffolk
(afterwards Duke of Norfolk), dated July 1467.

  For viij hole vynets [miniatures],
      prise the vynett, xijd                        viijs

  Item, for xxj demi vynets,
      prise the demi vynett, iiijd                   vijs

  Item, for Psalmes lettres xv^c and di\x92,
      the prise of C. iiijd                            vs      ijd

  Item, for p\x92ms letters lxiij^c,
      prise of a C. jd.                                vs     iijd

  Item, for wrytynge of a quare and demi,
      prise the quayr, xxd                            ijs      vjd

  Item, for wrytenge of a calendar                            xijd

  Item, for iij quayres of velym,
      prise the quayr, xxd                             vs

  Item, for notynge of v quayres and ij leves,
      prise of the quayr, viijd                      iijs     vijd

  Item, for capital drawynge iij^c and di\x92,
      the prise                                               iijd

  Item, for floryshynge of capytallis, v^c                      vd

  Item, for byndynge of the boke                     xijs
                                                       cs      ijd[19]

This list of charges is of great interest and of much value in
illustrating the cost of illumination in the fifteenth century. The
price of the binding seems to be very considerable as compared with the
work of the illuminator, unless it included the cost of gold or other
expensive decoration. Mr. Middleton gives also particulars of the cost
of writing, illuminating, and binding a manuscript _Lectionary_,
1469-71, the total expense of which was \xA33, 4s. 1d. These are taken from
the Parish Accounts of the Church of St. Ewen, in Bristol--


  Item, for j dossen and v quayers of vellom
      to perform the legend
      [_i.e._ to write the lectionary on]              xs      vjd

  Item, for wrytyng of the same                      xxvs

  Item, for ix skynnys and j quayer of velom
      to the same legend                               vs      vjd

  Item, for wrytyng of the forseyd legend           iiijs      ijd


  Item, for a red Skynne to kever the legent                    vd

  Also for the binding and correcting                  vs
      of the seid Boke

  Also for the lumining of the seid legent          xiijs      vjd[20]

Among the _Paston Letters_ is a letter from William Ebesham to his
\x93moost worshupfull maister, Sir John Paston,\x94 1469 (?), asking for
payment for his labours in writing, the charge for which was a penny per
leaf for verse, and twopence a leaf for prose. Appended to this letter
is the following interesting account:--

    Folowyng apperith, parcelly, dyvers and soondry maner of writynge,
    which I, William Ebesham, have wreetyn for my gode and woorshupfull
    maistir, Sir John Paston, and what money I have resceyvid and what
    is unpaide.

  First, I did write to his maistership
      a little booke of Pheesyk, for which I had
      paide by Sir Thomas Leevys in Westminster                xxd

  Item, I had for the wrytyng of half the Prevy
      seale of Pampyng                                       viijd

  Item, for the wrytynge of the seid hole prevy
      seale of Sir Thomas                             ijs

  Item, I wrote viij of the Witnessis in
      parchement, but aftir xiiijd a peece,
      for which I was paide of Sir Thomas              xs

  Item, while my seide maister over the see
      in Midsomertime. Calle sett me a warke
      to wryte two tymes the prevy seale in papir,
      and then after cleerely in parchement         iiijs    viijd

  And also wrote the same tyme oon mo of
      the largest witnessis, and other dyvers
      and necessary wrytyngs, for which he
      promisid me xs, whereof I had of Calle
      but iiijs viijd. car. vs iiij                    vs    iiijd

  I resceyvid of Sir Thomas at Westminster
      penultimo die Oct. anno viiij                  iijs    iiijd

  Item, I did write to quairs of papir of
      witnessis, every quair conteyning
      xiiij leves after ijd a leff                  iiijs    viijd

  Item, as to the Grete Booke--First, for
      wrytyng of the Coronacion, and other
      tretys of Knyghthode, in that quaire
      which conteyneth a xiij levis and more
      ijd a lef                                       ijs      ijd

  Item, for the tretys of Werre in iiij books,
      which conteyneth lx levis aftir ijd a
      leaff                                            xs

  Item, for _Othea_ pistill, which conteyneth
      xliij leves                                    vijs      iid

  Item, for the Chalengs and the acts of
      Armes which is xxviij^ti less                 iiijs    viijd

  Item, for _De Regimine Principum_, which
      conteyneth xlv^ti leves, aftir a peny a
      leef, which is right wele worth                iijs      ixd

  Item, for Rubrissheyng of all the booke            iijs    iiijd[21]

The \x93Grete Booke,\x94 described above, is now among the Lansdowne
Manuscripts (No. 285) in the British Museum, and is fully described in
the Catalogue of that Collection, 1812 (Part II., pp. 99-102).

In quoting the foregoing particulars of the early sale of MSS. and of
the cost of production, no attempt has been made to calculate the
present value of the amounts set down, because the data for such a
calculation are not available. It will, however, be well if the reader
remembers that the various amounts mentioned must have been equal at the
very least to ten times these sums in the present day. Professor
Middleton multiplies by ten, but when we find an expert scribe charging
one penny and twopence for one leaf, and the \x93commons\x94 of another is set
down at tenpence per week, we may safely reckon the multiplier at
considerably more than ten in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

The scribes and illuminators already mentioned were the individual
workers, who were employed by corporations and men of wealth to produce
books for their libraries; but the wholesale producers of books, who
employed armies of scribes, must not be overlooked in this place.
Vespasiano di Bisticci of Florence (_b._ 1421) was the chief of these
booksellers, and he assisted to form the three most famous libraries in
Italy--the Laurentian in Florence, that of the Vatican, and the library
of Federigo, Duke of Urbino, which was afterwards bought by Pope
Alexander VII. and incorporated into the Vatican Library. Vespasiano was
an author as well as a bookseller, and has recorded some of his doings
in his _Vite degli Uomini Illustri_. He gives a detailed list of the
works he obtained for the Duke of Urbino, which comprised all the known
classics, the Fathers, books on astrology, science, medicine, art,
music, and all the Italian authors and poets. Vespasiano claimed that in
this magnificent library, which cost 30,000 ducats, every author was
found complete, and not a page of his writings was missing. Every book
was written on vellum, and there was not a single one of which he was
ashamed. Vespasiano was ever ready to form a library, as the following
anecdote will prove.

Niccolo Niccoli having spent a long life and all his patrimony in
collecting, left his books to Cosimo to found a public library. Cosimo
built the fine pillared hall in the Convent of San Marco, and then
proposed to form a worthy public library, of which the legacy of Niccoli
should be the nucleus. He sent for Vespasiano for his advice, who said,
\x93You could not _buy_ books enough.\x94 \x93Then what would you do?\x94 asked
Cosimo. \x93Have them written,\x94 replied the bookseller. On which Cosimo
gave the commission, and Vespasiano set forty-five scribes and
illuminators to work, and furnished two hundred volumes in twenty-two
months. Cosimo was so pleased with the books, that he employed the
successful purveyor to supply the illuminated Psalters and Missals for
the Church of the new Convent of San Marco.[22] No wonder, perhaps, that
Vespasiano expresses his great dislike for the new-fangled art of
printing. Every century has its own social convulsion, and thinks it the
most important of all time. We talk of the revolutionary change made by
the introduction of machinery in the nineteenth century, but we seldom
realise how great a change in the occupations of the people took place
in the fifteenth century, at the period of the invention of printing.
Large numbers of men entirely dependent on their labours as scribes were
thrown out of work. Many of these men were members of influential
bodies, who were not inclined to sit down idly under their misfortunes,
so they petitioned against the use of printing; but fate was too
powerful for them, and their endeavours to boycott the printing-press
were not successful, even though Vespasiano di Bisticci said that Duke
Federigo would have been ashamed to have a printed book in his library.

John of Trittenheim, Abbot of Spanheim, who is known in literature as
Trithemius, said some hard things against printing in an essay, _De
Laude Scriptorum Manualium_, thus--

    \x93A work written on parchment could be preserved for a thousand
    years, while it is probable that no volume printed on paper will
    last for more than two centuries. Many important works have not been
    printed, and the copies required of these must be prepared by
    scribes. The scribe who ceases to perform his work because of the
    invention of printing can be no true lover of books, in that,
    regarding only the present, he gives no due thought to the
    intellectual cultivation of his successors. The printer has no care
    for the beauty and the artistic form of books, while with the scribe
    this is a labour of love.\x94

When, however, Trithemius found it necessary to exhort his own monks, he
was not able to speak very favourably of their love of books--

    \x93There is, in my opinion, no manual labour more becoming a monk than
    the writing of ecclesiastical books, and preparing what is needful
    for others who write them, for this holy labour will generally admit
    of being interrupted by prayer and of watching for the food of the
    soul no less than of the body. Need, also, urges us to labour
    diligently in writing books, if we desire to have at hand the means
    of usefully employing ourselves in spiritual studies. For you see
    that all the library of this monastery, which formerly was fine and
    large, has been so dissipated, sold, and made away with by the
    disorderly monks before us, that when I came I found but fourteen

Others were wiser than to oppose the new art, and many scribes,
recognising the inevitable destruction of their trade, became printers.
Caxton\x92s master, Colard Mansion, was an extensive writer of manuscripts
before he took to the business of printing at Bruges. Much has been
written upon famous collections of manuscripts, and upon the individual
works which compose them, but it is not often that these come to public
auction, so that the particulars of prices are comparatively meagre. The
grand collections of the British Museum and the Bodleian[24] are
preserved in safety for the use of the learned, and we only know that
they are of the greatest value. What they would fetch if sold now can
only be guessed, and it would be merely frivolous to inquire. Three of
the grandest collections in the Museum--the old Royal Library, the
Cotton, which was only saved from slow destruction by the establishment
of the British Museum, to which it was transferred, and the Harley,
which the nation obtained for \xA310,000--must now be of untold value.

The purchase by the British Museum of the library of Dr. Charles Burney
greatly added to the completeness of the collections of Greek Classics.
Among the manuscripts is the wonderful Iliad of Homer on vellum,
formerly belonging to Mr. Towneley, which, although it cannot be dated
further back than the beginning of the fourteenth century, is supposed
to be of the earliest date of the MSS. of the Iliad known to scholars. A
committee appointed to consider the purchase of the library stated in
their report: \x93With respect to the value of the manuscripts, the Homer
is rated by the different witnesses at from \xA3600 to \xA3800, and one of
them supposed it might even reach so high a price as \xA31000;[25] the
Greek rhetoricians are estimated at from \xA3340 to \xA3500; the larger copy
of the Greek Gospels at \xA3200; the geography of Ptolemy at \xA365; and the
copy of Plautus at \xA350. One witness estimates the whole of the ancient
manuscripts at upwards of \xA32500, and an eminent bookseller at \xA33000.\x94
\x93The books with manuscript notes, together with Dr. Burney\x92s _Variorum
Compilation_, including the _Fragmenta Scenica Gr\xE6ca_, are estimated by
one at \xA31000, and by another as high as \xA31340.\x94 It must be remembered
that this was written in 1818, and these prices may be multiplied
considerably at the present day.

Even those large private collections which have been in the market of
late years have mostly been sold in bulk, so that little light has been
thrown upon the current value of fine manuscripts.

One of the best sources of information respecting present prices is to
be found in Mr. Quaritch\x92s admirable catalogues of his collections of
literary treasures.

When the treasures of Hamilton Palace were dispersed by public auction,
the priceless collection of manuscripts was sold by private contract to
the German Government. The amount paid has never been officially
announced, but it is believed to have reached the sum of \xA375,000. Some
of these manuscripts were not required at Berlin, and they were sold in
May 1889 by Messrs. Sotheby for \xA315,189.

The gem of the collection was the fifteenth-century manuscript of
Dante\x92s _Divina Commedia_, illustrated with upwards of eighty drawings,
attributed to Sandro Botticelli. Of it a writer in the _Times_ said,
\x93This priceless volume may, without exaggeration, be described as the
most valuable manuscript in existence, from its artistic interest, for
it stands alone as an example of a literary work of the first order
illustrated by an artist of the highest rank.\x94

It is impossible here even to register some of the many beautiful works
that made the manuscripts of the Duke of Hamilton so famous. Great
dissatisfaction was felt by the British public when it was found that
these treasures were to be transported to Berlin. Before the final
decision was made, Mr. Ruskin, in a \x93General statement explaining the
nature and purposes of St. George\x92s Guild,\x94 wrote--

    \x93I hear that the library of Hamilton Palace is to be sold some time
    this spring. That library contains a collection of manuscripts which
    the late Duke permitted me to examine at leisure, now some thirty
    years ago. It contains many manuscripts for which I have no hope of
    contending successfully, even if I wished to do so, against the
    British Museum or the libraries of Paris and Vienna. But it contains
    also a very large number of manuscripts, among which I could
    assuredly choose some for which the partly exhausted general demand
    might be not extravagantly outbid, and I think the English public
    ought to have confidence enough in my knowledge of art and history
    to trust me with a considerable sum for this purpose.\x94

Mr. Quaritch, who entered into Mr. Ruskin\x92s plans, circulated this
pamphlet, and asked for contributions to be sent to him, which he would
forward to Mr. Ruskin. Had the Government of this country been of the
same mind with Mr. Ruskin, these manuscripts would not have been lost to
the country.

The sale of the Hamilton manuscripts to a foreign Government naturally
caused those who were interested in these matters to feel great anxiety
lest the Earl of Ashburnham\x92s manuscripts, which it was known the owner
wished to sell, should also be sent abroad. This collection consisted of
upwards of three thousand manuscripts in about four thousand volumes,
and were made up of purchases from the Duke of Buckingham (Stowe) and M.
Libri; and of an Appendix consisting of separate manuscripts purchased
from time to time by the late Lord Ashburnham.

(1) The Stowe collection grew out of the library of MSS. formed by
Thomas Astle, the pal\xE6ographer, and Keeper of the Records in the Tower.
Astle directed by his will that his collection should be offered to the
Marquis of Buckingham on certain specified terms, one of which was the
payment of the sum of \xA3500. This amount was not of course any measure of
their value, and the bequest was made in gratitude to the Grenville
family for favours which Astle had received from them. A room was built
at Stowe by Mr. (afterwards Sir John) Soane to receive the collection,
in which were charters, registers, wardrobe accounts, inventories,
correspondence, and many items of the greatest historical value.
O\x92Conor\x92s Irish MSS. and the State Papers of Arthur Capel, Earl of
Essex, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland in the reign of Charles II.,
afterwards found a home at Stowe. In April 1849 the Marquis of Chandos
wrote to Sir Robert Peel, stating that he had recently had offers from
private parties for the Stowe manuscripts, and offering them to the
British Museum. Sir Frederick Madden valued the collection at \xA38300, but
he was only authorised to treat with Lord Chandos for the Irish
manuscripts separately, and to seek for further information respecting
other portions of the collection. In the meantime, however, the whole
number were sold to Lord Ashburnham for \xA38000.

(2) Libri collection. In June 1846 the Trustees of the British Museum
applied for Treasury sanction to the expenditure of \xA39000 in the
purchase of the Libri manuscripts, but this was refused. In September
following renewed application was made for \xA36600 for the collection,
less the Napoleon papers valued at \xA31000. The Treasury allowed \xA36000
with commission to agents, but the negotiation failed, and Lord
Ashburnham obtained the MSS. for \xA38000.

(3) Barrois collection, chiefly consisting of French romances and poems,
was offered to the British Museum in 1848 for \xA36000. It was examined by
the Keeper of the Manuscripts, who recommended the purchase, but
apparently no application was made to the Treasury, and the collection
was soon afterwards sold to Lord Ashburnham for the same amount.

(4) Appendix of MSS. collected separately by Bertram, fourth Earl of
Ashburnham, among which were some splendid illuminated manuscripts.

With respect to some of these manuscripts a difficulty had arisen, owing
to M. L\xE9opold Delisle\x92s claim that a large number of the manuscripts in
the Libri collection had been stolen from libraries in France by Libri
while holding the office of Inspector-General of Libraries. M. Delisle
also alleged that at least sixty of the Barrois manuscripts were stolen
from the Paris National Library. In November 1879 Lord Ashburnham
offered to treat for the sale of his library of printed books and
manuscripts with the Museum alone, or jointly with the French
Government, naming \xA3160,000 as the price for the whole, and stated that
he had received an offer to that amount \x93from another quarter.\x94 The
Trustees then asked whether Lord Ashburnham would treat for the
manuscripts alone, and his answer in January 1880 was that he had
ascertained that the offer he had received of \xA3160,000 for the whole
library from a private individual was intended for private speculation,
and that the collection was worth a great deal more. This amount, which
comes to about \xA3500 for each manuscript, seems to be very large, but
competent authorities have agreed to the valuation. At any rate, the
Treasury was not prepared to buy the whole at such a price, and the
Principal Librarian treated for the Stowe collection alone, the price of
which Lord Ashburnham fixed at \xA330000.[26] In the end these were
purchased for the nation.

For many years the late Sir Thomas Phillipps was an omnivorous collector
of manuscripts, and his collections were vast. They are gradually being
sold by auction. Several portions have passed under the hammer of
Messrs. Sotheby, and others are still to follow.

A very fine collection of illuminated manuscripts was gathered in a very
short period by William Morris. It is fortunate that a collection made
by one who knew so well what to buy is not to be dispersed or taken out
of the kingdom. As long as it remains intact it will be a worthy
monument of an enthusiastic lover of art who, while teaching the present
age, was not forgetful of the history of the earlier workers in the same

We cannot register prices of such priceless manuscripts as the Gospels
of St. Cuthbert, for two centuries at Lindisfarne, and now among the
Cottonian MSS. in the British Museum, or the Book of Kells at Trinity
College, Dublin--both of the seventh century; but some few books of
great interest which have been sold by auction may be mentioned here.
The chief of these is the splendid manuscript of the Bible in the
British Museum, said to have been presented by Alcuin to Charlemagne.
The vicissitudes of this book are very remarkable. It was confiscated
during the French Revolution, and eventually came into the possession of
M. Speyr Passavant of Basle, who unavailingly offered it for a large sum
to the chief libraries of Europe. It was offered to the Trustees of the
British Museum, first for \xA312,000, then for \xA38000, and lastly for \xA36500.
The unfounded claims of the proprietor, who appears to have been very
much of a charlatan, appear to have damaged the repute of the MS., and
it remained on his hands. On 27th April 1836 the volume was put up to
auction at Evans\x92s rooms, and was described in six pages of a catalogue
in which it was the chief lot. It was catalogued as the Emperor
Charlemagne\x92s Bible--a manuscript on vellum by Alcuin, completed A.D.
800, presented to Charlemagne A.D. 801 at the ceremony of his
coronation, and mentioned in his will. The date is not undisputed, and
it is supposed by some to be of about forty years later. The statement
that this Bible is mentioned in the Emperor\x92s will is absolutely denied.
The price registered in Evans\x92s sale catalogue is \xA31500, and the
purchaser is given as Scordet, but the book was really bought in, and it
is said that few of the biddings for it were genuine. After this failure
fresh overtures were made to the British Museum, and in the end it was
bought for that library for \xA3750, which must be considered a small
price for so splendid and interesting a book. There was some
correspondence on this Bible in the _Gentleman\x92s Magazine_, in which Sir
Frederick Madden took part. These letters are reprinted in Gomme\x92s
_Gentleman\x92s Magazine Library_ (\x93Literary Curiosities,\x94 1888, pp.
234-64). Another historical manuscript of particular beauty which has
been several times sold by auction, and now safely reposes at the
British Museum, is the famous so-called Bedford Missal (really Book of
Hours), written and illuminated for John, Duke of Bedford, Regent of
France under Henry VI., to whom he presented the book in the year 1430.
It passed into the hands of Henry II. of France, and long subsequently
into those of Lady Worsley (widow of Sir Robert Worsley), from whom it
was purchased by the Earl of Oxford, who bequeathed it to his daughter,
the Duchess of Portland. At the latter\x92s sale in 1786 it was bought by
James Edwards the bookseller for \xA3213, 3s. At Edwards\x92s sale in 1815 it
was bought for \xA3687, 15s. by the Marquis of Blandford, who afterwards
sold it to Mr. Broadley. At Broadley\x92s sale in 1833 Sir John Tobin
bought it for \xA31100. Sir John\x92s son sold it to the bookseller from whom
the British Museum purchased it in 1852.

Two instances of most interesting manuscripts sold at very inadequate
prices may here be recorded. One of the most distinguished among the
Ashburnham manuscripts was one known as the Albani Missal. It is a
manuscript of offices, and was executed apparently for Alemanno
Salviati, gonfalonier of Florence and brother-in-law of Lorenzo de\x92
Medici, and given by him to one of his relatives of the house of
Baroncelli. This beautiful volume contains five full-page miniatures,
each the work of a master. The first is by the hand of Amico Aspertini,
of Bologna, the pupil of Francia; the next is attributed to Lorenzo di
Credi; the third and fourth of high excellence, though unassigned; and
the fifth by Perugino, signed \x93Petrus Perusinus pinxit.\x94 For this
artistic treasure Mr. James Dennistoun gave \xA320 in Rome in the year
1838. When he had purchased it he found that opposition to its leaving
Italy would be made on the part of the Roman authorities, so he had it
unbound and divided, and got it sent to England privately a few pages at
a time. He afterwards sold it to Lord Ashburnham for \xA3700. These facts
were printed in the _Times_ in 1883 by a cousin of Mr. Dennistoun.

Mr. Madan gives in his \x93Books in Manuscript,\x94 1893, a very interesting
account of a bargain obtained by the Bodleian Library, which account is
here reproduced in a somewhat condensed form. \x93Six years ago [1887] a
little octavo volume, in worn brown binding, stood on the shelves of a
small parish library in Suffolk, but was turned out and offered at the
end of a sale at Sotheby\x92s, presumably as being unreadable to country
folk.\x94 It was described in the catalogue as \x93Latin Gospels of the
Fourteenth Century, with English Illuminations.\x94 For the sum of \xA36 it
passed into the Bodleian Library, and came to be catalogued as an
ordinary accession. It was noticed that the writing was of the eleventh
century, and that the illuminations were valuable specimens of old
English work of the same century, comprising figures of the four
evangelists, of the Byzantine type, which was common in the west of
Europe; the drapery, however, colouring, and accessories were purely
English. The book itself was seen to be not the complete Gospels, but
such portions as were used in the service of the Mass at different times
of the year. On a fly-leaf was found a Latin poem, describing how the
book had dropped in the water and was brought up by a soldier, who
plunged in after it. Surprise was expressed that the book was uninjured,
save a slight contraction of two of the leaves, and to this expression
was added, \x93May the king and pious queen be saved for ever, whose book
was but now saved from the waves!\x94 Curiosity was felt as to the identity
of this king and queen, when the difficulty was solved by a reference to
Forbes-Leith\x92s \x93Life of St. Margaret of Scotland,\x94 where this passage
occurs: \x93She had a book of the Gospels beautifully adorned with gold and
precious stones, and ornamented with the figures of the four evangelists
painted and gilt.... She had always felt a particular attachment for
this book, more so than for any of the others which she usually read.\x94
Then follows a story almost identical with the one given above, which
proves that the identical book is now preserved in the Bodleian Library.

It is not often that bargains such as these can be obtained, but in
spite of a great rise in price large numbers of manuscripts are still
purchaseable on reasonable terms. The late Mr. J. H. Middleton was
particularly urgent in pointing this out, and his words may
appropriately close this chapter--

    \x93On the whole, a fine manuscript may be regarded as about the
    cheapest work of art of bygone days that can now be purchased by an
    appreciative collector. Many of the finest and most perfectly
    preserved manuscripts which now come into the market are actually
    sold for smaller sums than they would have cost when they were new,
    in spite of the great additional value and interest which they have
    gained from their antiquity and comparative rarity. For example, a
    beautiful and perfectly preserved historical Anglo-Norman Vulgate of
    the thirteenth century, with its full number of eighty-two pictured
    initials, written on between six and seven hundred leaves of finest
    uterine vellum, can now commonly be purchased for from \xA330 to \xA340.
    This hardly represents the original value of the vellum on which the
    manuscript is written.

    \x93Manuscripts of a simpler character, however beautifully written, if
    they are merely decorated with blue and red initials, commonly sell
    for considerably less than the original cost of their vellum.

    \x93A collector with some real knowledge and appreciation of what is
    artistically fine can perhaps lay out his money to greater advantage
    in the purchase of manuscripts than by buying works of art of any
    other class, either medi\xE6val or modern.\x94[27]


[13] Leader Scott\x92s \x93Renaissance of Art in Italy,\x94 1883, p. 193.

[14] \x93Letters from the Bodleian,\x94 vol. i. p. 279 (note).

[15] Putnam\x92s \x93Books and their Makers,\x94 1897, vol. i. p. 159.

[16] Rogers\x92s \x93Agriculture and Prices,\x94 vol. iv. pp. 509-604.

[17] \x93Manners and Household Expenses\x94 (Roxburghe Club).

[18] \x93Books in Manuscript,\x94 1893, p. 43.

[19] _Paston Letters_, ed. Gairdner, 1874, vol. ii. p. 336.

[20] \x93Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucester Arch\xE6ological Society,\x94
vol. xv., 1891, pp. 257 and 260, _quoted_ \x93Illuminated Manuscripts,\x94 p.

[21] _Paston Letters_, ed. Gairdner, 1874, vol. ii. pp. 334-35.

[22] Leader Scott\x92s \x93Renaissance of Art in Italy,\x94 1883, p. 194.

[23] Maitland\x92s \x93Dark Ages,\x94 1844, p. 272.

[24] Mr. Madan has given in Appendix A to his most useful and
interesting work on \x93Books in Manuscript,\x94 1893, a list of public
libraries which contain more than 4000 MSS. The largest collections are
as follows:--British Museum, 52,000, and 162,000 charters; Bodleian
Library, 31,000; Royal Library, Vienna, 20,000; Brussels, 30,000;
Biblioth\xE8que Nationale, Paris, 80,000; Royal Library, Berlin, 16,000;
Munich, 26,000; the Vatican, Rome, 23,600; Biblioteca Nazionale,
Florence, 15,000; Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid, 25,000.

[25] Dr. Burney gave \xA3620 for it at Towneley\x92s sale, 1815.

[26] These particulars are obtained from the official reports.

[27] J. H. Middleton, \x93Illuminated MSS.,\x94 1892, pp. 263-64.



It was impossible for the scribe (however low his pay might be reduced)
to compete with the printing-press, and we have good authority for
saying that printed books could be obtained in the fifteenth century for
one-fifth of what would have been the cost of the same books in
manuscript. Mr. Putnam, in his interesting work on the history of
bookselling, quotes from Bishop John of Aleria, who, writing to Pope
Paul II. in 1467, said that it was possible to purchase in Rome for 20
gulden in gold works which a few years earlier would have cost not less
than 100 gulden. Other books selling for 4 gulden would previously have
cost 20. Mr. Putnam also quotes Madden, to the effect that in 1470 a
copy of the forty-eight line Bible, printed on parchment, could be
bought in Paris for 2000 francs, while the cost of the same text a few
years earlier in manuscript would have been 10,000 francs.

It is rather curious to find that the present custom of fixing a
published price is comparatively modern, and that the system for which
some of our present retail booksellers yearn--that is, of buying from
the publishers in bulk and retailing at their own price--was formerly
in common use. In the old catalogues of English books no prices are
affixed to the various entries, and the custom of printing the prices of
books was not general until the end of the seventeenth century. But
after all the booksellers\x92 latitude was not very great, for the law
stepped in to limit the price of books.

We might naturally have supposed that the invention of printing would
have made a complete break in the mode of selling books, but this was
not so. Continuity was preserved, and the company to which the London
trade belongs is not called after the printers, but after the older
order of stationers. In a \x93Note of the State of the Company of Printers,
Bookesellers, and Bookebynders comprehended under the name of
Stacioners,\x94 dated 1582, we are told that \x93in the tyme of King Henry the
Eighte, there were but fewe Printers, and those of good credit and
competent wealth, at whiche tyme and before there was an other sort of
men that were writers, lymners of Bookes and diverse thinges for the
Church and other uses, called Stacioners, which have, and partly to this
daye do use to buy their bookes in grosse of the saide Printers, bynde
them up, and sell them in their shops, whereby they well mayntayned
their families.\x94[28]

It seems probable that the English booksellers before the introduction
of printing experienced little interference in their business from
foreign scribes, and therefore the bringing in of printed books from
abroad was distasteful to them. What they particularly objected to was
the importation of these books bound instead of in sheets.

By \x93an Act touching the Marchauntes of Italy\x94 (1 Ric. III. cap. 9)
aliens were prohibited from importing certain goods into this country,
but this Act was not to \x93extend to Importers of Books, or to any writer,
limner, binder, or printer.\x94

In Henry VIII.\x92s reign this importation was found intolerable, and \x93an
Act for Printers and Binders of Bokes\x94 was passed (25 Hen. VIII. cap.
15). It is stated in the preamble when the provision in the Act of
Richard III. was made there were few books and few printers in England,
but that at this time large numbers of printed books were brought into
the country--

    Whereas, a great number of the King\x92s subjects within this realm
    having \x93given themselves diligently to learn and exercise the said
    craft of Printing, that at this day there be within this realm a
    great number cunning and expert in the said science or craft of
    printing, as able to exercise the said craft in all points as any
    stranger, in any other realm or country, and furthermore where there
    be a great number of the King\x92s subjects within this realm which
    [live] by the craft and mystery of binding of books, ... well expert
    in the same,\x94 yet \x93all this notwithstanding, there are divers
    persons that bring from [beyond] the sea great plenty of printed
    books--not only in the Latin tongue, but also in our maternal
    English tongue--some bound in boards, some in leather, and some in
    parchment, and them sell by retail, whereby many of the King\x92s
    subjects, being binders of books, and having none other faculty
    wherewith to get their living, be destitute of work, and like to be
    undone, except some reformation herein be had.\x94

Then follow some provisions respecting the sale of books at too high a

    \x93And after the same enhancing and increasing of the said prices of
    the said books and binding shall be so found by the said twelve men
    or otherwise by the examination of the said lord chancellor, lord
    treasurer, and justices, or two of them; that then the same lord
    chancellor, lord treasurer, and justices, or two of them at the
    least from time to time shall have a power and authority to reform
    and redress such enhancing of the prices of printed books by their
    discretions, and to limit prices as well of the books as for the
    binding of them; and over that the offender or offenders thereof
    being convict by the examination of the same lord chancellor, lord
    treasurer, and justices, or two of them or otherwise, shall lose and
    forfeit for every book by them sold whereof the price shall be
    enhanced for the book or binding thereof, three shillings four

By the first Copyright Act (8 Anne, cap. 21) any person thinking the
published price of a book unreasonable was to complain to the Archbishop
of Canterbury or other great dignitaries.

It would have been enlightening if our lawmakers had told us what was in
their opinion a reasonable price for a book, but they are silent on this

We have unfortunately no information as to the price for which Caxton
sold his various books, but he bequeathed fifteen copies of his \x93Golden
Legend\x94 to the churchwardens of St. Margaret, Westminster, who succeeded
in selling twelve of them between the years 1496 and 1500. For the
first three copies they obtained six shillings and eightpence each, but
then they had to reduce the price to five shillings and eightpence, at
which price they sold the next seven copies. The last two copies only
brought five shillings and sixpence and five shillings respectively, so
that evidently there was a falling market.

Mr. Blades makes the following remarks on this point--

    \x93The commercial results of Caxton\x92s trade as a printer are unknown;
    but as the fees paid at his burial were far above the average, and
    as he evidently held a respectable position in his parish, we must
    conclude that his business was profitable. The preservation of the
    _Cost Book_ of the Ripoli Press has already been noticed, and some
    extracts of interest translated therefrom. We may presume that
    Caxton also kept exact accounts of his trade receipts and
    expenditure, and if such were extant, the many doubts which now
    surround the operations of his printing-office would be definitely
    solved. We should then know the price at which he sold his
    books--how many pence he asked for his small quarto \x91quayers\x92 of
    poetry, or his pocket editions of the \x91Hor\xE6\x92 and \x91Psalter\x92--how many
    shillings were required to purchase the thick folio volumes, such as
    \x91Canterbury Tales,\x92 \x91King Arthur,\x92 &c. That the price was not much
    dearer than that paid for good editions now we may infer from the
    rate at which fifteen copies of the \x91Golden Legend\x92 sold between
    1496 and 1500. These realised an average price of 6s. 8d. each, or
    about \xA32, 13s. 4d. of modern money, a sum by no means too great for
    a large illustrated work. This, however, would depend on the number
    of copies considered necessary for an edition, which probably varied
    according to the nature of the work.... Some foreign printers issued
    as many as 275 or 300 copies of editions of the Classics, but it is
    not probable that Caxton ventured upon so large an impression, as
    the demand for his publications must have been much more

It will be noticed that Mr. Blades is wrong in saying that the copies of
the \x93Golden Legend\x94 were sold at an _average_ price of 6s. 8d., and it
would probably be more correct to give the equivalent amount in modern
money as \xA34, rather than \xA32, 13s. 4d., but this is perhaps more a matter
of opinion.

Several old priced lists of books have come down to us, and the most
interesting of these are the two printed and edited by Mr. F. Madan in
the first series of the _Collectanea_ of the Oxford Historical Society,
and further annotated by the late Mr. Henry Bradshaw. The first of these
is an inventory, with prices of books received in 1483 for sale by John
Hunt, stationer of the University of Oxford, from Magister Peter Actor
and Johannes de Aquisgrano, to whom he promises to restore the books or
pay the price affixed in the list; and the second is the Day-Book of
John Dorne, bookseller in Oxford A.D. 1520. Mr. Bradshaw\x92s valuable
annotations (\x93A Half-Century of Notes\x94) were printed in fac-simile of
his handwriting in 1886, and afterwards included in his \x93Collected
Papers\x94 (1889).

Dorne\x92s list is of great value, as showing what was the literature sold
at a great university city at the beginning of the sixteenth century,
and with the much-needed explanations of Messrs. Madan and Bradshaw, it
forms an important addition to our knowledge, but there is not much in
it that can be quoted here with advantage. Latin theology forms the bulk
of the more important books sold, and next to that Latin classics.
English books are few; among the cheapest items, service-books and
ballads, Christmas carols, and almanacs are common. A large proportion
of the entries are marked in pence from one penny upwards, but some are
in shillings, and the largest amount for one sale of several books was
forty-eight shillings.

_Bibliographica_ (vol. i. p. 252) contains \x93Two References to the
English Book-Trade _circa_ 1525.\x94 The first, which is from the
\x93Interlude of the Four Elements,\x94 suggests that a large amount of the
output of the English presses at the beginning of the sixteenth century
was made up of ephemeral publications--

    \x93Now so it is in our Englyshe tonge,
      Many one there is that can but rede and wryte,
    For his pleasure wyll oft presume amonge
      New bokys to compyle and balades to indyte,
      Some of lore or other matter, not worth a myte.\x94

The next is from the prologue to Robert Copland\x92s \x93Seven Sorrows that
Women have when theyr husbandes be deade,\x94 which consists of a
conversation between Copland and a customer, \x93Quidam\x94--

    \x93_Quidam._ Hast thou a boke of the wydowe Edith,
    That hath begyled so many with her wordes,
    Or els suche a geest that is ful of bourdes?
    Let me se, I wyll yet waste a peny
    Upon suche thynges and if thou have eny.

    _Copland._ How say ye by these, wyll ye bestowe a grote?

    _Quidam._ Ye syr so muche? nay, that I shorowe my cote,
    A peny I trow is ynough on bokes,
    It is not so soone goten, as this worlde lokes.\x94

Much information respecting the prices of books is found in the
churchwardens\x92 accounts of the various parishes of the kingdom, and
extracts from some of these have been printed in the _Gentleman\x92s
Magazine_ and other places. Mr. Thorold Rogers also has given several
instances in the various volumes of his great work on \x93Agriculture and

Archbishop Cranmer, in his \x93Articles to be inquired of ... within the
Diocese of Canterbury,\x94 A.D. 1548, asks \x93whether in every case they have
provided one book of the whole Bible of the largest volume in English,
and the Paraphrases of Erasmus, also in English, upon the Gospels, and
set up the same in some convenient place in the church.\x94 In 1548 we find
that the churchwardens of St. Margaret\x92s, Westminster, paid five
shillings for the half part of the Paraphrases of Erasmus, and in 1549
the churchwardens of Wigtoft, Lincolnshire, paid seven shillings for the
same book. Archbishop Parker required Jewel\x92s \x93Defence of the Apology\x94
to be placed in parish churches, and in 1570 the churchwardens of
Leverton, Lincolnshire, paid four shillings for \x93half Mr. Juylle\x92s
booke, called the \x91Appologie of Ingland,\x92\x94 and fourpence for the
carriage of the same.

From the churchwardens\x92 accounts of the parish of Stratton, county
Cornwall, we learn that in 1565 two shillings were \x93paid for newe
songes for the church,\x94 and twopence \x93for a nother lyttell boke.\x94 In
1570 twelvepence was \x93paid to Nicholas Oliver of sent tives for a song
of te deum,\x94 fourpence was paid \x93for mendyng of John Judes bybell which
he lonyd to the churche when the other was to bynd,\x94 and six shillings
\x93for a newe communion book and a psalter in the same.\x94 On the other side
twelvepence was received \x93for two peces of old bookes sold.\x94[30]

The churchwardens of Canterbury parish gave forty-one shillings for a
church Bible in 1586, four shillings for a prayer-book in 1598, and
three shillings and fourpence for a book of statutes in 1599.

Sir John Evans communicated to the _Arch\xE6ologia_[31] some most
interesting extracts from the Private Account Book of Sir William More
of Loseley, in Surrey, in the time of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth,
which contains an inventory of a collection of about one hundred and
twenty volumes. This inventory gives us a vivid idea of the contents of
a country gentleman\x92s library in the sixteenth century. There are the
best chronicles of the time, as Fabyan, Harding, &c., translations of
the classics, and some in their original languages, statutes, new books
of justices and other legal works, books of physic, dictionaries, &c.,
and each of the books is marked with a price. The most expensive
books:--_Cronica Cronicarum_, xxs; Minister\x92s _Cosmografye_, xvjs; un
byble, xs; a calapyne, xs [Calepino\x92s Vocabulary of the Latin Tongue];
Fabyan\x92s _Cronicle_, vs; Statuts of Henry theight, xijs; all the
Statuts of Kyng Edward the VI., ijs; all the Statuts of the Quene, ijs;
Chausore, vs. There were four New Testaments, \x93one in ffrench,\x94 xxd, two
\x93in Italion,\x94 respectively xxjd and ijs vjd, and one \x93in lattyn,\x94 xijd.
The _Legenda Aurea_ was priced iijs iiijd; Tullye\x92s _Officys_
translated, viijd; ij bokes conteyning Tully\x92s _Philosophy_, ijs vjd;
Cezar\x92s _Commentary_, xvjd; ij bokes of Machevale\x92s works in Italion,
iijs iiijd; Hardyng\x92s _Cronycle_, ijs vjd; _Utopea_, viijd. Of
low-priced books we find--A lyttle cronicle, id; Lydgates\x92 _Proverbs_,
id; Alexander Barkley\x92s _Eclogs_, id; Skelton\x92s Work, iiijd; and
_Triumph of Petrark_, vjd.

Sir Egerton Brydges also quoted from a Household Book an interesting
list of about the same date as the above--

    _Anno_ 1564.

  Iteme, for booke of the dysease of horses                iiijd

  Iteme, for printing the xxv orders of honest men           xxd

  Iteme, pd for a Lytlton in English                        xijd

  Iteme, for a diologge betwine the cap and the heade        ijd

  Iteme, pd for the booke of the ij Englishe lovers          vjd

  Iteme, for a French booke called the historye             xvjd
      de noster ternes

  Iteme, pd for iij French bookes, the on called             xxs[32]
      Pawlus Jovius

In the days before copyright acts authors and publishers often tried to
safeguard their property by obtaining patents. These were sometimes for
a particular book, as, for instance, Richard Field, printer, in February
1592 was granted the sole licence to print \x93Orlando Furioso translated
into English verse by John Harrington.\x94 More often, however, patents
were granted to printers allowing them the sole privilege of printing
certain classes of books. A licence \x93to imprint all manner of books
concerning the common laws of this realm\x94 was granted to Richard
Tottell; one for primers and books of private prayers to William Seres;
one to print all manner of songs of musick to Thomas Tallis and William
Bird; one for dictionaries generally to H. Binneman; and one for
almanacks and prognostications to James Roberts and Richard Watkins.[33]
Gradually by purchase or inheritance nearly all the monopolies came into
the possession of the Stationers\x92 Company. Certain printers, however,
made a practice of pirating some of the most popular English privileged
books. The Company resisted, and memorialised Lord Burghley in October
1582, with a complaint of the opposition met with in making their search
in the printing-house of one \x93who printed all kinds of books at his

The chief leader of these invaders of privilege was John Wolf, a freeman
of the Fishmongers\x92 Company. In 1583 the Stationers\x92 Company drew up
thirteen heads of the \x93insolent and contemptuous behaviour of John Wolf,
printer, and his confederates,\x94 which they presented to the Privy
Council. From this indictment it appears that when Wolf was \x93frendly
persuaded to live in order and not print men\x92s privileged copies,\x94 he
answered that \x93he would print all their bokes if he lacked work,\x94 and
added that \x93it was lawfull for all men to print all lawfull bookes, what
commandement soever her Majestie gave to y^e contrary.\x94 Wolf was no
respecter of persons, and his motto was, \x93I will live.\x94 Being admonished
that he \x93being but one so meane a man should not presume to contrarie
her Highnesse Governmente,\x94 \x93Tush,\x94 said he, \x93Luther was but one man,
and reformed all the world for religion, and I am that man that must and
will reforme the government in this trade!\x94 The Queen appointed a
Commission to inquire into the matter, but the Commissioners could make
nothing of Wolf and his party. In the end the opposition was bought off;
and on 1st July 1583 Wolf was admitted a freeman of the Stationers\x92
Company by redemption, paying the usual fees of 3s. 4d.[35]

Andrew Maunsell, a bookseller living in Lothbury, was the first to
publish (1595) a catalogue of English books, and this book is a very
satisfactory bit of bibliographical work. The compiler only published
two parts, the first on theological books, and the second on scientific
books. Maunsell proposed the publication of others on more popular
branches of literature, but unfortunately he left his work incomplete.
In his dedication to Queen Elizabeth he says--

    \x93What great account (most gracious Soueraigne) hath beene made of
    godly bookes, may euidently appeare by the value set uppon the
    bookes of curious actes brought to the Apostles feete to be burnt.
    For if those bookes were valued to two thousand markes, of what
    estimation shall wee account the bookes whose author is God
    himselfe ... all the goods upon the earth cannot value them.\x94

It is remarkable how difficult it must have been in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries to obtain information respecting new books. There
were no public libraries, and the booksellers, according to Maunsell,
were not well acquainted with the titles of the books published, and he
constantly refers to the scarceness of books issued only a few years
before. He writes--

    \x93And seeing also many singular Bookes, not only of Diuinitie, but of
    other excellent Arts, after the first impression, so spent and gone,
    that they lie euen as it were buried in some few Studies. That men
    desirous of such kind of Bookes, cannot aske for that they neuer
    heard of, and the Bookeseller cannot shew that he hath not: I have
    thought good in my poor estate to undertake this most tiresome
    business, hoping the Lord will send a blessing on my labours taken
    in my vocation. Thinking it as necessarie for the Bookeseller
    (considering the number and nature of them) to haue a Catalogue of
    our English Bookes as the Apothecaire his Dispensatorium or the
    Schoolmaster his Dictionarie. By means of which my poore trauailes I
    will draw to your memories Bookes that you could not remember and
    shew to the learind such Bookes as they would not thinke were in our
    owne tongues....\x94

Besides dedicating his book to Queen Elizabeth, he addresses \x93the
Companie of Stationers, and all other printers and booksellers,\x94 to whom
he says--

    \x93I have in my vocation laboured to do somwhat: my purpose is to shew
    (in such sort as I can) what we have in print, in our own tongue, a
    thinge not regarded but of a few. For some soare so hie that they
    looke not so low, as on their owne countrie writers, and some regard
    not old Bookes, but aske what newes? or new writers?\x94

To the reverend divines he says--

    \x93The consideration whereof hath moved me (most unworthie and unable
    of many others) to undertake this trifeling yet most toylesome &
    troublesome busines, wherby the reader shall haue this help, and he
    may see at home in his Studie what Bookes are written and how many
    translated. And though it be imperfect as I know not what first
    Booke either of Dictionarie or Herball or such like was perfect at
    the first or second edition, yet he that helpeth me to put in one
    Booke that I have not seene, I hope I shall shew him ten that he
    never heard of either new or old.\x94

The second part of Maunsell\x92s catalogue was dedicated to Robert, Earl of
Essex, and the scarceness of books not twenty or forty years old is
again referred to in it--

    \x93Seeing still many excellent Bookes written and printed in our owne
    tongue, and that many of them after twenty or fortie yeares Printing
    are so dispersed out of Bookesellers hands, that they are not onely
    scarce to be found but almost quite forgotten, I have thought it
    worth my poore labour, to take some paynes heerin (though that the
    more learnd sort would not willingly imploy their labour in the
    same) to gather a Cathalogue in suche sort as I can of the Bookes
    printed in our tongue which I doe hope will be delightsome to all
    English men that be learnt or desirous of learning.\x94

The next bibliography of new English books was William London\x92s
\x93Catalogue of the most vendible Books,\x94 1658, to which two small
supplements were published, bringing the list of publications down to

R. Clavel was the next to publish a catalogue of new books, and the
period covered by him was from 1666 to 1695. To none of these books are
prices attached, but some of the books in Clavel\x92s supplement are
priced; and in the monthly catalogue commenced by Bernard Lintott in May
1714, all the books are priced.

Bent\x92s General Catalogue of Books, issued in 1786, contained the titles
of books published since 1700, and this was succeeded by the London
Catalogue, which appeared for several years. The British and English
catalogues followed, and the latter is published annually.

In order to obtain some idea of the varying prices at which books have
been published, it will be well to enumerate a few at different periods,
arranged under the different sizes of books.


Corpus Christi College, Oxford, gave seven shillings in 1621 for Bacon\x92s
work on Henry VII., and in 1624 \xA33, 6s. 8d. for four volumes of
\x93Purchas\x92s Pilgrims.\x94 The published price of the first edition of
Shakespeare\x92s Plays is said to have been \xA31.

John Ogilby, who was one of the first projectors of grand illustrated
books in large folio, found himself burthened with a heavy stock of
expensive books which did not sell, so he hit upon the expedient of
getting rid of them by means of a lottery, licensed by the Duke of York
and the Assistants of the Corporation of the Royal Fishery. These books
were an illustrated Bible, printed by John Field at Cambridge in 1660,
two volumes folio; the \x93Works of Virgil,\x94 translated by Ogilby, 1654;
Homer\x92s \x93Iliads,\x94 translated by Ogilby, 1660; Homer\x92s \x93Odysseys,\x94 1665.
Pope frequently spoke in later life of the great pleasure Ogilby\x92s
\x93Homer\x94 gave him when a boy at school. \x93\xC6sop\x92s Fables paraphrased by
Ogilby,\x94 1665; and Ogilby\x92s \x93Entertainment of Charles II. in his Passage
through the City of London to his Coronation,\x94 1662--a splendid book,
which is said to have proved of great service in succeeding coronations.

It is worthy of note that Samuel Pepys was a subscriber to the lottery,
and obtained the \x93\xC6sop\x94 and the \x93Coronation,\x94 which cost him \xA34 (Feb.
19, 1665-66).

Ogilby issued a Proposal for a second lottery, which was reprinted in
the _Gentleman\x92s Magazine_ (1814, part 1, pp. 646-48).[36] This is
valuable as containing the prices at which the books are valued, viz.--

  An imperial Bible, with chorographical                   \xA3
      and an hundred historical sculps                    25
  \x93Virgil,\x94 translated, with sculps and annotations        5
  Homer\x92s \x93Iliads,\x94 adorned with sculps                    5
  Homer\x92s \x93Odysseys,\x94 adorned with sculps                  4
  \x93\xC6sop\x92s Fables,\x94 paraphrased and sculped                 3
  \x93His Majestie\x92s Entertainment\x94                           2

In 1689 St. John\x92s College, Cambridge, gave \xA310, 15s. for David Loggan\x92s
_Cantabrigia illustrata_, 1688, but this probably included a present to
the author; for in 1690 Eton College paid \xA34 for _Cantabrigia
illustrata_ and _Oxonia illustrata_, 1675, two volumes together, so that
we may suppose the published price of each to be \xA32.

The Rev. John Flavel\x92s Works, in two volumes folio, was published in
1700 for forty shillings, which shows that the price of an illustrated
volume in folio was still about \xA31.

Colin Campbell\x92s _Vitruvius Britannicus_, a handsome work containing a
large number of fine architectural plates, was published at a very
reasonable price. The first and second volumes, published in 1715 and
1717 respectively, were sold for four guineas on imperial paper, and
three guineas on royal paper.

The price of Johnson\x92s Dictionary of the English Language, two volumes
folio, was in 1755 four guineas in sheets, and \xA34, 15s. in boards.

Folios are so completely out of fashion now, except for gorgeously
illustrated books, or for facsimiles of books and documents, that it is
scarcely worth while to carry the inquiry to a later period.


The small quarto volumes of the seventeenth century were by no means
high priced, and we learn that three shillings bought Milton\x92s \x93Paradise
Lost\x94 when first published. The price of the early editions of the
separate plays of the Elizabethan dramatists, which now are so much
sought after, was sixpence. This we learn from the address prefixed to
the early issue of \x93Troilus and Cressida,\x94 1609, published before that
play was acted--

    \x93Amongst all these is none more witty than this; and had I time, I
    would comment upon it, though I know it needs not--for so much as
    will make you think your _testern_ well bestowed,--but for so much
    worth as even poor I know to be stuffed in it.\x94

The poets had a profitable time when their poems, handsomely printed in
quarto volumes, were priced so high as two guineas. Sir Walter Scott
made great sums by these editions which sold in large numbers, but no
other poet was so fortunate as he was. Moore did well with his poems,
and in his Diary (Dec. 23, 1818) he records an amusing instance of the
practical appreciation of an admirer. He writes--

    \x93The young Bristol lady who enclosed me \xA33 after reading \x91Lalla
    Rookh\x92 had very laudable ideas on the subject; and if every reader
    of \x91Lalla Rookh\x92 had done the same, I need never have written

Wordsworth\x92s \x93Excursion\x94 was published in 1814, in a two guinea quarto
volume, but it took six years to exhaust an edition of five hundred
copies. Such are the inequalities in the rate of the remuneration of

Rees\x92s \x93Cyclop\xE6dia,\x94 which was published between 1802 and 1820 (in
forty-five volumes and six volumes of plates), cost in all \xA385. The
\x93Encyclop\xE6dia Britannica,\x94 which has superseded it, is published at the
small price of twenty-eight shillings per volume.

In the early part of this century, when it was the fashion to print
standard works in quarto, they were very high priced, thus the first
edition of \x93Pepys\x92s Diary\x94 was published in two volumes for six guineas.
Now the quarto is almost as much out of date as the folio, and is
confined to illustrated books.


The ordinary octavo volume was published at the beginning of the
eighteenth century for five or six shillings. Thus Boyer\x92s translation
of \x93The ingenious and entertaining Memoirs of Count Gramont, who lived
in the court of King Charles II., and was afterwards Ambassador from the
King of France to King James II.,\x94 1714, was published at five
shillings, and George Psalmanazar\x92s \x93Historical and Geographical
Description of Formosa\x94 at six shillings. Since then the price for an
octavo has gradually increased to seven shillings and sixpence, then to
ten shillings and sixpence. In the latter half of the present century
there has been a considerable advance to twelve shillings, to sixteen
and eighteen shillings, and now fully illustrated books are often priced
as high as one guinea a volume. Plays, trials, and pamphlets generally
have averaged about one shilling apiece.


Walton\x92s \x93Complete Angler,\x94 first published in 1653, was issued at one
shilling and sixpence, as appears from the following contemporary
advertisement, quoted by Hone in his \x93Every-Day Book\x94: \x93There is
published a Booke of Eighteen-pence price, called \x91The Compleat Angler;
or, The Contemplative Man\x92s Recreation,\x92 being a Discourse of Fish and
Fishing. Not unworthy the perusall. Sold by Richard Marriot at S.
Dunstan\x92s Churchyard, Fleet Street.\x94

In 1663 Pepys bought the first part of Butler\x92s \x93Hudibras\x94 for two
shillings and sixpence, and sold it again for one shilling and sixpence.
The Master of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, gave at the same time one
shilling for the first part and the same sum for the second part, but
later on he gave half-a-crown for the latter.

\x93The Works of the celebrated Mons. de Moli\xE8re, translated from the last
edition printed at Paris, containing his life, all his comedies,
interludes, &c., with a large account of his life and remarkable death,
who, as he was acting the part of Death in one of his own plays, was
taken ill and died a few hours after....\x94 This was printed in six
volumes 12mo, \x93on a fine paper and Elzevir letter,\x94 and published by B.
Lintott for fifteen shillings (or two shillings and sixpence a volume)
in May 1714.

Tom D\x92Urfey sold his \x93Wit and Mirth; or, Pills to purge Melancholy,\x94 at
two shillings and sixpence a volume.

Duodecimos have now gone out of fashion, at least in name, as small
books are mostly known as post octavos, foolscap octavos, &c. The price
of these small handy volumes remains much the same, as the half-crown of
the last century is the equivalent of our five or six shillings.

The greatest change in price has been made in poetry and novels, and six
shillings has become a favourite price for both. The two guineas for the
poem, and the guinea and a half for the three-volume novel, are become
things of the past.

Although in the last century many books were published and sold which
could not be sold at the present time, it is probable that some of these
books paid the publisher but badly, and it was therefore found to be a
wise precaution to publish certain books by subscription, and this plan
was therefore frequently adopted.

Dr. Brian Walton\x92s Polyglot Bible (six vols. folio, 1657, \xA310) is often
said to be the first book printed by subscription in England; but
Minsheu\x92s Dictionary, in eleven languages, 1617, was certainly sold by
the author to subscribers. The number of these subscribers was 174,
among whom are six--viz., Sir John Laurence, Dr. Aileworth, Mr. Paul
Peart, Mr. Brigges, Sir Henry Spelman, and Mr. Booth--who largely
assisted the author with money to complete his great undertaking.

\x93The Monthly Catalogue\x94 of new books commenced by Bernard Lintott in May
1714 frequently contained lists of the books printed by subscription. In
the number for January 1714-15 the terms of subscription to the worst
edition of Chaucer\x92s works ever published are announced--

    \x93Whereas John Urry, Student of Christ-Church, Oxon, has obtained
    from her late Majesty, Queen Anne, a Licence for Printing the Works
    of the celebrated Jeffrey Chaucer, corrected from all the printed
    editions, and from several rare and ancient MSS. not hitherto
    consulted: from the collating of which he has restored many single
    lines and added several Tales never yet printed, by which
    alterations, amendments, and additions, the work is in a manner
    become new. Thirty copper plates by the best gravers will be printed
    before each tale; a more compleat Glossary and Table will be added
    at the end. A small number will be printed on Royal Paper at 50s.
    per book, and those on the finest demy at 30s. Half to be paid in
    hand. Subscriptions are taken in by the Undertaker, Bernard Lintott
    between the Temple Gates, and by most Booksellers in London and the
    country. _N.B._--A new Black Letter, accented, has been cast on
    purpose for this work, for the ease of the Reader.\x94

Dryden made very good terms with Tonson for the publication of his
translation of Virgil, but Pope was still more successful with the
subscription to his translation of Homer\x92s \x93Iliad.\x94 The subscription for
six quarto volumes was fixed at six guineas, and 575 persons subscribed
for 654 copies. The booksellers eagerly made their offers of
publication, and the highest bidder was B. Lintott, who agreed to supply
all the subscription copies at his own expense, and to pay \xA3200 for
every volume. Pope therefore received altogether \xA35320 without any

Lintott engaged not to print any quartos except for Pope, but he printed
the quarto pages on small folio, and sold each volume for half-a-guinea.
These being cut down by some dishonest traders, were sold as
subscription copies.

Lintott was defrauded of his profit by the sale of a duodecimo edition,
printed in Holland, which obliged him to print an edition in a similar
form. Of Lintott\x92s first duodecimo edition 2500 copies were quickly sold
off. Five thousand further copies were at once printed.

Some of Hearne\x92s antiquarian works were subscribed at ten shillings and
sixpence per volume for small paper, and one guinea for large paper.

It seems to have been the practice for the subscriber to a book to pay
down half the purchase-money on sending in his name, and the other half
on publication.

Another expedient for the rapid sale of books was their issue in
numbers. Smollett\x92s \x93History of England\x94 was published in sixpenny
numbers, and had an immediate sale of 20,000 copies. This immense
success is said to have been due to an artifice practised by the
publisher. He sent down a packet of prospectuses carriage free (with
half-a-crown enclosed) to every parish clerk in the kingdom, to be
distributed by him through the pews of the church. This being generally
carried out, a valuable advertisement was obtained, which resulted in an
extensive demand for the work.

Books are published at an equal price, according to size, whether they
are good or bad, but they find their level in the catalogues of the
second-hand booksellers. The bad soon become waste-paper, or are marked
down to very low prices, while the good books increase in price till
they come in some cases to be marked more than the original published

Sometimes when books are printed in limited numbers the public will give
more than the published price even before publication; thus the large
paper edition of the \x93Life of the Queen,\x94 by Mr. R. R. Holmes, was
subscribed at \xA38, and the right of receiving a copy when ready is said
to have been sold for from \xA320 to \xA325.

Publishers occasionally reduce the price of a book after publication,
but this is seldom a successful operation. The selling-off of
remainders has been the means of distributing books to the public at a
low rate, and it will often be found that some of the scarcest and
highest priced books in the present day are those which have been
sold-off. These were good books, which sold too slowly, but which went
off quickly when the price was low. When the stock is exhausted, and
more are required, the price naturally goes up.

A most remarkable instance of this increase in price of a sold-off book
is that of Edward Fitzgerald\x92s wonderful version of the _Rub\xE1iy\xE1t_ of
Omar Khayyam, the first edition of which was published by Quaritch in
1859. Though the number printed was few, nobody bought, and eight years
afterwards the publisher, in disgust, threw the whole remainder into a
box outside his door, and marked all these one penny each. It is said
that Dante Rossetti found them there, and soon the remainder was
exhausted. Now this penny book is worth six guineas.[37]


[28] _Arch\xE6ologia_, xxv. 104.

[29] \x93Life and Typography of William Caxton,\x94 vol. ii. p. lix.

[30] _Arch\xE6ologia_, xlvi. 228, 229.

[31] xxxvi. 284-310.

[32] _Censura Literaria_, iii. 370.

[33] The late Mr. Cornelius Walford contributed to the _Bibliographer_
some articles on Book Patents and Printing Patents. See vol. v. pp. 125,
156; vol. vi. pp. 129, 171.

[34] _Arch\xE6ologia_, vol. xxv. pp. 100-112.

[35] Arber\x92s \x93Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers.\x94

[36] Gomme\x92s _Gentleman\x92s Magazine Library_, \x93Literary Curiosities,\x94
1888, p. 79.

[37] This was quite true when written a few months ago, but on the 10th
February 1898 a copy with the original wrappers was sold at Sotheby\x92s
salerooms for \xA321. It was bought by Mr. Quaritch, the original



The exact date of the first introduction into England of the convenient
plan of selling books by auction is known to us through the amiable
weakness of the auctioneers for writing prefaces to the sale catalogues;
and this history, therefore, is singularly unlike that of most other
inventions and customs, the origin of which is usually open to doubt,
because the originators have not thought it worth while to explain that
they were doing some new thing. The auctioneers, on the other hand, tell
us which was the first sale, and which were the second, the third, and
the fourth. After this the freshness may be said to be exhausted, and we
are contented with less exact particulars.

The custom was prevalent in Holland in the middle of the seventeenth
century, and the honour of introducing it into England is due to William
Cooper, the bookseller of Little Britain, about whom some notice has
been given in a former chapter. He was largely interested in alchemy,
and three years before he sold his first sale he published a \x93Catalogue
of Chemical Books.\x94

We must not, however, suppose that this was the introduction of
auctions into England, for sale by inch of candle had long been
practised here, a plan adopted by the Navy Office for the sale of their
old stores.

The earliest use of the word auction, quoted by Dr. Murray in the \x93New
English Dictionary,\x94 is from Warner\x92s translation of Plautus, 1595: \x93The
auction of Men\xE6chmus, ... when will be sold slaves, household goods,\x94
&c.; and the next quotation is from the Appendix to Phillip\x92s
Dictionary, 1678: \x93_Auction_, a making a publick sale and selling of
goods by an outcry.\x94 We shall see that the word was far from familiar to
the general public, as the auctioneers considered it wise to explain the
word, thus: \x93Sale of books by way of auction, or who will give most for
them.\x94 The more usual words in old English were outcry, outrope (still
familiar in Scotland as _roup_, _cf._ German _ruf_) and port sale.

The first sale by auction was that of the library of Lazarus Seaman, a
member of the Assembly of Divines, and chaplain to the Earl of
Northumberland. He was also minister of All Hallows, Bread Street, and
Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge. In the latter college a Diary written
by him between 1645 and 1657 is preserved. He seems to have been an
active man on his own side in politics, and we find that he was a member
of the Committee for ejecting Scandalous Ministers for London and the
Counties of Cambridge and Huntingdon. It is therefore not surprising to
find that at the Restoration he was ejected both from his living and
from the Mastership of Peterhouse. He died at his house in Warwick
Court, London, in September 1675, and in the following year his library
was sold in his house by Cooper, who makes the following interesting
remarks in his preface--

    \x93Reader, it hath not been usual here in England to make sale of
    Books by way of auction, or who will give most for them: But it
    having been practised in other countreys to the advantage both of
    buyers and sellers, it was therefore conceived (for the
    encouragement of Learning) to publish the sale of these Books this
    manner of way, and it is hoped that this will not be unacceptable to

Mr. Alfred W. Pollard, in a very valuable article on English Book Sales,
1676-80 (_Bibliographica_, vol. i. p. 373), quotes an interesting letter
from David Millington to Joseph Hill, an English Nonconformist minister
in Holland, dated June 1697, and now preserved in the British Museum
(Stowe MS., 709), in which the writer tenders to the divine his thanks
for the \x93great service done to learning and learned men in your first
advising and effectually setting on foot that admirable and universally
approved way of selling librarys amongst us;\x94 and distinctly states that
it was Hill who \x93happily introduced the practice into England.\x94 Mr.
Pollard goes on to say that \x93Hill, who from 1673 to 1678, owing to his
publication of a pamphlet which gave offence to the Dutch Government,
was resident in England, must have advised the executors of Dr. Seaman,
a theologian of principles not widely different from his own, to adopt
this method of selling his friend\x92s library to the best advantage.\x94
Seaman was the author of \x93A Vindication of the Judgement of the Reformed
Churches, &c., concerning Ordination, &c.,\x94 1647, and the chief class of
books in his library was what we might expect to find, viz., theological
works that he required in his vocation. Some few books (such as the
Eliot Bible of 1661-63, nineteen shillings) fetched small prices as
compared with their present value, but Mr. Pollard says that
\x93nine-tenths of the books sold for more than they would at the present

The library was a large one, and the lots numbered between five and six
thousand, and the amount realised by the sale was a little over \xA3700,
which may be roughly estimated at about \xA33500 of our present money.

The second auction sale (February 1676-67) was also carried out by
Cooper, and consisted of the library of Thomas Kidner, Rector of
Hitchin, in Hertfordshire, who died 31st August 1676. The library, like
that of Dr. Seaman, consisted largely of theological works. It is
evident from Cooper\x92s preface to this catalogue that Seaman\x92s sale had
given considerable satisfaction, although the reference to an attempt to
stifle this manner of sale shows that there were some opponents of the
system. Cooper writes--

    \x93Reader, the first attempt in this kind (by the Sale of Dr. Seaman\x92s
    library) having given great content and satisfaction to the
    gentlemen who were buyers, and no great discouragement to the
    Sellers, hath encouraged the making this second trial, by the
    exposing (to auction or sale) the Library of Mr. Tho. Kidner, in
    hopes of receiving such encouragement from the Learned as may
    prevent the stifling of this manner of sale, the benefit (if rightly
    considered) being equally balanced between buyer and seller.\x94

The third sale (February 1677-78) was of the library of Thomas
Greenhill, a Nonconformist minister of some repute, who died in 1671,
seven years before his books were sold. This sale is worthy of note, for
the auctioneer was Zachariah Bourne, and not Cooper, as in the two
former cases. It took place at the Turk\x92s Head Coffee-House in Bread
Street (in \xE6dibus Ferdinandi Stable, Coffipol\xE6, ad insigne Capitis
Turc\xE6). Bourne states in his preface that--

    \x93The attempts in this kind having given great content and
    satisfaction to the gentlemen who were the buyers and no
    discouragement to the sellers, hath encouraged the making this trial
    by exposing (to auction or sale) the library of Mr. William

The fourth sale (25th May 1678) was occupied with the library of Thomas
Manton (1620-77), one of the ministers appointed to wait upon Charles
II. at Breda. It took place at the house of the late possessor, in King
Street, Covent Garden. More English literature was included in this
library than in the former three. The auctioneer was Cooper, and his
preface is worth quoting. It will be seen that the plan of allowing an
inspection of the books before the sale had now been adopted--

    \x93Reader, we question not but that this manner of sale by way of
    auction is pretty well known to the Learned, nor can we doubt their
    encouragement for the advantage which they (as well as we) may in
    time reap thereby. Wherefore we are resolved (_Deo volente_) to make
    a fourth triall with the Library of Dr. Tho. Manton, which is not
    contemptible either for the Value, Condition, or Number, as will
    appear upon a sight thereof, which is free for any Gentleman that
    shall please to take that pains.\x94

Cooper was not satisfied with the catalogue, which had been made by one
considered by him to be incompetent, and of whom he writes thus--

    \x93This Catalogue was taken by Phil Briggs, and not by W. Cooper, but
    afterwards in parts methodized by him. Wherefore he craves your
    excuse for the mistakes that have hapned; and desires that the
    Saddle may be laid upon the right horse.\x94

The sale of Benjamin Worsley\x92s library (May 1678) is interesting, as
being the first auction in which a fair representation of old English
literature occurs, in addition to the ordinary theological works.
Chaucer (1602) fetched \xA31, 3s. 6d.; Ben Jonson\x92s Works (1640), \xA31, 13s.
6d.; Shakespeare, second folio, 16s., and third folio, \xA31, 8s. 6d. The
auctioneers were John Dunsmore and Richard Chiswell, and the sale took
place over against the Hen and Chickens, in Paternoster Row. The sixth
sale consisted of the libraries of John Godolphin and Owen Philips, and
took place in November 1678, when a Caxton--\x93Geffrey Chaucer\x92s
translation of Boethius\x92 _De Consolatione Philosophi\xE6_ in
English\x94--fetched five shillings. We thus see that in two years there
were only six sales. After this time they became more frequent, and in
this same month of November 1678 an attempt was made at rigging a sale;
the booksellers were so well satisfied with the prices obtained, that
they thought it would be a good stroke of business to lift some of their
old stock under the cover of a good name. Moses Pitt adopted this
expedient, and issued a catalogue of books described as including \x93the
library of a worthy and learned person deceased, with a considerable
number of the choice books of most sciences, some of which have been
bought out of the best libraries abroad, particularly out of the late
famous and learned Gilbert Voetius\x92s.\x94

This fraud was greatly resented by the book-buyers, and it was felt by
the other auctioneers that a blow had been dealt to the
newly-established system of sale; so when in December of this same year
the libraries of Lord Warwick and Gabriel Sangar came to be sold at the
Harrow, over against the College of Physicians, in Warwick Lane,
Nathaniel Ranew, the auctioneer, thought it expedient to make a
statement in the preface to the catalogue, where he informed his patrons
that this is \x93no collection made by any private hand (which hath been
imputed to some auctions as a reflection), but the works were really
belonging to their proprietors deceased mentioned on the title-page, and
by the direction of their respective executors exposed to sale.\x94

Moses Pitt made up another sale in February 1678-79, chiefly of books
printed at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, which took place in Petty
Canons Hall, near St. Paul\x92s Churchyard. In June 1679 William Cooper
sold the libraries of Stephen Watkins and Dr. Thomas Shirley (the
catalogue of which contained an appendix of Richard Chiswell\x92s books) at
the Golden Lion, over against the Queen\x92s Head Tavern, in Paternoster
Row. John Dunsmore sold in November 1679 the library of Sir Edward
Bysshe, Clarenceux King at Arms, at his house, near the sign of the
Woolpack, in Ivy Lane. This library was more varied in its character
than many of those that were sold before it, and it contained a
considerable amount of French, Italian, and Spanish literature,
including some early editions of Moli\xE8re. This catalogue is deserving of
particular attention, because the books are described as \x93curiously
bound and richly gilt.\x94 Hitherto no mention had been made of bindings in
the various catalogues. This attention to binding was to grow, and
Thomas Hearne protested against it some years after. In his memoranda
under date 15th February 1725-26 he wrote respecting the sale of John
Bridges\x92 library: \x93I hear they go very high, being fair books in good
condition, and most of them finely bound. This afternoon I was told of a
gentleman of All Souls\x92 College (I suppose Dr. Clarke) that gave a
commission of eight shillings for a Homer in two vols., a small 8vo, if
not 12mo. But it went for six guineas. People are in love with good
binding more than good reading.\x94[38]

The British Museum Library contains a valuable collection of early sale
catalogues, and one of the volumes, containing the first eleven sales
from Seaman to Bysshe, is of considerable interest from having the
following note in Richard Heber\x92s handwriting--

    \x93This volume, which formerly belonged to Narcissus Luttrell, and
    since to Mr. Gough, is remarkable for containing the eleven first
    Catalogues of Books ever sold by auction in England. What renders it
    still more curious, is that the prices of nearly all the articles
    are added in MS. When it came into my possession it had suffered so
    much from damp, and the leaves were so tender and rotten, that every
    time the volume was opened, it was liable to injury. This has been
    remedied by giving the whole a strong coat of size. At Willett\x92s
    sale, Booth, the bookseller of Duke Street, Portland Place, bought a
    volume of old catalogues for \xA32, 3s. (see Merly Catalogue, 531), and
    charged the same in his own shop catalogue for 1815, \xA321 (6823). It
    contained merely the eight which stand first in the present
    collection, of which Greenhill\x92s and Godolphin\x92s were not priced at
    all; and Voet\x92s and Sangar\x92s only partially. However, it enabled me
    to fill up a few omissions in the prices of my copy of
    Sangar\x92s.--_N.B._ The prices of Willett\x92s and the present copy did
    not always tally exactly.\x94

Heber paid six shillings for this volume at Gough\x92s sale in 1810, and
Charles Lewis\x92s labours in sizing and binding in 1824 cost \xA32, 15s. At
Heber\x92s sale the volume sold for \xA33.

In April 1680 was sold \x93the Library of the Right Hon. George, late Earl
of Bristol, a great part of which were the curiosities collected by the
learned Sir Kenelm Digby, together with the Library of another Learned
person.\x94 It is impossible from the catalogue to tell which lots belonged
to Sir Kenelm; and there seems to be little doubt that few of the books
which he left in Paris when he came to London, and which were
confiscated by the French Government on his death in 1665, were included
in this catalogue. According to M. Delisle,[39] Sir Kenelm\x92s books
eventually reached the French national library. The proceeds of the sale
of 3878 lots was only \xA3908, and this does not look as if there were many
of Digby\x92s books, nobly bound by Le Gascon, in this sale.

In 1681 Edward Millington\x92s name came into notice as the seller, in May
of that year, of the libraries of Lawson, Fawkes, Stockden, and Brooks.

Richard Chiswell sold in 1682 the _Bibliotheca Smithiana_, or library of
Richard Smith, Secondary of the Poultry Compter, who is better known to
us as the author of the useful \x93Obituary\x94 published by the Camden
Society in 1849. This was probably the finest library brought to the
hammer up to this date. Oldys wrote of the possessor, that \x93for many
years together [he] suffered nothing to escape him that was rare and
remarkable\x94; and he added, that his \x93extraordinary library makes perhaps
the richest catalogue of any private library we have to show in print,
making above four hundred pages in a very broad-leaved and close-printed
quarto.\x94 Richard Chiswell sold the library in May \x93at the auction house
known by the name of the Swan, in Great St. Bartholomew\x92s Close.\x94

The auctioneer made the following remarks in his Address to the Reader--

    \x93Though it be needless to recommend what to all intelligent persons
    sufficiently commends itself, yet perhaps it may not be unacceptable
    to the ingenious to have some short account concerning this so much
    celebrated, so often desired, so long expected library, now exposed
    to sale. The gentleman that collected it was a person infinitely
    curious and inquisitive after books; and who suffered nothing
    considerable to escape him that fell within the compass of his
    learning, for he had not the vanity of desiring to be master of more
    than he knew how to use. He lived to a very great age, and spent a
    good part of it almost entirely in the search of books. Being as
    constantly known every day to walk his rounds through the shops as
    he sat down to meals, where his great skill and experience enabled
    him to make choice of what was not obvious to every vulgar eye. He
    lived in times which ministered peculiar opportunities of meeting
    with books that are not every day brought into publick light; and
    few eminent libraries were bought where he had not the liberty to
    pick and choose. And while others were forming arms, and
    new-modelling kingdoms, his great ambition was to become master of a
    good book. Hence arose, as that vast number of his books, so the
    choiceness and rarity of the greatest part of them; and that of all
    kinds, and in all sorts of learning.... Nor was the owner of them a
    meer idle possessor of so great a treasure; for as he generally
    collated his books upon the buying them (upon which account the
    buyer may rest pretty secure of their being perfect) so he did not
    barely turn over the leaves, but observed the defects of impression,
    and the ill acts used by many; compared the differences of
    editions; concerning which and the like cases, he has entered
    memorable and very useful remarks upon very many of the books under
    his own hand: observations wherein, certainly never man was more
    diligent and industrious. Thus much was thought fit to be
    communicated to public notice, by a gentleman who was intimately
    acquainted both with Mr. Smith and his books.\x94

Dibdin condemns the compiler of the catalogue severely, and adds--

    \x93A number of the most curious, rare, and intrinsically valuable
    books--the very insertion of which in a bookseller\x92s catalogue would
    probably now make a hundred bibliomaniacs start from their homes by
    starlight, in order to come in for the first picking--a number of
    volumes of this description are huddled together in one lot, and all
    these classed under the provoking running title of \x91Bundles of
    Books,\x92 \x91Bundles of stitcht Books.\x92\x94[40]

Smith was one of the earliest collectors of Caxtons, and eleven books
produced by our first printer sold for \xA33, 4s. 2d. at his sale. But one
of the greatest points of interest connected with Smith\x92s library is
that it included the books of Humphrey Dyson, collected at a much
earlier date. Hearne notes in his \x93Collections\x94--

    \x93That Mr. Rich. Smith\x92s rare and curious collection of books was
    began first by Mr. Humphrey Dyson, a publick notary, living in the
    Poultry. They came to Mr. Smith by marriage. This is the same
    Humphrey Dyson that assisted Howes in his continuation of Stow\x92s
    \x91Survey of London,\x92 ed. folio.\x94

Under date 4th September 1715 Hearne says--

    \x93Mr. Richard Smith\x92s Catalogue that is printed contains a very noble
    and very extraordinary collection of books. It was begun first in
    the time of King Hen. VIII., and comeing to Mr. Smith, he was so
    very diligent and exact in continueing and improving, that hardly
    anything curious escaped him. He had made the best collection that
    possibly he could of Erasmus\x92s works.\x94[41]

In another place Hearne describes Dyson as--

    \x93A person of a very strange, prying, and inquisitive genius in the
    matter of books, as may appear from many libraries; there being
    books chiefly in old English, almost in every library, that have
    belonged to him, with his name upon them.\x94[42]

The following interesting entry from Smith\x92s catalogue corroborates
Hearne\x92s statement as to Smith\x92s acquisition of Dyson\x92s books--

    \x93115. Six several catalogues of all such books, touching the state
    ecclesiastical as temporal of the realm of England, which were
    published upon several occasions, in the reigns of K. Henry the
    VIIth and VIIIth, Philip and Mary, Q. Elizabeth, K. James and
    Charles I., collected by Mr. H. Dyson: out of whose library was
    gathered by Mr. Smith a great part of the rarities of this

This lot only fetched seven shillings and sixpence.

The number of sales seem now to have increased annually, but it was
some years before a library that could rank with Richard Smith\x92s was
sold. In April 1683 the books of Brian Walton, Bishop of Chester, were
sold (twenty-two years after his death) \x93by Samuel Carr, at his house of
the King\x92s Head in St. Paul\x92s Churchyard.\x94 About this time auction sales
took place in various parts of the country, and Edward Millington was
largely employed as a peripatetic auctioneer. In September 1684 he sold
books at Stourbridge Fair (_Bibliotheca Sturbitchiana_). In 1686 two
sales occurred at Trumpington (Obadiah Sedgwick in March, and William
Whitwood in May) and two at Cambridge (Dr. Edmond Castell in June, and
Rev. J. Chamberlaine, of St. John\x92s College, at Stourbridge Fair, in
September). When we forget the change that has taken place in the value
of money, and express our surprise that rare books should only realise a
few shillings, we should note that the cost of the hire of thirteen
carts for conveying Dr. Castell\x92s books from Emmanuel College to the
sign of the Eagle and Child, where they were sold, was only three
shillings.[43] In 1685 and 1686 occurred the famous sales of the stock
of Richard Davis, the Oxford bookseller, which was satirised in the
_Auctio Davisiana_, noticed in an earlier chapter.

In 1682 William Cooper published a list of book-sales up to that date,
and again a fuller list in 1687, which contained a note of seventy-four
sales in the ten years 1676-86. The following note is printed on the
back of page 33 of _Catalogus Librorum Bibliothec\xE6 viri cujusdam
Literati_, 14th February 1686-87--

    \x93To gratifie those Gentlemen whose curiosities may lead them to make
    perfect their Collection, I have caused to be printed the names of
    those persons whose libraries have been sold by auction, and the
    series of the time when\x94 [1676-1686].

This list is reprinted by Hartshorne in his \x93Book Rarities of the
University of Cambridge,\x94 1829 (pp. 454-57), and it forms the text for
two excellent articles by Mr. A. W. Pollard in _Bibliographica_.

In 1687 Millington sold the valuable library of Dr. Thomas Jacomb, a
Nonconformist minister (_Bibliotheca Jacombiana_), which realised \xA31300;
and in February of the following year the library of a counsellor of the
Parliaments of Montpelier, which had been brought from France to be sold
in England (_Bibliotheca Mascoviana_).

T. Bentley and B. Walford sold in November 1687 an interesting library
of an anonymous but distinguished defunct--_Bibliotheca Illustrissima_,
which is described as follows in the Address to the Reader--

    \x93If the catalogue here presented were only of common books and such
    as were easie to be had, it would not have been very necessary to
    have prefaced anything to the reader; but since it appears in the
    world with circumstances which no auction in England (perhaps) ever
    had before, nor is it probable that the like should frequently
    happen again, it would seem an oversight if we should neglect to
    advertise the reader of them. The first is, that it comprises the
    main part of the library of that famous secretary, William Cecil,
    Lord Burleigh: which considered, must put it out of doubt that these
    books are excellent in their several kinds and well chosen. The
    second is, that it contains a greater number of rare manuscripts
    than ever yet were offered together in this way, many of which are
    rendered the more valuable by being remarked upon by the hand of the
    said great man.\x94

A considerable number of sales took place between this date and the end
of the century, but few were of any particular mark until the fine
library of Dr. Francis Bernard came to the hammer in 1698.

Millington continued his travels in the country, and sold, among others,
the library of Mrs. Elizabeth Oliver at Norwich in 1689, and some modern
English books at Abingdon in 1692; and John Howell sold the Rev. George
Ashwell\x92s library at Oxford in 1696.

Dr. Francis Bernard, physician to St. Bartholomew\x92s Hospital, was also
physician to James II. He was a good judge of books, and collected a
very fine library, which was sold by auction in October 1698 at his late
dwelling in Little Britain. Dibdin says he was \x93a stoic in bibliography.
Neither beautiful binding nor amplitude of margin ever delighted his eye
or rejoiced his heart; for he was a stiff and straightforward reader,
and learned in literary history beyond all his contemporaries. His
collection was copious and excellent.\x94

The account given of the doctor in the Address to the Reader prefixed
to the catalogue is of considerable interest--

    \x93The character of the person whose collection this was is so well
    known, that there is no occasion to say much of him, nor, to any man
    of judgment that inspects the Catalogue, of the collection itself.
    Something, however, it becomes us to say of both; and this, I think,
    may with truth and modesty enough be said, that as few men knew
    books, and that part of learning which is called _Historia
    Literaria_, better than himself, so there never appeared in England
    so choice and valuable a Catalogue to be thus disposed of as this
    before us. Certain it is, this library contains not a few which
    never appeared in any auction here before, nor indeed, as I have
    heard him say, for aught he knew--and he knew as well as any man
    living--in any printed Catalogue in the world. It was very seldom
    that he bought any book without some very particular reason. For if
    any man died, he certainly knew what we call the secret history of
    learning so well, that if there were but one single passage in an
    author for which only it was to be valued, it never escaped him.
    Being a person who collected his books, and not for ostentation or
    ornament, he seemed no more solicitous about their dress than his
    own; and therefore you\x92ll find that a gilt back or a large margin
    was very seldom any inducement to him to buy. \x92Twas sufficient to
    him that he had the book.... He himself was not a mere nomenclator,
    and versed only in title-pages, but had made that just and laudable
    use of his books which would become all those that set up for
    collectors.... Give me leave to say this of him upon my own
    knowledge, that he never grudged his money in procuring, nor his
    time or labour in perusing any book which he thought could be any
    ways instructive to him; and having the felicity of a memory always
    faithful, always officious, which never forsook him, though
    attacked by frequent and severe sickness, and by the worst of all
    diseases, old age, his desire for knowledge attended him to the
    last, and he pursued his studies with equal vigour and application
    to the very extremity of his life.\x94

He had thirteen Caxtons, which sold altogether for less than two
guineas, less than these books fetched at Richard Smith\x92s sale. A
curious volume of Tracts, consisting of \x93The Bellman\x92s Night Walks\x94
(1632), \x93The Bellman of London\x94 (1608), \x93Life of Ned Browne,\x94 \x93Cut
Purse,\x94 &c., sold for 2s. 8d.; Stubbe\x92s \x93Anatomie of Abuses\x94 (1585), for
8d.; and Tusser\x92s \x93Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry\x94 (1590) for 4d.
In spite of these low prices, the total amount of the sale was \xA31600,
the expenses of the sale--4s. in the pound = \xA3320--being deducted.

The catalogue was charged 2s. 6d.

The last sale in the seventeenth century to be recorded is that of John
Lloyd, Bishop of St. Davids, sold in 1699 by John Bullord at Tom\x92s

When auctions were first started conditions of sale were formulated, and
with the exception of a little elaboration, they remain pretty much what
they were at first; but there were certain peculiarities which are
worthy of mention.

The catalogues were not at first divided into day\x92s sales, but as many
lots as possible were sold in the time fixed for the sale. The hours
were usually from nine to twelve, and from two to six. Sometimes the
sales only took place in the evening. In 1681 we learn that an average
sale of 544 lots in a day was considered satisfactory. In the Conditions
of Sale printed in the Catalogue of Seaman\x92s library we read--

    \x93That the Auction will begin the 31st of October at the Deceased
    D^r\x92s house in Warwick Court in Warwick Lane punctually at nine Of
    the Clock in the morning and two in the afternoon, and this to
    continue daily until all the books be sold.\x94

The early hour was found a disadvantage, and books often sold for low
prices at the beginning of sales, so that Cooper was forced to make a
rule that the sale should not be commenced unless there were twenty
present. At this time biddings of a penny were common.

Two great evils came to light on the first institution of auctions; one
was due to the buyers, and the other to the auctioneers. It was found
that in cases where the buyer thought he had given more for a book than
was wise, he often forgot to pay and fetch away the books. Millington
refers specially to this in 1681--

    \x93I question not but the well disposed, and the Learned will give us
    such incouragement in the Sale by Bidding in some measure to the
    value of the Books so exposed, as may further incourage and keep on
    foot such a commendable and serviceable a way of sale (as this of
    Auction is) to the great purposes of promoting Learning and
    Knowledge. Which, when I consider, I cannot but wonder that so many
    persons have appeared at our auctions, and buy with a great freedom
    to the injury of others (that are truly conscientious to pay for,
    and fetch away the Books so bought); yet in most auctions have
    hitherto neglected to fetch away and pay for their own. To the end
    therefore that they may know, we will not be damaged after so great
    expences, as inevitably attends the management of an auction; we do
    intend to prosecute them according to the law if forthwith they do
    not send for their books, or give us some reasonable satisfaction.
    To prevent any abuses for the future that may happen to other
    gentlemen who suffer by this unhandsome practice (of having Books
    bought out of their hands by persons that never will, or perhaps
    never designed to fetch them away), we shall, at a convenient time,
    for the further satisfaction of gentlemen, give an account of their
    names, and desire their absence if any of them happen to be

The other evil was the attempt of the booksellers to get rid of some of
their old stock by introducing it into the sales of collectors\x92
libraries. This trick has already been alluded to.

The frequenters of auctions seem to have been very jealous of being bid
against by any one interested in the sale. This jealousy found voice in
the complaints of Wanley and others at Bridges\x92 sale in 1726.

The lots were not numbered throughout in the catalogues, but the
octavos, quartos, and folios were each numbered separately, the number
of each section running on from the previous day\x92s sale. This is very
confusing, as when you look at the end for the purpose of finding the
total number of the lots, you only find the number of folios in the
sale. Millington found that it was not advisable to bid for books, in
case it might be supposed that he was running them up in price, and Mr.
Pollard believes that he adopted a plan of getting men to bid for him.

In corroboration of this view Mr. Pollard refers to a copy of the
catalogue of the libraries of Button, Owen, and Hoel, 7th November 1681,
in the British Museum which belonged to Millington. It has two receipts
by persons whose names are among the bidders for money received from
Millington for various books. \x93At first sight this seems a reversal of
what we should expect, but after the first few sales the auctioneers had
renounced the right of making bids themselves, lest they should be
accused of running up prices, and Millington had obviously employed
these friends to bid for him.\x94[45]

Another evil connected with auctions comes from _knocks out_, which are
thoroughly dishonest, and in fact, criminal, being, as they are, a form
of conspiracy, but the agreements of two persons not to bid against one
another are not necessarily to be condemned. Mr. Henry Stevens was very
urgent against any kind of agreement, and in his reminiscences amusingly
describes his frustration of a knock-out; and it has been said that when
the Duke of Roxburghe and Lord Spencer made an agreement, they were
parties to a knock-out; but this view is founded on a fallacy, viz.,
that whatever price a book fetches at public auction is the proper
price. We know, however, that this is not correct; for instance, the
Valdarfer _Boccaccio_ fetched its huge price at the Roxburghe sale
because two great book-buyers with long purses bid against one another.
When one of these buyers died and the book was again in the market,
seven years after the first sale, the survivor obtained the book at a
smaller price. Hence who is to say whether \xA32260 or \xA3918 is the actual
value of the book!


[38] _Reliqui\xE6 Hearnian\xE6_, vol. ii. (1869), p. 243.

[39] \x93Sir Kenelm Digby et les anciens rapports des Biblioth\xE8ques
fran\xE7aises avec la Bretagne.\x94 Quoted by Mr. Pollard, _Bibliographica_,
vol. i. p. 383.

[40] _Bibliomania_ (The Drawing Room).

[41] _Reliqui\xE6 Hearnian\xE6_, 1869, vol. i. p. 310.

[42] Peter Langtoft\x92s \x93Chronicle,\x94 vol. i. p. 13.

[43] _Bibliographica_, vol. ii. p. 126.

[44] Millington\x92s preface to catalogue of libraries of Lawson, Fawkes,
Stockden, and Brooks, 30th May 1681.

[45] _Bibliographica_, vol. ii. p. 115.



The sales of the last quarter of the seventeenth century are of the
greatest interest in the history of the subject, but they are not of any
great value as guides to present prices, for circumstances and tastes
have greatly changed. The sales were largely those of the working
libraries of theologians, and the books which their owners found of use
in their studies sold well, while books in other classes which have now
taken their place in public esteem fetched prices which seem to us very
small. Among the number of sales noticed in the last chapter, two only
stand out as the libraries of true collectors in the modern acceptation
of the term, that is, of those who collect for love of the books rather
than from an appreciation of their utility. Much the same conditions
ruled during the first quarter of the eighteenth century, although the
library of Charles Bernard, serjeant-surgeon to Queen Anne and brother
of Dr. Francis Bernard, previously referred to, was sold in March 1711
at the Black Boy Coffee-House in Ave Maria Lane, and the sale of the
vast collection of Thomas Rawlinson commenced in 1721. Then followed the
sale of John Bridges\x92 library in February 1726, but the middle of the
century was passed when the great sale of Dr. Richard Mead occurred.
This (1754-55), when compared with Askew\x92s sale in 1775, may be said to
mark an era in bibliography. These two great physicians were friends
with similar tastes. We are, therefore, able to gauge the considerable
growth of the taste for book-collecting during the few years that parted
these two sales. Askew bought many books at Mead\x92s sale, and when the
same volumes came to be sold at his own sale they realised twice and
thrice the prices he had given. We shall see in the register of the
sales after Askew\x92s day how the prices gradually advanced, until we
arrive at the culmination of the bibliomaniacal spirit in the Roxburghe
sale of 1812.

We will now enumerate some of the principal sales which took place
during the eighteenth century, which led up to the long list of sales
which have formed so marked a feature of the nineteenth century.

Charles Bernard\x92s library, sold in 1711, was said by Oldys to contain
\x93the fairest and best editions of the classics.\x94 Swift, in his \x93Journal
to Stella\x94 (19th March) wrote, \x93I went to-day to see poor Charles
Bernard\x92s books, and I itch to lay out nine or ten pounds for some fine
editions of fine authors\x94; and on the 29th he adds, \x93I walked to-day
into the city and went to see the auction of poor Charles Bernard\x92s
books. They were in the middle of the Physic books, so I bought none;
and they are so dear, I believe I shall buy none.\x94

The sale of the library of Thomas Britton, the well-known small-coal man
of Clerkenwell, in January 1715, deserves mention on account of the
worthiness of its owner. The books were sold by auction at St. Paul\x92s
Coffee-House by Thomas Ballard, and the sale catalogue consists of forty
closely-printed pages in quarto. There were 664 lots in octavo, 274 in
quarto, and 102 in folio, besides 50 pamphlets and 23 manuscripts. This
was the second library Britton had collected, for some years before his
death he sold the first one by auction.

Thomas Rawlinson (1681-1725) was one of the most insatiable of book
collectors, and he left the largest library that had been collected up
to his time. His chambers were so filled that his bed had to be moved
into a passage, and he took London House, in Aldersgate Street, to
accommodate his ever-increasing library. Oldys says of him--

    \x93If his purse had been much wider he had a passion beyond it, and
    would have been driven to part with what he was so fond of, such a
    pitch of curiosity or dotage he was arrived at upon a different
    edition, a fairer copy, a larger paper than twenty of the same sort
    he might be already possessed of. In short, his covetousness after
    those books he had not increased with the multiplication of those he
    had, and as he lived so he died in his bundles, piles, and bulwarks
    of paper, in dust and cobwebs, at London House.\x94[46]

He did, in fact, commence the sale of his library before his death, and
the first part was sold in December 1721. The catalogue of the whole
library occupied sixteen parts, the last being sold in 1734. A complete
set of these catalogues is very rare, and the lists of them in the
various bibliographical works are mostly incomplete. There is, however,
a set in the Bodleian Library. The books in the first five parts sold
for \xA32409, and the manuscripts alone took sixteen days of March 1734 to
sell, and went cheap. Hearne writes in his Diary (9th November 1734)--

    \x93The MSS. in Dr. Rawlinson\x92s last auction of his brother Thomas\x92s
    books went extraordinary cheap, and those that bought had great
    penny worths. The Doctor purchas\x92d many himself, at which here and
    there one were disgusted, tho\x92 all the company supported the Doctor
    in it, that as a creditor he had a right equal to any other. My
    friend Mr. Tom Brome, that honest gentleman of Ewithington in
    Herefordshire in a letter to the Doctor, says that he cannot but
    wonder at the low rates of most of the MSS., and adds \x91had I been in
    place I should have been tempted to have laid out a pretty deal of
    money, without thinking myself at all touched with

On 10th November Hearne further writes--

    \x93Dr. Rawlinson by the sale of his brother\x92s books hath not rais\x92d
    near the money expected. For it seems they have ill answer\x92d,
    however good books; the MSS. worse, and what the prints will do is
    as yet undetermin\x92d.\x94[48]

It is worthy of mention here that Dr. Rawlinson purchased Hearne\x92s
Diaries for a hundred guineas from the widow and executrix of Dr.
William Bedford, to whom they had been given by Hearne,[49] and he
bequeathed them with other property to the University of Oxford. The
auctioneers who dispersed Thomas Rawlinson\x92s large collections were
Charles Davis and Thomas Ballard.

The sale of the valuable library of John Bridges at his chambers in
Lincoln\x92s Inn by Mr. Cock, in February 1726, was an event of much
literary interest. The number of lots was 4313, occupying twenty-seven
days, and the total proceeds of the sale were \xA34001. This is therefore
worthy of note as the first sale at which the prices averaged nearly one
pound per lot.

There was much dissatisfaction among the buyers at the high prices, and
a conspiracy to \x93bull\x94 the market was suspected.

Humphry Wanley expressed his opinion strongly on this point--

    \x93_Feb. 9, 1725-6._--Went to Mr. Bridges\x92s chambers, but could not
    see the three fine MSS. again, the Doctor his brother having locked
    them up. He openly bid for his own books, merely to enhance their
    price, and the auction proves to be, what I thought it would become,
    very knavish.\x94

    \x93_Feb. 11, 1725-6._--Yesterday at five I met Mr. Noel and tarried
    long with him; we settled then the whole affair touching his bidding
    for my Lord [Oxford] at the roguish auction of Mr. Bridges\x92s books.
    The Reverend Doctor one of the brothers hath already displayed
    himself so remarkably as to be both hated and despised, and a
    combination among the booksellers will soon be against him and his
    brother-in-law, a lawyer. These are men of the keenest avarice, and
    their very looks (according to what I am told) dart out
    harping-irons. I have ordered Mr. Noel to drop every article in my
    Lord\x92s commissions when they shall be hoisted up to too high a
    price. Yet I desired that my Lord may have the Russian Bible, which
    I know full well to be a very rare and a very good book.\x94[50]

The frontispiece to the sale catalogue exhibited an oak felled, and
persons bearing away the branches, signifying that when the oak is cut
down every man gets wood. Nichols, referring to the motto, ?????
???????? ??? ???? ?????????, speaks of it as \x93an affecting memento to
the collectors of great libraries, who cannot or do not leave them to
some public accessible repository.\x94[51]

Besides the sale catalogue, there was a _catalogue raisonn\xE9_ of
Bridges\x92s library, a large paper of which, bound in old blue morocco,
and ruled with red lines, Dr. Gosset bought for Dibdin for four
shillings, and the latter styles it a happy day when he received it.

In 1731 was sold, at St. Paul\x92s Coffee-House, the extensive library of
Anthony Collins, the famous freethinker and author, and a friend of
Locke. His books were sold in two divisions. Part 1 of the catalogue
contained 3451 lots, and part 2, 3442.

The sale of Dr. Thomas Pellet\x92s library in 1744 is of especial interest
as the first undertaken by Samuel Baker, the founder of the house of

In 1746 two sales of note took place, those of Sir Christopher Wren and
Michael Maittaire, the scholar and bibliographer. The following
advertisement of the former is from the _Daily Advertiser_ of 26th
October 1748--

    \x93To be sold by auction, by Messrs. Cock and Langford, in y^e Great
    Piazza, Covent Garden, this and y^e following evening, the curious
    and entire libraries of y^e ingenious architect Sir Christopher
    Wren, Knt., and Christopher Wren, Esq., his son, late of Hampton
    Court; both deceased. Consisting of great variety of Books of
    Architecture, Antiquities, Histories, etc., in Greek, Latin, French,
    and English; together with some few lots of Prints. The said books
    may be viewed at Mr. Cock\x92s in y^e Great Piazza aforesaid, till y^e
    time of sale, which will begin each evening at 5 o\x92clock precisely.
    Catalogues of which may be had gratis at y^e place of sale

Maittaire\x92s library was sold in two parts, in November 1748 and January
1749, by Mr. Cock, and occupied forty-five evenings in the selling. For
some reason or other the books appear to have been sacrificed, and they
realised little more than \xA3700. One reason was, that they were not very
presentable in appearance. The auctioneer writes in the \x93advertisement\x94
to the catalogue--

    \x93Tho\x92 the books in their present condition make not the most
    ostentatious appearance, yet like the late worthy possessor of them,
    however plain their outside may be, they contain within an
    invaluable treasure of ingenuity and learning. In fine, this is
    (after fifty years\x92 diligent search and labour in collecting) the
    entire library of Mr. Maittaire, whose judgement in the choice of
    books as it ever was confessed, so are they undoubtedly far beyond
    whatever I can attempt to say in their praise. In exhibiting them
    thus to the public, I comply with the will of my deceased friend,
    and in printing the catalogue from his own copy, just as he left it
    (tho\x92 by so doing it is more voluminous), I had an opportunity not
    only of doing the justice I owe to his memory, but also of
    gratifying the curious.\x94

According to a very interesting account of the sale in Beloe\x92s
\x93Anecdotes\x94 (vol. v. pp. 389-452), it appears that if \x93the curious\x94
attended the sale, they did not do much to raise the prices. Beloe
writes, \x93The library of Michael Maittaire was of incalculable value,
from its great variety, from the number of early printed books which it
contained, from the extraordinary collection of Greek and Latin tracts
by the famous French printers of the sixteenth century, from the most
uncommon books in criticism which it exhibited, and lastly, from the
high reputation of its possessor.\x94 And, in conclusion, he says, \x93Such a
collection was never before exhibited for public sale, and perhaps never
will again.\x94

A striking instance of the absurdly low prices obtained for the books is
that of _Homeri Batrachomyomachia_ (Venet. per Leonicum Cretensem, 1486,
4to), which sold for sixteen shillings. In this copy a subsequent
possessor wrote the following note--

    \x93This book is so extremely rare that I never saw any other copy of
    it except that of Mons. de Boze, who told me he gave 650 livres for
    it. Mr. Smith, our consul at Venice, wrote me word that he had
    purchased a copy, but that it was imperfect. Lord Oxford offered Mr.
    Maittaire fifty guineas for this identical copy.\x94

Askew\x92s copy, supposed to be the same as this, fetched at his sale
fourteen guineas.

_Martialis, apud Vindelinum Spirensem--sine anno_--which is described as
\x93one of the rarest of rare books,\x94 only brought four shillings and
sixpence. The _editio princeps_ of Plautus (_Venet. per Joh. de Colonia
et Vindelinum Spirensem_, 1472, folio) was sold for sixteen shillings,
while the Pinelli copy fetched \xA336. These are no exceptions to the rule,
for Beloe mentions a large number of rare books which only fetched a
shilling or two shillings each.

The great library of Richard Mead, M.D., was dispersed by Samuel Baker
in November and December 1754 and in April and May 1755. In the first
sale there were 3280 lots in 28 days, which realised \xA32475, 18s. 6d. The
second sale consisted of 6741 lots in 29 days, realising \xA33033, 1s. 6d.,
making the totals for the two sales, 57 days, 10,021 lots, amount of
sale \xA35509. It is usually stated that Mead\x92s library consisted of 10,000
volumes, but there must have been at least 30,000 volumes. The numbering
of lots in Mead\x92s sale followed the confusing rule adopted at the first
printing of auction catalogues, viz., the leaving three separate
numberings of octavos, quartos, and folios. As already said, this was
the first really renowned sale that took place in England, and there can
be little doubt that the owner spent considerably more money in the
collection of his books than they realised after his death. Johnson said
of Mead; that he lived more in the broad sunshine of life than almost
any man. The dispersion of his library was a loss to the world, for
every scholar had been allowed access to it during the owner\x92s life.

The novelist Fielding\x92s library was sold by Baker in 1755. The sale
consisted of 653 lots, occupied four nights, and realised \xA3364.

Richard Rawlinson, D.D., younger brother of Thomas Rawlinson, died on
the 6th of April 1755, and his large and valuable library was sold by
Baker in March of the following year. The sale of the books lasted fifty
days, and there was a second sale of pamphlets, books of prints, &c.,
which occupied ten days. The prices realised for old English literature
were very small, and the total of the whole sale was under \xA31200.

The year 1756 was remarkable for the sale of the library of Martin
Folkes by Samuel Baker. It consisted of 5126 lots, and realised \xA33091.
Martin Folkes occupied a prominent position in the literary and
scientific worlds as President of the Royal Society and of the Society
of Antiquaries. He was more a generally accomplished man than a man of
science, and it has been the fashion to laugh at his pretensions to the
chair of the Royal Society, but his contemporaries thought well of him.
Dr. Jurin, secretary of the Royal Society, said that \x93The greatest man
that ever lived (Sir Isaac Newton) singled him out to fill the chair,
and to preside in the Society when he himself was so frequently
prevented by indisposition; and that it was sufficient to say of him
that he was Sir Isaac\x92s friend.\x94

Edwards, the ornithologist, said of Folkes--

    \x93He seemed to have attained to universal knowledge, for in the many
    opportunities I have had of being in his company, almost every part
    of science has happened to be the subject of discourse, all of which
    he handled as an adept. He was a man of great politeness in his
    manners, free from all pedantry and pride, and in every respect the
    real, unaffected, fine gentleman.\x94

The earliest sale recorded of Samuel Paterson was that of the library of
\x93Orator\x94 Henley, which took place in June 1769, and contained some
curious books.

Joseph Smith, British Consul at Venice, was a cultivated book collector.
He printed a catalogue of his library in 1755, _Bibliotheca Smitheana,
seu Catalogus Librorum D. Josephi Smithii, Angli ... Venetiis, typis Jo.
Baptist\xE6 Pasquali_, MDCCLV. This is of value as containing an appendix
to \x93the prefaces and epistles prefixed to those works in the library
which were printed in the fifteenth century.\x94 George III. bought the
whole library, and added it to his own matchless collection. On the sale
of his library Consul Smith set to work to collect another, and in 1773,
a year after his death, this second library was sold by auction by Baker
& Leigh, occupying thirteen days in the selling. The books were
described as being \x93in the finest preservation, and consisting of the
very best and scarcest editions of the Latin, Italian, and French
authors, from the Invention of Printing, with manuscripts and missals
upon vellum, finely illuminated.\x94 The last day\x92s sale contained all the
English books in black letter. This fine library realised \xA32245, not so
large an amount as might have been expected. In fact, Dibdin says in his
_Bibliomania_ that Mr. Cuthell exclaimed in his hearing that \x93they were
given away.\x94

In this same year, 1773, was sold the splendid library of James West,
President of the Royal Society, the catalogue of which was digested by
Samuel Paterson. The preface informs the reader that \x93the following
catalogue exhibits a very curious and uncommon collection of printed
books and travels, of British history and antiquities, and of rare old
English literature, the most copious of any which has appeared for
several years past; formed with great taste and a thorough knowledge of
authors and characters.\x94 There were 4633 lots, and they occupied
twenty-four days in the selling, the auctioneer being Langford. West\x92s
large collection of manuscripts was sold to the Earl of Shelburne, and
is now in the British Museum.

Although this sale attracted much attention, and was well attended, the
prices did not rule high according to our present ideas, but doubtless
it was not thought then that the following Caxtons realised less than
their value: Chaucer\x92s Works, first edition by Caxton, \xA347, 15s. 6d.;
\x93Troylus and Cresseyde,\x94 \xA310, 10s.; \x93Book of Fame,\x94 \xA34, 5s.; \x93Gower de
Confessione Amantis,\x94 1483, \xA39, 9s.

Dibdin has given a very full analysis of this fine library in his
_Bibliomania_. In contrast to this sale may be mentioned, on account of
the distinction of the owner, the library of Oliver Goldsmith, which was
sold on 12th July 1774 by Mr. Good of Fleet Street. There were 162 lots,
and Mr. Forster has reprinted the catalogue in his \x93Life of Goldsmith\x94
(vol ii. p. 453).

A very curious library was sold in this same year (1774) by Paterson.
The title of the catalogue describes it as follows--

    \x93A Catalogue of rare books and tracts in various languages and
    faculties, including the Ancient Conventual Library of Missenden
    Abbey in Buckinghamshire, together with some choice remains of that
    of the late eminent Sergeant at Law, William Fletewode, Esq.,
    Recorder of London in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; among which are
    several specimens of the earliest typography, foreign and English,
    including Caxton, Wynkyn de Worde, Pynson, and others; a fine
    collection of English history, some scarce old law books, a great
    number of old English plays, several choice MSS. upon vellum, and
    other subjects of literary curiosity....\x94

It will be seen from this that works of our early printers were
beginning to come into vogue, but they did not fetch very high prices,
varying from five pounds to eight guineas. Two copies of the first
edition of Bacon\x92s \x93Essays,\x94 1597, went for sixpence.

In 1775 one of the finest sales of the century took place at the auction
rooms of Baker & Leigh, that of Anthony Askew, M.D. (1722-1772), whose
ambition it was to have every edition of a Greek author. His library
largely consisted of classics, and most of the books were in good
condition. There were 3570 lots sold in twenty-two days, which realised
\xA33993, or about \xA31 per lot. Mead\x92s library consisted of 10,021 lots,
which realised \xA35509, or a little over half the average amount per lot
obtained at Askew\x92s sale. As the character of Mead\x92s and Askew\x92s
libraries was somewhat similar, the difference may be partly accounted
for by the increased price of good books in the interval between the two

Mr. Christie sold in March 1776 the valuable library of a very
remarkable book-collector, John Ratcliffe, who kept a chandler\x92s shop in
the Borough. It is said that he bought some of his treasures by weight
in the way of his business. His skill as a collector was recognised by
his brother collectors, and on Thursday mornings he was in the habit of
giving breakfasts at his house in East Lane, Rotherhithe, and to them
Askew, Croft, Topham Beauclerk, James West, and others, were constant
visitors. At these breakfasts he displayed his latest purchases. He was
a very corpulent man, and a few years before his death, when a fire
happened in his neighbourhood, and his furniture and books were removed
for safety, he was unable to help those who were engaged in the task. He
stood lamenting the loss of his Caxtons, when a sailor, who heard him,
attempted to console him, and cried, \x93Bless you, sir, I have got them
perfectly safe.\x94 While Ratcliffe was expressing his thanks, the sailor
produced two of his fine curled periwigs which he had saved. He had no
idea that a man could make such a fuss over a few books.[52]

There were nine days\x92 sale of 1675 lots. The Caxtons numbered thirty,
and realised an average of \xA39 each.

Topham Beauclerk, the fashionable friend of Dr. Johnson, collected a
very large library, which was distributed by Paterson in 1781. There
were thirty thousand volumes, which took fifty days to sell. The library
was rich in English plays, English history, travels, and antiquities,
but there were not many high-priced books.

The sale of the library of the Rev. Thomas Crofts in 1783, also by
Paterson, was a much more important event. It consisted of 8360 lots,
distributed over forty-three days, and realised \xA33453. We are told in
the preface to the sale catalogue that--

    \x93The great reputation which the late Rev. and learned Mr. Crofts had
    acquired, with respect to bibliographical knowledge, cannot be
    better established than by the following digest of his excellent
    library, in which no pains have been spared to render it worthy the
    character of the collector, and such as he himself, it is presumed,
    would not have disapproved. The collection on the \x91Origin of
    Letters,\x92and of Grammars and Dictionaries, is admirable, and much
    fuller of curious books than is to be found in many libraries of the
    first description. The theological divisions comprehend many curious
    and valuable articles.... The classical part of the library is
    indeed a treasure of Greek and Roman learning, comprising many of
    the early editions, almost all the Aldine editions, and those of the
    best modern commentators.\x94

Other classes well represented in the library were Italian poetry,
novels and plays, Spanish and Portuguese poetry, &c., history,
topography, antiquities, and voyages and travels. There is a portrait of
Mr. Crofts in Clarke\x92s _Repertorium Bibliographicum_.

In this same year, 1783, was sold by Mr. Compton the elegant and curious
library of an eminent collector (Joseph Gulston), which contained a
considerable number of books printed on large paper, and well bound. The
library is described in the catalogue as \x93undoubtedly the most select
ever offered to the public for beauty, scarcity, and condition.\x94 There
were eleven days\x92 sale of 2007 lots, which realised \xA31750. In 1784 the
remaining portion of Mr. Gulston\x92s library was sold by the same
auctioneer. This consisted chiefly of a fine collection of English
typography, and the 784 lots occupied four days in the selling.

Dr. Samuel Johnson\x92s library, which was sold in 1785, was not a very
valuable one. It consisted of 650 lots, which sold for \xA3100. Among them
was the second Shakespeare folio, now in the possession of Sir Henry

In 1785 Dr. Askew\x92s collection of manuscripts were sold, ten years after
the printed books, when they realised \xA31827. When Askew died in 1774
they were offered to a collector for two thousand guineas, but the price
was considered too large.

The library of Major Thomas Pearson (1740-1781) was sold by T. & J.
Egerton in 1788. The sale extended over twenty-three days, and consisted
of 5525 lots. This library was very rich in old English literature, and
contained two volumes of original ballads, which were bought by the Duke
of Roxburghe for \xA336, 4s. 6d., and with the Duke\x92s additions are now
safely preserved in the British Museum.

The famous Pinelli library, founded by John Vincent Pinelli in the
sixteenth century, and augmented by his descendants (the last possessor
was Maffeo Pinelli, a learned printer at Venice, who died in 1785), was
bought in 1788 by Messrs. Robson & Edwards, booksellers, for about
\xA37000; and on being brought to London was sold by auction in Conduit
Street in two divisions--the first, in March and April 1789, consisted
of sixty days\x92 sale, and the second, in February and March 1790, of
thirty-one days. The total number of lots was 14,778, and they realised
\xA39356, which did not allow much profit to the purchasers after payment
of duties, carriage, and costs of the sale. The library was very rich in
Greek and Latin classics, and Italian literature generally. The chief
lot was the _Complutensian Polyglot_ (6 vols. folio, 1514-17), printed
on vellum, which fetched \xA3483.

The sale of the choice library of M. Paris de Meyzieux (Bibliotheca
Parisina), which took place in March 1791, is worthy of special record
in that the prices realised averaged considerably more than in any
previous sale, and has seldom been equalled even in our own day. The
title of the English catalogue is as follows--

    \x93A Catalogue of a Collection of Books formed by a Gentleman in
    France, not less conspicuous for his taste in distinguishing than
    his zeal in acquiring whatever of this kind was most perfect,
    curious, or scarce: it includes many first editions of the classics:
    books magnificently printed on vellum with illuminated paintings;
    manuscripts on vellum, embellished with rich miniatures; books of
    natural history, with the subjects coloured in the best manner or
    with the original drawings and books of the greatest splendour and
    rareness in the different classes of literature. To these are added
    from another grand collection, selected articles of high value. The
    whole are in the finest condition, and in bindings superlatively

The library was bought from the executors of Mons. Paris by M. Laurent
of Paris and Mr. James Edwards, and brought to London to be sold. There
were six days\x92 sale, and the 636 lots realised \xA37095, 17s. 9d., or a
little over eleven pounds per lot. One of the most beautiful books in
the sale was the _Opere_ of Petrarch, 1514, printed on vellum, with
charming miniatures attributed to Giulio Clovio. Six of these were the
Triumphs of Love, Chastity, Death, Fame, Time, and the Deity. The
borders of the pages were ornamented with 174 exquisite miniatures of
birds, beasts, fishes, monsters, fabulous histories, and various
compositions of the greatest ingenuity. This splendid folio volume
fetched \xA3116, 11s. A similar book, but apparently much less elaborate, a
vellum Aristotle, recently fetched \xA3800 at the Ashburnham sale.

The library of Michael Lort, D.D., F.R.S., was sold by Leigh & Sotheby
in this same year, 1791; it contained a large number of interesting
books, particularly those on English history and antiquities, many of
which were enriched with MS. notes by the Rev. George North. There were
6665 lots, which occupied twenty-five days in the selling, but the
amount realised (\xA31269) was not large for so considerable a collection.

In 1792 a great sale occurred at Dublin; it was of the library of the
Right Hon. Denis Daly, and was dispersed under the hammer of James
Vallance. There is a good description of the library in the _Gentleman\x92s
Magazine_ (1792, Part I., pp. 326-28), but although Dibdin gives in his
_Bibliomania_ a notice of some of the books, he does not record the
prices of several of the most interesting items mentioned in the
_Gentleman\x92s Magazine_. The number of lots was 1441, which realised
\xA33700. The library was purchased entire from the executors of Mr. Daly
by John Archer and William Jones, two Dublin booksellers, and the former
told Dibdin that Lord Clare offered \xA34000 for it before the auction
sale, but this offer was refused.

The Earl of Bute\x92s botanical library was sold by Leigh & Sotheby in 1794
for \xA33470. It was a ten days\x92 sale.

The first part of Thomas Allen\x92s library was dispersed in June 1795, and
the second part in 1799, both parts coming under the hammer of Leigh and
Sotheby. There were in all 3460 lots sold during nineteen days, which
realised \xA35737.

The sale of the library of George Mason commenced in January 1798, and
continued till 1807, when the fifth part was sold. The first part
contained 497 lots (three days), which realised \xA3620; the second part
480 lots (three days), \xA3784; the third part 547 lots (three days), \xA3670;
the fourth part, sold in 1799, 338 lots (two days), \xA3586. All were sold
by Leigh & Sotheby. The four parts contained 1862 lots, and the total
amount of the sale was \xA32663. The fifth part, sold in 1807, contained
few lots of any importance.

The library of Richard Farmer, D.D., sold by Mr. King in May 1798, was a
peculiarly interesting one, as containing a rich collection of early
English poetry, of which he was one of the earliest purchasers. Although
he employed agents to purchase for him, he was not very liberal, and is
said to have made a rule not to exceed three shillings for any book. The
number of lots in the sale was 8199, and thirty-six days were occupied
in selling them. The total amount of the sale was \xA32210, and the library
is supposed to have cost Dr. Farmer in collecting about \xA3500.

Dr. Farmer (1735-1797), author of the famous \x93Essay on the Learning of
Shakspeare,\x94 and for two-and-twenty years Master of Emanuel College,
Cambridge, was a curious character, who was said to have loved three
things--old port, old clothes, and old books. It was further said that
there were three things which nobody could persuade him to do, viz., to
rise in the morning, to go to bed at night, and to settle an account. He
is said to have imbibed his passion for collecting books from Dr.
Askew. Dr. Parr, who composed his Latin epitaph, wrote of him--

    \x93How shall I talk of thee, and of thy wonderful collection, O rare
    Richard Farmer?--of thy scholarship, acuteness, pleasantry,
    singularities, varied learning, and colloquial powers! Thy name will
    live long among scholars in general, and in the bosoms of virtuous
    and learned bibliomaniacs thy memory shall ever be enshrined! The
    walls of Emanuel College now cease to convey the sounds of thy
    festive wit; thy volumes are no longer seen, like Richard Smith\x92s
    \x91bundles of stitcht books,\x92 strewn upon the floor; and thou has
    ceased in the cause of thy beloved Shakespeare to delve into the
    fruitful ore of black letter literature. Peace to thy honest spirit;
    for thou wert wise without vanity, learned without pedantry, and
    joyous without vulgarity.\x94

Dr. Farmer at one time proposed to have had a catalogue taken of his
library, to which he intended to have prefixed the following

    \x93This Collection of Books is by no means to be considered as an
    essay towards a perfect Library; the circumstances and the situation
    of the Collector made such an attempt both unnecessary and
    impracticable. Here are few publications of great price which were
    already to be found in the excellent Library of Emanuel College; but
    it is believed that not many private collections contain a greater
    number of really curious and scarce books; and perhaps no one is so
    rich in the antient philological English literature.--R. FARMER.\x94


[46] \x93Memoir of William Oldys,\x94 1862, p. 101.

[47] _Reliqui\xE6 Hearnian\xE6_, 1869, vol. iii. p. 159.

[48] _Ibid._, p. 160.

[49] Nichols\x92s \x93Literary Anecdotes,\x94 vol. v. p. 490.

[50] Wanley\x92s \x93Diary,\x94 Lansdowne MS., 808, _quoted_ Nichols\x92s \x93Literary
Anecdotes,\x94 vol. i. pp. 91-92.

[51] Ibid., vol. ii. p. 106.

[52] Dibdin\x92s \x93Reminiscences,\x94 vol. i. p. 327 (note).



The sales of the nineteenth century are so numerous, that they must be
treated in a more summary manner than those of the two previous
centuries. The Roxburghe sale in 1812 marks an era in bibliography, and
after it a series of valuable sales occurred until about the middle of
the century, when there was a certain period of dulness, although great
sales like those of the libraries of the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of
Buckingham (Stowe) took place. In 1864 the fine library of George Daniel
was dispersed, when many editions of Shakespeare\x92s plays, and much
valuable dramatic literature, were sold at high prices. In 1873 was the
great sale of Henry Perkins\x92s library, in 1881-83 the Sunderland sale,
and in 1882-84 the Beckford and Hamilton sales. These three sales
deserve an historian, such as the Roxburghe sale had in Dibdin; but
although they created a great sensation, they have not been written
about as the Roxburghe sale was. The effect of the high prices realised
at these sales has been to cause a great number of fine libraries to be
brought to the hammer. The century opened with the sale by Mr. King of
the valuable library of George Steevens, the Shakespearian commentator,
which commenced on 13th May 1800, and continued during the ten following
days. There were 1943 lots, which realised \xA32740. Useful lists of some
of the most interesting books in the sale are given in Dibdin\x92s
_Bibliomania_ and Clarke\x92s _Repertorium Bibliographicum_. The whole of
the library was sold, with the exception of an illustrated copy of
Shakespeare, bequeathed to Earl Spencer, the corrected copy of
Steevens\x92s edition of Shakespeare to Mr. Reed, and a fine set of
Hogarth\x92s prints, in three volumes, to the Right Hon. William Windham.

The sale of the library of Greffier Fagel of the Hague was announced for
sale in 1802, but instead of coming to auction it was sold entire to
Trinity College, Dublin, for \xA37000. A catalogue, digested by Samuel
Paterson, in two parts, was printed in 1806.

The very valuable library of Robert Heathcote was sold by Leigh, Sotheby
& Son in 1802 and 1808. The first sale, on 8th April 1802 and five
following days, was described as \x93an elegant collection of books,
comprising a very extraordinary assemblage of the Greek and Roman
classics, and other books in the English, French, and Italian languages;
the greater part upon large paper, and the whole in fine condition, in
morocco and other splendid bindings.\x94 The number of lots was 958, which
realised \xA33361.

The second part was described as \x93a portion of the singularly elegant
library, late the property of a very distinguished amateur [R. H.],
likewise a few duplicates belonging to the present possessor [John
Dent].... The books are almost universally bound in different coloured
morocco, by Roger Payne and other eminent binders.\x94 This sale took place
on 4th April 1808 and five following days, and consisted of 858 lots,
which fetched \xA32469.

The third sale took place on 2nd May 1808 and following day, when 222
lots were sold for \xA31246. The books are described as bound by \x93the most
eminent English and French binders.\x94 The totals of the three sales were
2038 lots, which realised \xA37076.

The sale of the library of John Woodhouse, which was carried out by
Leigh, Sotheby & Son, on 12th December 1803 and four following days, was
one of great interest. The books were in fine condition, and besides
works on English history, topography, &c., there was a good collection
of old English poetry and romances. There were 862 lots, and the amount
realised was \xA33135.

James Edwards, who commenced bookselling in Pall Mall about the year
1784, was in 1788 the joint purchaser with James Robson, bookseller, of
New Bond Street, of the Pinelli library. He retired to the Manor House,
Harrow, some years before his death, and gathered around him a very
choice collection of books. He is mentioned in the index to Nichols\x92s
\x93Literary Anecdotes\x94 (1813) as the possessor, \x93with numberless other
literary treasures,\x94 of the famous Bedford Missal. On 25th April 1804
and three following days Mr. Christie sold a selection from his library,
which was described as \x93a most splendid and valuable collection of
books, superb missals, original drawings, &c., the genuine property of a
gentleman of distinguished taste, retiring into the country.\x94 There were
only 339 lots, which fetched \xA34640, or nearly \xA314 per lot, a very
considerable average, but then the books were highly distinguished.
Dibdin gives, in part 5 of his _Bibliomania_, a list of some of the more
important items, and in part 6 a notice of the large number of books
printed on vellum, in the collection. Dibdin does not, however, mention
that it belonged to James Edwards.

On 5th April 1815 and five following days Mr. Evans sold \x93the valuable
library of James Edwards, Esq., containing a splendid assemblage of
early printed books, chiefly on vellum, highly curious and important
manuscripts, magnificent books of prints,\x94 &c. In this sale was the
Bedford Missal, which was bought by the Marquis of Blandford for \xA3687.
There were 830 lots, which sold for \xA38421, or rather more than \xA310 per
lot. Edwards died on 2nd January 1816, aged fifty-nine years.

The library of the first Marquis of Lansdowne (previously Earl of
Shelburne) was sold by Leigh & Sotheby in January and February 1806. The
sale occupied thirty-one days, and contained 6530 lots, which realised
\xA36701. Amongst the books was a very rare collection of tracts,
documents, and pamphlets relating to the French Revolution, in more than
280 volumes, which sold for \xA3168. In 1807 the Marquis\x92s collection of
manuscripts were catalogued for sale, but they never came to auction,
as they were purchased by Parliament for the British Museum for \xA36000.

The Rev. Jonathan Boucher (1738-1804) possessed a large library, which
was sold by Leigh & Sotheby in three parts for a total of \xA34510. Part 1,
24th February 1806 and twenty-six following days, 6646 lots sold for
\xA32990. Part 2, 14th April 1806 and eight following days, 1940 lots sold
for \xA3815. Part 3, 29th May 1809 and three following days, 857 lots sold
for \xA3704. The library was full of valuable and useful books in divinity,
history, voyages and travels, poetry, classics, &c., but there were few
books of extreme rarity. Dibdin says in his _Bibliomania_--

    \x93I attended many days during this sale, but such was the warm fire,
    directed especially towards divinity, kept up during nearly the
    whole of it, that it required a heavier weight of metal than I was
    able to bring into the field of battle to ensure any success in the

The extensive library of the Rev. John Brand was sold by Mr. Stewart in
two parts. Part 1, in May and June 1807, 8611 lots and MSS. 294 lots, in
thirty-seven days, sold for \xA34300. Part 2, February 1808, 4064 lots sold
for \xA31851. The last lot in the first part of the sale was Brand\x92s own
work on \x93Popular Antiquities,\x94 with additions prepared for
republication, which, with copyright, sold for \xA3630. The books were in
poor condition, and had been mostly bought for small sums; in addition,
no money was expended by the proprietor on the binding of his books.

On the twenty-fourth day\x92s sale Dr. Gosset found in one of the volumes
of Menage\x92s French Dictionary sixty-five pounds in bank-notes, and a
rare portrait of Margaret Smith, engraved by W. Marshall, which was
subsequently sold for twenty-seven guineas. Previous to the removal of
the library from Somerset House, where Brand lived as secretary of the
Society of Antiquaries, Stewart, the auctioneer, found by accident in an
old waste-paper volume seventy guineas wrapped up in paper and placed in
various parts of the book. The money was handed to Mr. Brand\x92s executor.

Isaac Reed\x92s interesting library of old English literature was sold by
King & Loch\xE9e in November and December 1807. The sale occupied
thirty-nine days, and consisted of 8957 lots, which realised \xA34386.

A five days\x92 sale of Lord Penrhyn\x92s library at Leigh & Sotheby\x92s in
March 1809 brought \xA32000.

In June 1809 Leigh & Sotheby sold the library of Richard Porson, which
consisted of 1931 lots, and realised \xA31254. A list of the prices given
for the principal classics in this sale is printed in the _Classical
Journal_ (i. 385-90).

The eminent antiquary Richard Gough bequeathed his collection of British
topography to the Bodleian Library, but the rest of his library was sold
by Leigh & Sotheby in April 1810 during twenty days. There were 4373
lots, which sold for \xA33552.

The Rev. Benjamin Heath, D.D., sold his very fine library during his
lifetime to Joseph Johnson, bookseller, of St. Paul\x92s Churchyard, who
consigned it to Mr. Jeffery in 1810 to be sold by auction. The sale
consisted of 4786 lots, and realised \xA38899. Dibdin describes this sale
in enthusiastic terms in his _Bibliomania_. He writes--

    \x93Never did the bibliomaniac\x92s eye alight upon \x91sweeter copies,\x92 as
    the phrase is, and never did the bibliomaniacal barometer rise
    higher than at this sale! The most marked phrensy characterised it.
    A copy of the _editio princeps_ of Homer (by no means a first-rate
    one) brought \xA392, and all the Aldine classics produced such an
    electricity of sensation, that buyers stuck at nothing to embrace
    them! Do not let it hence be said that black letter lore is the only
    fashionable pursuit of the present age of book collectors. This sale
    may be hailed as the omen of better and brighter prospects in
    literature in general; and many a useful philological work, although
    printed in the Latin or Italian language--and which had been
    sleeping unmolested upon a bookseller\x92s shelf these dozen
    years--will now start up from its slumber, and walk abroad in a new
    atmosphere, and be noticed and \x91made much of.\x92\x94

We now arrive at the year 1812, which will ever be memorable in
bibliographical annals on account of the sale of the grand library of
the Duke of Roxburghe during forty-six days. The catalogue was arranged
by Messrs. G. & W. Nicol, and in the preface we read--

    \x93When literature was deprived of one of its warmest admirers by the
    death of the Duke of Roxburghe, his grace was in full pursuit of
    collecting our dramatic authors. But when his collection of English
    plays is examined, and the reader is informed that he had only
    turned his mind to this class of literature for a few years, his
    indefatigable industry will be readily admitted.\x94

Mr. Robert H. Evans, the bookseller of Pall Mall, was induced to
commence the business of auctioneer with his sale, and he continued to
sell by auction for over thirty years.

The Roxburghe library consisted of 10,120 lots, which sold for \xA323,397.
Although one of the finest libraries ever brought to the hammer, the
glory of the majority of the books was eclipsed by the Valdarfer
_Boccaccio_, 1471, which fetched \xA32260, the largest sum ever paid for a
book up to that time. It has been said that the amount of the
_Boccaccio_ day\x92s sale equalled what had been given by the Duke for the
entire collection.[53]

Leigh & Sotheby sold in May 1812 the library of the Marquis Townshend,
during sixteen days, for \xA35745.

The splendid library of Colonel Stanley was sold by Evans in April and
May 1813, during eight days. There were 1136 lots (or above 3000
volumes), which sold for \xA38236. A unique copy of De Bry\x92s Voyages, with
duplicates of parts x. and xi. and a large number of duplicate plates,
bound in blue morocco, sold for \xA3546. Brunet wrote that at this sale the
thermometer of the bibliomania reached its highest point.

The library of Stanesby Alchorne, of the Mint, was bought entire by Earl
Spencer, who sold at Evans\x92s, in 1813, the portion which he did not
require, and added to the sale some of his own duplicates. There were
only 187 lots in this sale, and they sold for \xA31769.

Leigh & Sotheby sold the library of the Rev. Isaac Gosset, a constant
attendant on book-sales, in 1813 (the year after his death), during
twenty-three days. There were 5740 lots, which sold for \xA33141. Gosset
(the Lepidus of Dibdin) was much attached to Richard Heber, whom he
regarded as his pupil.

In this same year (1813) the famous Merly library (Ralph Willett) was
sold by Leigh & Sotheby. There were seventeen days, and 2906 lots, which
sold for \xA313,508. It was said at the time that if ever there was a
unique collection this was one.

A choice and small library of a well-known collector (John Hunter) was
sold in this same year by Leigh & Sotheby, in a three days\x92 sale, with
405 lots, which realised \xA31344.

Messrs. King & Loch\xE9e sold the library of John Horne Tooke, 1813. There
were four days, and 1813 lots, which fetched \xA31250.

In 1814 and 1815 the library of John Towneley was sold by Evans. Part 1
in June 1814, seven days, 904 lots, amount of sale \xA35890. Part 2, June
1815, ten days, 1703 lots, amount of sale \xA32707, or a total for the two
parts of \xA38597. The Towneley Mysteries sold for \xA3147. A small remaining
portion of the Towneley library was sold by Evans in 1817.

Mr. Towneley\x92s collection of drawings, prints, books of prints, &c., was
sold by Mr. King in 1816 for \xA31414, and a collection of the works of
Hollar, also by Mr. King, in May 1818 for \xA32108.

In 1816 there were several fine sales. Evans sold Edward Astle\x92s
library, which occupied two days\x92 sale, and consisted of 265 lots,
realising \xA32366; Dr. Vincent\x92s, Dean of Westminster, library, in six
days\x92 sale, 1176 lots, which sold for \xA31390; and the library of Marshal
Junot, which consisted chiefly of books printed on vellum--the 139 lots
sold for \xA31397; but this fact by itself is misleading, insomuch that the
books of more than half that value were bought in, viz., \xA3779, making
those sold amount only to \xA3618.

Messrs. Leigh & Sotheby sold in 1816 the library of Prince Talleyrand,
which was described as _Bibliotheca splendissima_. There were eighteen
days\x92 sale, and the amount realised was \xA38399.

In this same year (1816) Mr. J. G. Cochrane sold the Gordonstoun library
of Sir Robert Gordon. It contained 2421 lots, occupying twelve days in
the selling, and realising \xA31539. This sale is specially alluded to by
Mr. Hill Burton in his \x93Book-Hunter\x94 as a remarkable exception to the
rule that great book-sales seldom \x93embrace ancestral libraries
accumulated in old houses from generation to generation.\x94 This library
\x93was begun by Sir Robert Gordon, a Morayshire laird of the time of the
great civil wars of the seventeenth century. He was the author of the
\x91History of the Earldom of Sutherland,\x92 and a man of great political as
well as literary account. He laid by heaps of the pamphlets, placards,
and other documents of his stormy period, and thus many a valuable
morsel, which had otherwise disappeared from the world, left a
representative in the Gordonstoun collection. It was increased by a
later Sir Robert, who had the reputation of being a wizard. He belonged
to one of those terrible clubs from which Satan is entitled to take a
victim annually; but when Gordon\x92s turn came, he managed to get off with
merely the loss of his shadow.\x94

William Roscoe\x92s fine library was also sold in 1816 by Winstanley of
Liverpool. There were 1918 lots, and fourteen days\x92 sale, the amount
realised being \xA35150.

It is worthy of mention that in 1817 Evans sold the library of Count
Borromeo of Padua, and that the books were very fully described in the
catalogue. In one instance a book which only sold for half-a-crown was
described in fourteen lines. The catalogue of 324 lots occupied
seventy-seven octavo pages. The total proceeds of the sale were \xA3726.

The cataloguing of the time was not affected by this example, and it was
many years before full descriptions were given in sale catalogues. M.
Libri\x92s annotated catalogues of 1859-62 set the new fashion.

The book sales from this date become so very numerous, that it is
impossible in the space at our disposal to register more than a few of
the most important, and these must be recorded quite succinctly.

The sale of Edmond Malone\x92s library at Sotheby\x92s in 1818 occupied eight
days, and brought \xA31649.

The great sale by Evans of James Bindley\x92s library, which was
particularly rich in early English literature, was spread over several
years. Part 1, December 1818, twelve days, 2250 lots, amount of sale
\xA33046. Part 2, January 1819, twelve days, 2588 lots, amount realised
\xA34631. Part 3, February 1819, eleven days, 2321 lots [amount not given
in Evans\x92s sale catalogues in the British Museum.] Part 4, August 1820,
books, six days, 1132 lots, amount \xA32253. [Part 5] omissions, January
1821, five days, 1092 lots [no totals given].

Bindley\x92s portraits, prints and drawings, and medals were sold by
Sotheby in 1819. Part 1, Bindley Granger. Part 2, portraits. Part 3,
prints and drawings. [Part 4], medals. These realised \xA37692.

John North\x92s library was sold in 1819 by Evans in three parts. Part 1,
nine days, 1497 lots, \xA34285. Part 2, twelve days, 2175 lots, \xA35679. Part
3, four days, 842 lots, \xA32842. Total, \xA312,806.

Evans sold George Watson Taylor\x92s library in 1823. Part 1, six days, 965
lots, \xA33850. Part 2, eight days, 1207 lots, \xA34926.

The great Fonthill Abbey sale (Beckford\x92s collection) occurred in 1823.
The sale occupied thirty-seven days, of which twenty were taken up with
the disposal of the library of 20,000 volumes. The auctioneer was Mr.
Phillips of New Bond Street, and the place of sale was the Abbey.

George Nassau\x92s library was sold by Evans in 1824. Part 1, twelve days,
2603 lots, \xA34894. Part 2, eight days, 1661 lots, \xA33611.

A still finer library than this was sold in the same year by Evans,
that of Sir Mark Masterman Sykes, Bart. Part 1, eleven days, 1676 lots,
\xA39505. Part 2, six days, 825 lots, \xA34580. Part 3, eight days, 1190 lots,
\xA34644, making a total of 3691 lots, which realised \xA318,729.

Almost a rival to this was the sale by Evans in 1827 of the library of
John Dent, F.R.S. Part 1, nine days, 1502 lots, \xA36278. Part 2, nine
days, 1474 lots, \xA38762. Totals, 2976 lots, and \xA315,040.

In 1827 the library of the Duke of York was sold at Sotheby\x92s for \xA35718.

The Earl of Guilford\x92s library was sold by Evans in seven parts in the
years 1828, 1829, 1830, and 1835. There were forty days and 8511 lots,
and the total amount realised was \xA312,175. These totals were made up as
follows:--Part 1 (1828), nine days, 1788 lots, \xA31665. Part 2 (1829), six
days, 1459 lots, \xA31757. Part 3 (1829), three days, 740 lots, \xA3880.
Manuscript (1830), five days, 679 lots, \xA34441. Library from Corfu: Part
I (1830), five days, 1124 lots, \xA3998. Part 2 (1831), four days, 722
lots, \xA3678. Remaining portion (1835), eight days, 1999 lots, \xA31756.

The great sale of George Hibbert\x92s library by Evans was commenced in
1829, forty-two days\x92 sale, 8794 lots, \xA36816.

Evans sold in 1831 the small but fine library of the Duchesse de Berri,
who is described on the catalogue as an \x93Illustrious Foreign Personage.\x94
There were five days, and 846 lots, which realised \xA35160.

In 1832 Evans sold the library of Philip Hurd for \xA35545. There were
1464 lots, which occupied eight days in selling.

In this same year the choicer portion of John Broadley\x92s library was
sold, also by Evans. There were 589 lots in three days\x92 sale, which
realised \xA32052. The second portion was sold during six days in 1833,
1225 lots, which realised \xA33707.

Joseph Haslewood\x92s library was sold by Evans in 1833. This was an eight
days\x92 sale, consisting of 1855 lots; which realised \xA32471. The amount
was probably more than the late proprietor expected, as he said he would
refuse a thousand pound cheque in exchange for his books. Dibdin remarks
in his \x93Reminiscences\x94 on the fact that Haslewood always intended that
his books should be sold by Sotheby. He was in the habit of saying,
\x93What will Sam Sotheby make of this or that after I am gone?\x94

In 1833 and 1834 the library of P. A. Hanrott was sold by Evans in five
parts, and during forty-seven days, for \xA322,409. There were 10,826 lots.
These totals are obtained as follows:--Part 1 (1833), twelve days, 2504
lots, \xA37487. Part 2 (1833), twelve days, 2574 lots, \xA35161. Part 3
(1834), twelve days, 2753 lots, \xA35727. Part 4 (1834), six days, 1489
lots, \xA32845. Part 5 (1834), five days, 1506 lots, \xA31189.

The great sale of the library of Richard Heber took place during the
years 1834, 1835, and 1836. Mr. H. Foss has written the following totals
for the twelve parts in a copy of the catalogue in the British Museum.
Two hundred and two days of sale, 52,676 lots, 119,613 volumes, which
sold for \xA356,774. The proportionate total cost to Mr. Heber of the
library is put at \xA377,750. The following are the particulars of the
various parts:--Part 1, April and May 1834, sold by Sotheby & Son,
twenty-six days, 7486 lots, \xA35615. Part 2, June and July (Sotheby),
twenty-five days, 6590 lots, \xA35958. Part 3, November (Sotheby),
seventeen days, 5055 lots, \xA32116. Part 4, December, sold by R. H. Evans,
fifteen days, 3067 lots, \xA37248. Part 5, January and February 1835, sold
by B. Wheatley, twenty days, 5693 lots, \xA32623. Part 6, March and April
(Evans), twenty days, 4666 lots, \xA36771. Part 7, May and June (Evans),
twenty-one days, 6797 lots, \xA34035. Part 8, February and March 1836
(Evans), twelve days, 3170 lots, \xA33955. Part 9, April (Sotheby),
fourteen days, 3218 lots, \xA36463. Part 10, May and June (Sotheby),
fourteen days, 3490 lots, \xA32117. Part 11, manuscripts (Evans), ten days,
1717 lots, \xA38964. Part 12, July (Wheatley), eight days, 1727 lots, \xA3894.
Part 13 (and last) was sold in February 1837 by Wheatley, six days, 1558
lots, \xA3780. This amount must be added to the totals of the twelve parts
given above.

In 1835 the remarkable collection of Dr. Kloss of Frankfort was sold by
Sotheby & Son. It contained many original and unpublished manuscripts
and printed books, with MS. annotations attributed to Philip Melancthon.
There were 4682 lots, which took twenty days to sell, and realised
\xA32261. The catalogue was the work of Samuel Leigh Sotheby, and he
expended much labour upon it.

Evans sold in 1835 the fine library of the Comte de Noailles, who is
described in the catalogue as \x93a distinguished collector.\x94 There were
952 lots, sold in five days for \xA33188.

The Hon. Baron (Sir William) Bolland\x92s library was sold by Evans in
1840. The sale consisted of 2940 lots, and occupied thirteen days,
realising \xA33019. In the next year was sold, also by Evans, the library
of Thomas Hill (supposed to be the original of Paul Pry), during seven
days. There were 1684 lots, which brought \xA31424.

The library of George Chalmers, F.R.S., was sold by Evans in 1841 and
1842, and the catalogue was divided into three parts. Part 1, September
and October 1841, nine days, 2292 lots, \xA32190. Part 2, March 1842, six
days, 1514 lots, \xA31918. Part 3, November 1842, eight days, 1966 lots,

Horace Walpole\x92s collections were sold at Strawberry Hill by George
Robins in April and May 1842, during twenty-four days. The first six
days were devoted to the sale of the library, which consisted of 1555
lots, and realised \xA33900. It was very badly catalogued, and the books
and books of prints, collection of portraits, &c., forming the seventh
and eighth days\x92 sale, were withdrawn, re-catalogued, and extended to a
ten days\x92 sale.

The library of Lord Berwick was sold at Sotheby\x92s in April and May 1843
for \xA36726.

The great sale of the years 1844 and 1845, at Evans\x92s, was that of the
extensive library of the Duke of Sussex, which occupied sixty-one days
in selling, and consisted of 14,107 lots. The total amount realised was
\xA319,148. The sale was divided into six parts, as follows:--Part 1, July
1844, theology, twenty-four days, 5551 lots, \xA38438. Part 2, July and
August 1844, manuscripts, four days, 510 lots, \xA33126. Part 3, August
1844, history, topography, voyages and travels, six days, 1523 lots,
\xA32096. Part 4, January and February 1845, Greek classics, foreign
history, &c., eleven days, 2641 lots, \xA32121. Part 5, April and May 1845,
poetry, drama, polygraphy, Latin classics, belles-lettres, &c., twelve
days, 2956 lots, \xA32649. Part 6, August 1845, four days, 926 lots, \xA3718.

The library of Mr. B. H. Bright was sold at Sotheby\x92s in three divisions
in 1845, and the total amount realised was \xA38997.

In 1849 Messrs. Southgate & Barrett tried the experiment of selling the
library of the Rev. H. F. Lyte and J. W. M. Lyte in the evening, but the
new departure (or rather, revival of an old practice) did not meet with
approval, and the practice was not followed. There were 4368 lots, and
the sale occupied seventeen evenings.

In this same year the world was startled by the dispersion of the Duke
of Buckingham\x92s property at Stowe House, and Messrs. Sotheby sold the
library during twenty-four days. There were 6211 lots, and the total
amount realised for library and prints was \xA314,155. The Stowe MSS. were
sold by private contract to the Earl of Ashburnham for \xA38000.

Since this time the sale of great libraries from the old family mansions
have been so numerous, that little surprise is felt when another is
added to the long list.

Messrs. Sotheby sold in 1851 the library of Granville Penn, during six
days, for \xA37845; in 1851 the library of E. V. Utterson, during eight
days, for \xA35494; in 1853 the library of Dawson Turner for \xA34562, and
that of Baron Taylor for \xA34087; in 1854 the private library of William
Pickering for \xA310,700; in 1857 the library of the Earl of Shrewsbury for

Between 1859 and 1864 were sold at Sotheby\x92s the various portions of the
library of Mons. Gulielmo Libri. The 1176 lots of manuscripts were sold
in eight days of March and April 1859, and realised \xA36783. The \x93choicer
portion\x94 of the library was sold in August of the same year, thirteen
days, 2824 lots, \xA38822.

In 1861 the mathematical and general library was sold. Part 1, A to L,
twelve days, 4335 lots, \xA31349. Part 2, M to Z, eight days, lots 4336 to
7268, \xA3877.

The \x93reserved portion\x94 was sold in July 1862, during four days. The
number of lots was 713, and these sold for the immense sum of \xA310,328,
or an average of over \xA314 per lot.

The library of Miss Richardson Currer was sold at Sotheby\x92s in 1862,
during ten days, for \xA35984.

In July 1864 was sold by Sotheby, Wilkinson, and Hodge the extremely
interesting library of George Daniel, which was specially rich in old
English literature, and remarkable for the superb collection of
Shakespeare folios and quartos. The sale occupied ten days, and realised

At the same auction rooms were sold in 1865 the library of J. B.
Nicholl, in two parts, for \xA36175; in 1867 the library of Sir Charles
Price for \xA35858; and in 1868 the library of Macready, the actor, for

In 1868, 1869, 1870, 1871, and 1873 were sold at Sotheby\x92s eight
portions of the unique poetical library of the Rev. T. Corser, which
realised \xA319,781.

The library, engravings, and autographs of John Dillon were sold by the
same firm in 1869, during twelve days, for \xA38700.

The library of Lord Selsey was sold in 1872 for \xA34757.

The sale in 1873 by Messrs. Gadsden, Ellis & Co., at Hanworth Park, of
the grand library of Henry Perkins created a sensation. The late owner
had been a purchaser at the time of the bibliomaniacal fever after the
Roxburghe sale, and for years the library was practically forgotten, so
that the opportunity afforded to book-collectors of purchasing its
choice rarities came as a surprise. The four days\x92 sale realised

In 1874 the choice library of Sir William Tite was sold at Sotheby\x92s,
during sixteen days, for \xA319,943.

The same firm sold the library of the Rev. C. H. Crauford, during five
days, in July 1876 for \xA36229.

In 1878 Messrs. Sotheby sold the very choice collection of books and
miniatures formed by Mr. J. T. Payne, of the firm of Payne & Foss, which
realised \xA32843, or about \xA316 per lot, the day\x92s sale consisting of only
117 lots.

In 1879, 1880, and 1881 the fine library of Dr. David Laing, of the
Signet Library, Edinburgh, was sold at Sotheby\x92s in four portions, which
realised a total of \xA316,536, the first part alone making \xA313,288.

A portion of the library of Cecil Dunn Gardner was sold in June 1880 at
Sotheby\x92s, during six days, for \xA34734. The same firm sold in 1881 a
portion of the Earl of Clare\x92s library for \xA32130, a portion of Lord
Hampton\x92s library for \xA33539, and a portion of the library of G. L. Way
for \xA32324; Daniel Gurney\x92s library, four days, \xA31687; library of a
collector (Mr. Gulston), \xA31173.

Never before has there been, and probably never again will there be, two
such remarkable sales as those of the Sunderland and Beckford libraries
at the same time. The Sunderland library, the sale of which was
commenced by Messrs. Puttick and Simpson in December 1881, was formed by
Charles, third Earl of Sunderland, who died on 19th April 1722, and was
transferred from the Earl\x92s house in Piccadilly in 1733, when Charles,
fifth Earl of Sunderland, became Duke of Marlborough. Successive Dukes
of Marlborough added a few books to the library, but it is noteworthy,
as we turn over page after page of the catalogue, how seldom we come
upon a book published since 1722. On the 1st of December a large company
was gathered in the famous auction-room in Leicester Square, to watch
the progress of what promised to be one of the most remarkable sales of
modern times. Some of those who formed this company were to become
duellists in the fight over the treasures arranged upon the shelves
round the room, for the fight for the chief lots always resolved itself
into a duel in the end. Those who expected the books to make a
distinguished external appearance were disappointed, for more than a
century\x92s occupation of the great library at Blenheim, with a scorching
sun beating down upon the backs of the books from the huge windows, had
destroyed a large proportion of the bindings. When the sale opened it
was seen that prices would rule high; but at the same time, the
character of the library, which contained many books now hopelessly out
of fashion, was marked by the sudden drop in the prices from hundreds of
pounds to a shilling or so, soon again to rise to hundreds of pounds.
Mr. Quaritch was the hero of the sale, and after him the chief
combatants were Mr. F. S. Ellis and M. Techener, while Mr. Henry
Stevens, Mr. Pearson, Messrs. Pickering, Messrs. Morgand and Fatout, and
some others made a good fight for the lots they required. As the bids of
\xA310 and upwards went on rapidly till \xA31000--in some cases more--were
reached, the excited faces of those around formed a sight worth seeing,
for few could resist the excitement, which found vent in applause, when
the lot was knocked down.

Part 1, December 1881, realised \xA319,373. Part 2, April 1882, \xA39376. Part
3, July, \xA37792. Part 4, November, \xA310,129. Each of these parts consisted
of ten days\x92 sale. Part 5 (and last), March 1883, contained eleven days\x92
sale, and realised \xA39908. The lots were numbered throughout the parts,
and amounted to 13,858. The total amount realised by the sale was
\xA356,581, 6s.

When the sale was concluded Mr. Quaritch made a short speech appropriate
to the occasion, and said that \x93This was the most wonderful library that
had been sold by auction in the present century. Fine as the Hamilton
library was he could form another like it to-morrow, but nothing like
the Sunderland library would be seen again as a private collection. He
held its founder in the highest respect and gratitude.\x94

On the 30th of June 1882 the sale of the beautiful library of William
Beckford was commenced at Sotheby\x92s by Mr. Hodge. The books were in the
finest condition, and in consequence they fetched very high prices. Mr.
Henry Bohn, writing to _The Times_ at the commencement of this sale,
said that Beckford was the greatest book enthusiast he ever knew. He was
a great collector of \x93Aldines and other early books bearing the insignia
of celebrities, such as Francis I., Henri et Diane, and De Thou, and
especially of choice old morocco bindings by Deseuil, Pasdeloup, and
Derome.\x94 Mr. Bohn further said that after Beckford\x92s death, and while
the books were still at Bath, the Duke of Hamilton, Beckford\x92s
son-in-law, wished to sell the whole library. Mr. Bohn offered \xA330,000,
payable within a week; but although the Duke would willingly have
accepted the offer, the Duchess would not agree to the sale of her
father\x92s books. Mr. Bohn estimated that the library was now worth
\xA350,000. It actually sold for \xA373,551. Part 1, June and July 1882,
consisted of twelve days\x92 sale and 3197 lots, which realised \xA331,516.
Part 2, December, twelve days, 2732 lots, \xA322,340. Part 3, July 1883,
twelve days, 2781 lots, \xA312,852. Part 4 (and last), November, four days,
1127 lots, \xA36843. The total number of lots in the forty days\x92 sale was

The library collected by the Duke of Hamilton (when Marquis of Douglas)
at the same time as Beckford was adding to his own, was sold by Messrs.
Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge during eight days of May 1884. There were
2136 lots, which realised \xA312,892. The most valuable portion of the
Hamilton library was the collection of matchless manuscripts, which were
kept distinct from the printed books, and sold to the German Government.

During the years that the Blenheim and Hamilton Palace libraries were
selling many valuable sales took place, and since then there have been a
great number of fine libraries dispersed. We have only space to mention
shortly a few of these; but with respect to the last ten years there is
the less need for a full list, in that a valuable record of sales is
given in the annual volumes of Slater\x92s \x93Book Prices Current,\x94 and
Temple Scott\x92s \x93Book Sales.\x94

The important topographical library of James Comerford was sold by
Sotheby, Wilkinson, and Hodge in 1881. There were 4318 lots, in thirteen
days\x92 sale, which realised \xA38327.

In 1882 the library of Frederic Ouvry, P.S.A., which consisted of 1628
lots, in a six days\x92 sale, was sold at Sotheby\x92s for \xA36169; and the
choice library of a gentleman, \xA33366.

In March 1882 was sold a portion of the Right Hon. A. J. B.
Beresford-Hope\x92s library (two days, \xA32316), and further portions were
sold in 1892.

The Stourhead heirlooms (Sir Richard Colt Hoare) were sold at Sotheby\x92s
in July 1883, eight days, 1971 lots, \xA310,028.

The Towneley Hall library, consisting of 2815 lots, in an eight days\x92
sale, realising \xA34616, and the Towneley Hall manuscripts (two days, 235
lots, \xA34054) were both sold in June 1883 at Sotheby\x92s, as was also the
Drake library (four days, \xA33276).

In 1884 were sold at Sotheby\x92s the library of Francis Bedford,
bookbinder (five days, 1551 lots), for \xA34867, and the Syston Park
library of Sir John Hayford Thorold, Bart. (eight days, 2110 lots),

The Earl of Gosford\x92s library was sold by Puttick and Simpson in 1884,
eleven days, 3363 lots, \xA311,318.

It is curious to compare the sale of a library such as Beckford\x92s with
one like James Crossley. Both were great collectors, and possessed many
dainties; but whilst the former was particular as to condition, with the
consequence that his books fetched high prices, the latter was
regardless of this, and necessarily his sold for small sums.

One portion of Crossley\x92s library was sold at Manchester by F. Thompson
& Son (seven days, 2682 lots), but other two parts were dispersed in
London by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge. Part 1 (1884), seven days, 2824
lots. Part 2 (1885), nine days, 3119 lots, \xA34095.

The fine library of the Earl of Jersey at Osterley Park was sold by
Sotheby\x92s in May 1885 for \xA313,007; where also was sold, in the following
month, the library of the Rev. J. F. Russell for \xA38682.

In 1885 the sale of the miscellaneous but valuable library of Leonard
Lawrie Hartley was commenced by Messrs. Puttick & Simpson. Part 1 (1885)
consisted of 2475 lots, occupying ten days in the selling, which
realised \xA39636. Part 2 (1886), ten days\x92 sale of 2582 lots, \xA35258. Part
3 (1887), eight days\x92 sale of 2937 lots, \xA31635.

In January 1886 was sold the library of Mr. Wodhull, \xA311,972; and in
November of the same year Edward Solly\x92s, F.R.S., \xA31544.

A selection from the magnificent library of the Earl of Crawford was
sold at Sotheby\x92s in 1887 and 1889. Portion 1 (1887), ten days, 2146
lots, realised \xA319,073. Portion 2 (1889), four days, 1105 lots, \xA39324.

Messrs. Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge in 1887 and 1888 sold the almost
equally fine library of Mr. James T. Gibson-Craig. First portion (1887),
ten days, 2927 lots, realised \xA36803. Second portion (1888), fifteen
days, 5364 lots, \xA37907. Third portion (1888), three days, \xA3809. The
total amount realised for the three portions was \xA315,509.

A choice portion of Baron Seilli\xE8re\x92s library was sold in February 1887
(1440 lots, \xA314,944). A second portion was afterwards sold in Paris.

In 1888 Messrs. Christie, Manson & Woods sold the library of the Earl of
Aylesford (\xA310,574); and the Wimpole library, which formerly belonged
to Lord Chancellor Hardwicke (\xA33244).

In the same year the beautiful library of Mr. R. S. Turner was sold at
Sotheby\x92s. Part 1, June 1888, twelve days, 2999 lots, \xA313,370. Part 2,
November 1888, fourteen days, \xA32874. The total amount realised for the
whole library was \xA316,244.

Mr. Turner sold in Paris in 1878 a previous collection of books in 774
lots, which realised the large sum of 319,100 francs (\xA312,764).

In February 1889 were sold at Sotheby\x92s the Earl of Hopetoun\x92s library
of 1263 lots for \xA36117, and that of R. D. Dyneley, \xA33084. At the same
auction rooms, and in the same year, were sold the library of John
Mansfield Mackenzie of Edinburgh, remarkable for a large number of
illustrated editions of modern authors, 2168 lots, in an eight days\x92
sale, \xA37072; and that of J. O. Halliwell Phillipps, four days, 1291
lots, \xA32298.

Also at Sotheby\x92s in 1889 were sold the libraries of Frederick Perkins
(2086 lots, \xA38222); the Duke of Buccleuch (selection), 1012 lots, \xA33705;
W. D. Salmond, \xA32557.

In the following year Thomas Gaisford\x92s library was sold at Sotheby\x92s
(eight days, 2218 lots, \xA39236); also that of Frederick William Cosens
(twelve days, 4995 lots, \xA35571); that of Sir Edward Sullivan (choicer
portion), \xA311,002; that of Frank Marshall (six days, 1937 lots, \xA32187);
that of Alexander Young, \xA32238; and that of T. H. Southby, \xA32241.

In 1891 were sold the libraries of Cornelius Paine (\xA33677); Edward
Hailstone of Walton Hall:--Part 1, ten days, 2728 lots, \xA34738. Part 2,
eight days, 2904 lots, \xA34252 (total, \xA38991); W. H. Crawford of
Lakelands, county Cork, twelve days, 3428 lots, \xA321,255; J. Anderson
Rose, \xA32450; and Lord Brabourne, four days, 1149 lots, \xA32042.

The remainder of Lord Brabourne\x92s library was sold by Messrs. Puttick &
Simpson in 1893 (three days, 995 lots, \xA31058).

In 1892 were sold the libraries of John Wingfield Larking (three days,
946 lots, \xA33925); of Edwin Henry Lawrence (four days, 860 lots, \xA37409);
of Joshua H. Hutchinson (832 lots, \xA32377); of Count Louis Apponyi,
\xA33363; and of \x93a gentleman deceased\x94 (418 lots, \xA32411)--all at

In 1893 were sold at Sotheby\x92s the Bateman heirlooms (W. & T. Bateman),
six days\x92 sale, 1840 lots, \xA37296; of Howard Wills, \xA38204; and of H. G.
Reid, \xA33466; of Fred Burgess (dramatic library), \xA31558; also selected
portion of the Auchinleck library, \xA32525. At the same rooms the sale of
the Rev. W. E. Buckley\x92s library was commenced. Part 1, ten days, 3552
lots, \xA34669. The second part was sold in April 1893, twelve days, 4266
lots, \xA34751. The total amount realised by the two sales was \xA39420.

A choice collection of books was sold by Sotheby in 1894, viz., the
library of Birket Foster, 1361 lots, \xA35198.

In 1895 were sold at Sotheby\x92s the libraries of Mons. John Gennadius,
eleven days, 3222 lots, \xA35466; of Baron Larpent, \xA32630; of T. B. F.
Hildyard, \xA34165; of the Earl of Orford, two days, 340 lots, \xA32609; of
the Rev. W. J. Blew (liturgical), \xA32220; and of Dr. Hyde Clarke, \xA32598.

The library of the Rev. W. Bentinck L. Hawkins, F.R.S., was sold at
Christie\x92s in the same year. First portion, three days, 747 lots, \xA31176.
Second portion, two days, 471 lots, \xA3833. Third and final portion, one
day, 252 lots, \xA3894. At the same rooms the library of William Stuart,
215 lots, \xA34296.

The sales at Sotheby\x92s in 1896 which realised \xA32000 and upwards were
those of John Tudor Frere, \xA33747; Sir W. Pole, \xA34343; Adrian Hope,
\xA33551; Lord Coleridge, \xA32845; Sir Thomas Phillipps (MSS.), \xA36988; Sir E.
H. Bunbury, \xA32965, Lord Bateman, \xA32151; Alfred Crampton, \xA32492; fine
bindings of a collector, \xA33613; books and MSS. from various collections,

The chief sales at Sotheby\x92s in 1897 have been as follows:--Sir Charles
Stewart Forbes and others, five days, \xA35146; Beresford R. Heaton and
others, three days, \xA34054; Sir Cecil Domville and others, four days,

The great sales, however, of 1897 were those of the first and second
portions of the library of the Earl of Ashburnham. In the first part
1683 lots were sold for \xA330,151, and in the second part 1208 lots for


     1812.  Duke of Roxburghe                        \xA323,397
     1813.  Ralph Willett (Merly)                     13,508
  1818-21.  James Brindley                    _over_  17,522
     1819.  John North                                12,806
     1825.  Sir Mark Masterman Sykes                  18,729
     1827.  John Dent                                 15,040
  1828-35.  Earl of Guilford                          12,175
  1833-34.  P. A. Hanrott                             22,409
  1834-36.  Richard Heber                             56,774
  1844-45.  Duke of Sussex                            19,148
     1849.  Duke of Buckingham (Stowe)                14,155
     1853.  W. Pickering (private library)            10,700
  1859-64.  Gulielmo Libri                            28,159
     1864.  George Daniel                             15,865
  1868-73.  Rev. T. Corser                            19,781
     1873.  Henry Perkins                             25,954
     1874.  Sir William Tite                          19,943
     1878.  R. S. Turner (Paris)                      12,764
  1879-81.  David Laing                               16,536
  1881-83.  Sunderland (Blenheim)                     56,581
  1882-83.  William Beckford                          73,551
     1884.  Duke of Hamilton                          12,892
     1883.  Stourhead (Hoare)                         10,028
     1884.  Earl of Gosford                           11,318
     1884.  Sir J. H. Thorold (Syston Park)           28,000
     1885.  Earl of Jersey (Osterley Park)            13,007
  1885-87.  L. L. Hartley                             16,529
     1886.  F. C. Severne, M.P. (Michael Wodhull)     11,972
     1887.  Baron Seilli\xE8re                           14,944
  1887-89.  Earl of Crawford                          26,397
  1887-88.  J. T. Gibson-Craig                        15,519
     1888.  Earl of Aylesford                         10,574
     1888.  R. S. Turner                              16,244
     1889.  MSS. from the Duke of Hamilton\x92s
                collection (bought privately
                by the Berlin Government)             15,189
     1890.  Sir Edward Sullivan                       11,002
     1891.  W. H. Crawford (Lakelands)                21,255
     1897.  Earl of Ashburnham. Part 1                30,151
     1897.  Earl of Ashburnham. Part 2                18,649

It is worthy of notice in the above list that the amounts realised for
the Heber and Sunderland sales were almost identical, while the totals
of the Hamilton Palace libraries were larger than those for any other
English sale, viz., \xA386,543 (Beckford, \xA373,551; Duke of Hamilton,

In these totals the sales of booksellers\x92 stocks have not been recorded,
because they do not sell so well as private libraries, owing to a rather
absurd impression in the minds of buyers that the rarer books would have
sold out at the shops had they been of special value; but it may be
noted here that the stock of Messrs. Payne & Foss was sold in three
portions in 1850 for \xA38645 (certainly much less than its worth) by
Sotheby, who sold in 1868-70-72 Mr. Henry G. Bonn\x92s stock, in three
parts, for \xA313,333, and Mr. Lilly\x92s in 1871 and 1873, in five parts, for
\xA313,080. In 1873 Mr. T. H. Lacy\x92s stock of theatrical portraits and
books were sold at Sotheby\x92s for \xA35157.

Mr. F. S. Ellis\x92s stock was sold in November 1885 for \xA315,996, and Mr.
Toovey\x92s in February 1893 for \xA37090. The latter\x92s sporting books
realised \xA31031.

It is very much the fashion now to average the amounts realised at
auctions, and to point out that at such a sale the amount obtained was
about \xA310 or more per lot. This is a useful generalisation so far as it
goes, but further information is required to enable the reader to obtain
a correct idea of value. The generalisation is useful in regard to a
mass of sales; thus we may say broadly, that in the last century the
ordinary large and good libraries averaged about \xA31 per lot, while in
the present century they average at least \xA32 per lot.

A small and select library will naturally average a much higher amount
than a large library, in which many commonplace books must be included.
These averages, however, will not help us very much to understand the
relative value of libraries.

For instance, at the Sunderland sale some lots sold for enormous sums,
while a large number fell for a few shillings; but at the Hamilton
Palace sales (William Beckford and the Duke of Hamilton) nearly every
lot was of value, and although individual lots did not reach the sums
realised at the Sunderland sale, the total was much larger. As an
instance of what is meant, we may quote from the notice of the
Ashburnham sale in the _Times_--

    \x93The 1683 lots realised a grand total of \xA330,151, 10s., which works
    out at an average of as nearly as possible \xA318 per lot. Hitherto the
    highest average was obtained by the disposal in 1884 of the Syston
    Park library, where 2110 lots brought \xA328,000, or \xA313, 5s. per lot,
    the next highest average being that of the Seilli\xE8re library, sold
    in 1887, 1140 lots realising \xA314,944, or about \xA313, 2s. per lot. It
    is scarcely fair, however, to compare the Ashburnham collection with
    either of these two libraries, as the Seilli\xE8re was admittedly only
    the choice portion of the assemblage of the baron, whilst nearly
    every lot in the Syston Park library was of importance. Eliminating
    from the Ashburnham collection the hundreds of lots which realised
    less than \xA31 each, the average would be nearer \xA340 than \xA318.\x94

This is all very well in its way, but one lot fetched \xA34000, and such an
amount would demoralise any average. Let us therefore see what are the
particular points worthy of notice in the sums making up this large
total of \xA330,151. We find that five lots realised \xA31000 and over each,
and including these five lots, forty-two were over \xA3100 each. Now the
total for these forty-two lots is \xA320,348, which, if we deduct from the
grand total, leaves 1641 lots for \xA39803, bringing our average down

This is not perhaps a quite fair system of striking an average, but it
shows better how the prices of the books are distributed.


[53] Dibdin\x92s \x93Reminiscences,\x94 vol. i. p. 369 (note).



It is impossible in the following chapters to do more than select some
of the chief classes of valuable books in order to indicate the changes
that have taken place in the prices. It will be noticed that the great
enhancement of prices which is so marked a feature of the present age
commenced about the beginning of the present century.

Bibliomania can scarcely be said to have existed in the seventeenth
century, but it commenced in the middle of the next century, when the
Mead library was sold. Still it attracted little attention until the
sale of the Roxburghe library in 1812, when it had become a power. In
the middle of the present century there was a dull time, but during the
last quarter the succession of sales realising one, two, and three
thousand pounds have been continuous, with occasional sales realising
much larger amounts. Great changes have occurred at different times in
the taste of collectors for certain classes of books.

We may obtain a good idea of the public taste in books by analysing a
list of the highest prices obtained at three such representative sales
as the Sunderland, the Hamilton Palace, and the Ashburnham libraries.

At the first of these the largest prices were obtained for the first
editions of Bibles, classics, Italian poets, &c.; at the second, fine
bindings took the lead; and at the third, Bibles and Caxtons, and other
early literature occupied the first place.

All these classes are dealt with in the following chapters. In the
present one, the most important among the early Bibles, the first
editions of the classics, and early Italian literature are recorded.
These are among the chief of those books which have been steadily rising
for years, and now stand at enormous prices.

It is not safe to prophesy, but there is no reason to doubt that if
riches continue to increase these prices will also advance. As these
books are placed in great libraries they naturally become scarcer each
year. We must, however, always bear in mind that the number of libraries
and individuals who can afford to spend thousands of pounds on single
books are few, and if they are reduced, those who remain in the field
are likely to get books cheaper.

While the first editions of the classics will probably always keep up
their price, later editions have experienced a fall from which they are
never likely to recover. Scholarship and knowledge of manuscripts have
so greatly advanced, that many of the old high-priced editions are now
hopelessly out of date, and good German texts, which can be obtained at
a few shillings, are naturally preferred.

The Delphin and Oxford classics, which were once so much sought after,
have now sunk to a comparatively low price. The large paper copy of Dr.
Samuel Clarke\x92s edition of \x93C\xE6sar\x94 (2 vols. imp. folio, 1712), of which
only twenty-five copies were printed, was once a high priced book. The
Duke of Grafton\x92s copy fetched \xA364, and Topham Beauclerk\x92s \xA344. There is
a story connected with the latter, which should be noted. Beauclerk gave
four guineas for his copy to the mother of a deceased officer, the sum
she asked, but when he was afterwards told by his bookseller that it was
worth seventeen guineas, he sent the additional thirteen guineas to the
lady. Certainly the Sunderland copy fetched \xA3101 in 1881, but this was a
special case, owing to the connection of the great Duke of Marlborough
with the book. The Duke of Hamilton\x92s copy, which had belonged to Louis
XIV., sold in 1884 for \xA336; but Beckford\x92s copy, bound in red morocco,
only brought \xA36.

Block books are of such excessive rarity that they have always been high
priced, but like the earliest books printed from movable types, they
have greatly increased in value of late years. This is seen in the case
of the copy of the second edition of the _Biblia Pauperum_, which
fetched \xA31050 at the Earl of Ashburnham\x92s sale. This same copy brought
\xA3257 at Willett\x92s sale, but at Hanrott\x92s the price fell to the small
amount of \xA336, 15s.

The following are some of the prices that those magnificent books--the
Mazarin Bible and the first Bible with a date--have realised:--

  Biblia Sacra Latina (Mogunti\xE6, Gutenberg et Fust, circa 1450-55):--

    _On vellum_--G. & W. Nicols, 1825, \xA3504 (Messrs. Arch for H.
        Perkins). H. Perkins, 1873, \xA33400. Earl of Ashburnham, 1897,

    _On paper_--Sykes, 1824, \xA3199, 10s. (H. Perkins). Hibbert, 1829,
        \xA3215. Bishop of Cashel, 1858, \xA3595. H. Perkins, 1873, \xA32690.
        Thorold (Syston Park), \xA33900. Earl of Gosford, 1884 (vol. i.
        in original binding), \xA3500. Earl of Crawford, 1887, \xA32650.
        Earl of Hopetoun, 1889 (one leaf injured, and slightly
        wormed), \xA32000.

  Biblia Sacra Latina (Mogunti\xE6, Fust et Schoeffer, 1462) [first
      Latin Bible with a date]:--

    _On vellum_--

        Duc de la Valliere, 4085 francs. }
        Count MacCarthy, 4750 francs.    }
        Watson Taylor, 1823, \xA3215.       } Same copy.
        Dent, 1827, \xA3173.                }
        H. Perkins, 1873, \xA3780.          }
        Earl of Crawford, 1887, \xA31025.   }

    The Lamoignon copy, bought by Mr. Cracherode for 250 guineas, is
        now in the British Museum. Sunderland, 1881, \xA31600. Thorold,

  The Latin Version of the Psalms, in its second edition, by Fust and
      Schoeffer, 1459 (printed on vellum), sold at Sykes\x92s sale for
      \xA3136, 10s. At the Syston Park sale (Thorold) it brought \xA34950,
      a greater price even than has been given for the Mazarin Bible.
      It has been erroneously stated that this was the MacCarthy
      copy, which was sold in 1815 for 3350 francs. The MacCarthy
      copy was bought by Hibbert, and at his sale in 1829 it became
      the property of Baron Westreenen.[54]

  Biblia Latina, folio Venetiis (N. Jenson), 1476, printed on vellum,
      capital letters illuminated, in red morocco, sold at the Merly
      sale for \xA3168. Beckford copy (supposed to be the same copy)
      sold in 1882 for \xA3330. H. Perkins, 1873, \xA3290.

  The first edition of the Bible in English (translated by Coverdale),
      1535 (with some leaves mended), was sold at the Earl of
      Ashburnham\x92s sale for \xA3820. Dent\x92s copy \xA389 in 1827 (title and
      two leaves in facsimile). Freeling\x92s copy, \xA334, 10s. in 1836.
      Dunn Gardner\x92s, 1854 (with title and one leaf in facsimile),
      \xA3365. H. Perkins, 1873 (title and two leaves in facsimile),
      \xA3400. Earl of Crawford\x92s (imperfect), \xA3226.

  The first edition of Tyndale\x92s New Testament (1526) sold in Richard
      Smith\x92s sale, 1682, for 6s. Ames bought the Harleian copy for
      15s. This was sold at Ames\x92s sale, 1760, to John White for \xA315,
      14s. 6d. It was sold by White to the Rev. Dr. Gifford for twenty
      guineas, and bequeathed by Gifford, with the rest of his
      library, to the Baptists\x92 library at Bristol.

  The Complutensian Polyglot (6 vols. folio, 1514-17) is said to have
      cost Cardinal Ximenes \xA340,000. Six hundred copies were printed.
      The following prices have been paid for the one vellum copy in
      the market, and for some paper copies:--

    _Three on vellum_--(1) Royal Library, Madrid; (2) Royal Library,
        Turin; (3) supposed to have been reserved for the Cardinal.
        Pinelli, 1789, \xA3483, bought by MacCarthy. MacCarthy, 1817
        \xA3676 (16,000 francs), bought by Hibbert. Hibbert, 1829, \xA3525.

    _On paper_--Harleian copy, sold by Osborne for \xA342. Maittaire\x92s
        imperfect copy sold for 50s. Sunderland, \xA3195. Earl of
        Crawford, 1887 (general title wanting), \xA356. Beresford Hope,
        1882, \xA3166. W. H. Crawford (Lakelands), 1891, \xA3100.

  The vellum copy sold in the Pinelli sale was, according to Dibdin,
      taken to Dr. Gosset when on a bed of sickness, in the hopes
      that the sight might work a cure on that ardent book-lover.[55]

  John Brocario, son of Arnoldus Brocario, the printer of this
      polyglot, when a lad, was deputed to take the last sheets to the
      Cardinal. He dressed himself in his best clothes, and delivered
      his charge into Ximenes\x92 hand, who exclaimed, \x93I render thanks
      to Thee, O God, that Thou hast protracted my life to the
      completion of these biblical labours.\x94 He told his friends that
      the surmounting of the various difficulties of his political
      situation did not afford him half the solace which arose from
      the finishing of his Polyglot.[56] A few weeks after the noble
      enthusiast died.

  Plantin Polyglot Bible, 1569-72, 5 vols. Five hundred copies
      printed; greater part lost at sea.

  Earl of Ashburnham, 1897, on vellum (wanting the \x93Apparatus\x94), \xA379.

  Walton\x92s Polyglot Bible, 6 vols. folio, 1657 (with Castell\x92s
      Lexicon), does not keep up its price.

  Seaman, 1676, \xA38, 2s. Bernard, 1698, \xA310. Duke of Grafton (without
      Castell), \xA338, 13s. Edwards, \xA361. Heath, \xA373, 10s. (bought by
      the Earl of Essex). H. Perkins, 1873, \xA319, 15s. At the Wimpole
      library sale (Lord Chancellor Hardwicke), 1888, a copy of Walton
      without Castell fetched \xA39, 5s. The Ashburnham copy, which had
      belonged to Henry, Duke of Gloucester, fourth son of Charles I.,
      with his name on the binding, which was in blue morocco, sold in
      1897 for \xA328.


  \xC6SOPUS. Fabul\xE6 Latine et Italice. Neapoli, 1485; first edition of
      \xC6sop with the Italian version. Hibbert\x92s, \xA317; Libri, 480
      francs; Earl of Ashburnham, \xA3203.

  ANACREON. Luteti\xE6, 1554, on vellum. Sunderland, 1881, \xA3221.

  ARISTOTELES. Opera varia. Venetiis, 1483, 2 vols. Earl of
      Ashburnham, 1897 (printed on vellum), each volume decorated in
      the highest style of Italian art of the period, fifty-nine
      beautiful historical and ornamental initials, \xA3800.

  CICERO. Opera Omnia _Mediolani_, per Alex. Minutianum et Gulielmos
      fratres, 1498-99 [first edition of the collected works], four
      vols. in two, folio, old yellow morocco. Sunderland, \xA330, 10s.

  ---- Epistol\xE6 ad familiares. Rom\xE6 (Sweynheym et Pannartz), 1467,
      folio, the first edition and the first book printed in Rome and
      in Roman letters. Sunderland, \xA3295.

  ---- Epistol\xE6. Venetiis, a Nicolao Jenson, 1471, folio. Mead, \xA33,
      3s.; Askew, \xA311, 16s.; Sunderland, \xA312.

  ---- Orationes. Adam de Ambergau, 1472, folio. Askew gave \xA33, 5s.
      for his copy, which was bought by Dr. Hunter at his sale for
      \xA312. It is now at Glasgow University. Sunderland, \xA318.

  CLAUDIANUS. Opera. Veneti\xE6, 1482, first edition. Mead, \xA32, 2s.;
      Askew, \xA37, 15s.; Pinelli, \xA39, 9s.; Sunderland (broken binding),

  GELLIUS (AULUS). Noctes Attic\xE6. Rom\xE6 (Sweynheym et Pannartz), 1469,
      folio, first edition. Pinelli, \xA358, 16s. (printed on vellum);
      Sunderland, \xA3790.

  ---- Noctes. Venetiis, per Nicolaum Jenson, 1472, folio. Mead, \xA32,
      12s. 6d.; Askew, \xA311, 10s.; Sunderland, \xA313, 10s.

  HOMERUS. Opera Omnia. Florenti\xE6 sumpt. Bern. et Nerii Nerliorum,
      1488, two vols. folio, first edition. The British Museum copy
      was purchased for \xA317; Wodhull, \xA3200; Sunderland, \xA348.

  ---- Homeri Odyssea Gr\xE6ce. Florenti\xE6, 1488, first edition. Duke of
      Hamilton, 1884, very large and fine copy, red morocco, by Clarke
      & Bedford, \xA325.

  ---- On vellum (one of the four known to exist). Dent, part 1, 1827,
      \xA3142, 16s.

  HORATIUS. Opera. 1470, small folio, first edition, with a date.
      Sunderland, \xA329. The Naples edition of 1474 is called by Dibdin
      \x93the rarest classical volume in the world,\x94 and it was chiefly
      to possess this book that Earl Spencer bought the famous library
      of the Duke of Cassano.

  JUSTINUS. Venetiis, per Nicolaum Jenson, 1470, small folio, first
      edition. Mead, \xA33, 3s.; Askew, \xA313, 13s. (sold to the British
      Museum); Pinelli, \xA318, 7s. 6d.; Sunderland, \xA315.

  JUVENALIS ET PERSIUS. Editio Princeps. Dr. Askew gave \xA33 for his
      copy; at his sale it was purchased by the British Museum for
      thirteen guineas.

  LIVIUS. The first edition, printed at Rome by Sweynheym and
      Pannartz, as is supposed, in 1469. The only copy printed on
      vellum which is known to exist is now in the Grenville Library
      (British Museum). It was for years in the possession of the
      Benedictine Library at Milan. It was bought by Sykes at J.
      Edwards\x92s sale (1815) for \xA3903. At Sykes\x92s sale (1824) it was
      bought by Payne and Foss for \xA3472, 10s. These booksellers sold
      it to Dent, and at Dent\x92s sale (1827) bought it again for
      Grenville for \xA3262, 10s., a remarkable instance of depreciation
      in price of a unique book.

      The editor of this series contributed an article on this copy to
      _The Library_ (vol. i. p. 106). The arms of the Borgia family
      are beautifully painted on the first page of the text, and it
      has usually been supposed that Cardinal Roderigo Borgia
      (afterwards Pope Alexander VI.), to whom it belonged, was Abbot
      of the monastery of Subiaco (where the first productions of
      Sweynheym and Pannartz were executed) at the time the book was
      printed. It is proved in the article, however, that the abbey
      was not conferred upon Borgia by Sixtus IV. until 1471, so that
      the connection is merely a coincidence. This magnificent volume
      was probably executed for Borgia, whose character, as delineated
      by Raphael Volaterranus, is evidently imitated from Livy\x92s
      character of Hannibal.

  ---- Venet. Vindelin de Spira, 1470, two vols. folio, printed on
      vellum. Sunderland, \xA3520.

  LUCANUS. Pharsalia. Rom\xE6 (Sweynheym and Pannartz), 1469, folio; fine
      edition, of which only 250 copies were printed. Askew gave \xA36,
      16s. 6d. for his copy, which was bought at his sale by De Bure
      for \xA316; Sunderland, \xA338.

  LUCIANUS. Opera. Florenti\xE6, 1496, folio, first edition. Askew gave
      \xA32, 12s. 6d. for his copy, which was sold at the sale of his
      library for \xA319, 8s. 6d.; Pinelli, \xA38, 18s. 6d.; copy on vellum
      in the Sunderland library, \xA359.

  MARTIALIS Epigrammata. Ferrara, 1471, quarto, first edition of
      Martial, and the first book printed at Ferrara. Mead, \xA34, 14s.
      6d.; Askew, \xA317; Combes, \xA360, bought for the Bodleian.

  OVIDIUS. Opera. First edition. Mead, \xA32, 12s. 6d.; Askew, \xA310, 15s.

  ---- Rom\xE6 (Sweynheym et Pannartz), 1471, three vols. folio, probably
      second edition. Sunderland, \xA385.

  ---- Venet. in \xE6dibus Aldi, 1502-3, three vols. 8vo, first Aldine
      edition. Sunderland, \xA39; copy on vellum (Askew, \xA363) sold to
      Lord Spencer.

  PLATO. Omnia Platonis Opera. Venet. in \xE6dibus Aldi, 1513, folio,
      first edition. Sunderland, \xA331. Copy on vellum, Lord Orford gave
      \xA3105 for it; Askew purchased it for one-fifth of that price. At
      his sale it was bought by Dr. William Hunter for \xA352, 10s. It is
      now in the library at Glasgow University.

  PLINIUS. Venetiis, Joannes de Spira, 1469, first edition. The
      British Museum copy was purchased in 1775 for \xA343; Sunderland,
      \xA382; another copy, \xA370.

  ---- Venetiis, Nicolaus Jenson, 1472. The British Museum copy was
      bought at Askew\x92s sale for \xA323; printed on vellum, Sunderland,

  ---- Parm\xE6, 1476. Sunderland, \xA37, 15s. Douce gave Payne & Foss three
      hundred guineas for his copy on vellum. It is now in the
      Bodleian Library.

  QUINTILIANUS. Institutionum Oratoriarum lib. xii. Rom\xE6, 1470, folio,
      printed on vellum. Sunderland, \xA3290.

  ---- Institutiones Oratori\xE6. Rom\xE6 (Sweynheym et Pannartz), circa
      1470, folio. Paris library, \xA326, 5s., now in Cracherode library
      (British Museum); Sunderland, \xA326.

  SALLUSTIUS. Venetiis, Vindelin de Spira, 1470, quarto or folio.
      Mead, \xA35, 17s.; Askew, \xA314, 3s. 6d.; Sunderland, \xA319, 10s.

  SILIUS ITALICUS. Rom\xE6 (Sweynheym et Pannartz), 1471, folio, first
      edition. Askew gave three guineas for his copy, which was bought
      for the British Museum at his sale for \xA313, 2s. 6d.; Pinelli,
      \xA348; Sunderland, \xA320, 10s.

  VALERIUS MAXIMUS. Moguntin\xE6, per Petrum Schoyffer de Gernsheim,
      1471, folio, first edition, with a date. Askew gave \xA34, 14s. 6d.
      for his copy, which sold at his sale for \xA326; Sunderland, \xA332.

  ---- Another copy, printed on vellum, sold at the Sunderland sale
      for \xA3194.

  VIRGILIUS. Rom\xE6 (Sweynheym et Pannartz), 1469 (?). Most valuable of
      all the first editions. Hopetoun House, 1889, slightly damaged
      and slightly wormed, \xA32000. The previous occasion on which a
      copy was sold was at the La Valli\xE8re sale, 1784, when an
      imperfect copy fetched 4101 francs.

  ---- Venet. Vindelin de Spira, 1470, folio, first edition with a
      date, printed on vellum. A copy sold for twenty-five guineas at
      Consul Smith\x92s sale, 1773; Sunderland, \xA3810. A copy on paper was
      sold in 1889. Hopetoun, \xA3590.

  ---- Venet. in \xE6dibus Aldi, 1501, 8vo, first Aldine edition, and
      the first book printed with the italic type invented by Aldus.
      Sunderland, \xA365; copy printed on vellum (Askew, \xA374, 11s.) now
      in the Althorpe library.


  ARIOSTO. Orlando Furioso. Ferrara, 1516, with William Cecil\x92s (Lord
      Burghley) autograph. Sunderland, 1881, \xA3300.

  BOCCACCIO. In the catalogue of the Sunderland library (1881) eight
      pages are devoted to the description of various editions of his
      works. One of these, \x93De la Ruine des Nobles Hommes et Femmes,\x94
      Bruges Colard Mansion, 1476, realised \xA3920. An imperfect copy of
      the celebrated first edition of the \x93Decameron\x94 (C. Valdarfer,
      1471) fetched \xA3585. This was the copy possessed by Lord
      Blandford when he bought the complete Roxburghe copy. The
      imperfect copy was afterwards sold in the Lakelands sale (W. H.
      Crawford) for \xA3230, and is now in the British Museum.

      The latter book will always hold a high position in the annals of
      bibliography, from the fact that when a perfect copy in the
      Roxburghe library was sold in 1812, it was bought by the Marquis
      of Blandford after a hard struggle with Earl Spencer for \xA32260,
      the highest price ever paid for a book up to that date, and for
      many years afterwards. It had originally been added to the
      Roxburghe library at a cost of one hundred guineas. Seven years
      afterwards Messrs. Longman bought this same book at the White
      Knights sale for \xA3918 for Lord Spencer.

  DANTE. First edition of Landino\x92s Commentary, Firenze, 1481; very
      large copy, with twenty rare engravings, purple morocco, by
      Lewis. Duke of Hamilton, 1884, \xA3380.

      W. H. Crawford, 1891, with the engravings by Bacio Baldini from
      designs of Botticelli, \xA3360.

  PETRARCA. I Triumphi. Venetia, per Bernardino da Novara, 1488, with
      two sets of six illustrations, one on metal and one on wood.
      Sunderland, 1882, \xA31950.

  ---- Second Aldine edition, printed on vellum, 1514. Hanrott, \xA373;
      Beckford, 1883, \xA366.

  POLIPHILI Hypnerotomachia. Venetiis (Aldus), 1499. Sykes, part 2,
      beautiful copy, in yellow morocco by Roger Payne, \xA321; Watson
      Taylor (on vellum), \xA382, 19s.; Sir C. Price, \xA353, 10s.; Howell
      Wills, \xA330; Luke Price, \xA349; Beckford, 1883 (Crozat\x92s copy, red
      morocco, richly tooled), \xA3130; Duke of Hamilton, 1884, \xA380; Earl
      of Crawford, 1887, \xA386; W. H. Crawford (Lakelands), 1891 (some
      of the woodcuts partially coloured, wanting leaf with imprint),
      \xA319; Earl of Ashburnham, 1897 (Emperor Charles V.\x92s copy, in
      stamped calf, with his figure in medallion), \xA3151.

  ---- Hypnerotomachie, 1561. [French translation.] F. Hockley, 1887,
      \xA38; W. H. Crawford (Lakelands), 1891, \xA36, 10s.; Earl of
      Ashburnham, 1897, \xA315.

      A copy bound with \x93Le Roy, De la Vicissitude des Choses,\x94 1577,
      in blue morocco, magnificently tooled by Nicolas Eve for Louise
      de Lorraine, realised \xA3220 at the Beckford sale, 1897.

      An English translation of the first book by R. D. was published
      in 1592, which is excessively scarce. Mr. Andrew Lang reprinted
      this in Mr. Nutt\x92s Tudor Library, 1890, from the copy in the
      Bodleian Library. There is no copy in the British Museum, and in
      the introduction to his reprint Lang tells a story against
      himself. He bought at Toovey\x92s a poor copy of this book for \xA31,
      but shortly afterwards he found that it wanted the last five
      pages, and exchanged it for \x93Les M\xE9moires de la Reine
      Marguerite,\x94 Paris, 1661, in yellow morocco. He regretted his
      exchange when he discovered its great rarity. M. Claude Popelin,
      who had long been lying in wait for this book, bought this copy
      at a London sale-room \x93\xE0 un de ces prix qu\x92on n\x92avoue pas \xE0 sa

  VIGILLES des Mors. Paris, par A. Verard, printed on vellum, with
      thirty miniatures finely illuminated in gold and colours, blue
      morocco by De Rome. This copy sold for 150 francs in the La
      Valli\xE8re sale, for 220 francs in the MacCarthy, and for \xA320 in
      Hibbert\x92s. In the fourth portion of the Beckford library Mr.
      Quaritch bought it for \xA3345.

  TRISTAN. Chevalier de la Table Ronde. Two parts in one. Second
      edition, by Verard. Fine copy, with rough leaves, morocco super
      extra by Thouvenin. Duriez, 560 francs; same copy, Prince of
      Essling, 505 francs; same copy, Duke of Hamilton, 1884, \xA3108.

  AUGUSTINUS. De Civitate Dei. Venet. Nic. Jenson, on vellum, first
      page elaborately painted, and illuminated initials. Sunderland,
      1881, \xA31000--bought by Mr. Quaritch amid shouts of applause.


[54] F. Norgate, in _The Library_, vol. iii. p. 329.

[55] Dibdin\x92s \x93Reminiscences,\x94 vol. i. p. 206 (note).

[56] _Gomecius (Gomez) de rebus gestis a Francisco Ximinis Cisnerio_,
1569, quoted in Dibdin\x92s \x93Reminiscences,\x94 vol. i. p. 211.



No class of books has advanced in value of late years to so great an
extent as the chief examples of old English literature, and of this
class the books printed by our earliest printer, Caxton, stand in a
foremost position. It is proposed in this chapter to give a general idea
of the variations in price of all the books printed by Caxton which have
been sold by public auction. The number attached to each entry is that
given by Mr. Blades in his great work, and it is hoped that few sales of
these books have been left unmentioned.[57]

We learn from Mr. Blades that there was no fixed published price for
these books, but the sellers obtained the best price they could for
them. In 1496 the churchwardens of St. Margaret, Westminster, were
possessed of fifteen copies of \x93The Golden Legend,\x94 bequeathed by
Caxton. Ten of these took five years to sell. In 1496 one copy was sold
for 6s. 8d., and in 1500 the price had gone down to 5s. In 1510 R.
Johnson, M.D., bought five Caxtons (\x93Godefroy of Boleyn,\x94 \x93Eneydos,\x94
\x93Faytes of Arms,\x94 \x93Chastising,\x94 and \x93Book of Fame\x94) for a total
expenditure of 6s. 8d. These are now in the University Library,
Cambridge. In the sale of 1678, to which the name of Voetius is
attached, three Caxtons sold for 7s. 10d. At the sale of Secondary
Richard Smith\x92s library (1682) eleven Caxtons realised \xA33, 4s. 2d.; at
Dr. Francis Bernard\x92s sale (1697), ten for \xA31, 15s. 4d. There were a
considerable number of Caxtons in the Harleian Library, and several of
these were duplicates. They do not appear to have sold very readily, and
they occur in several of Osborne\x92s catalogues at a fairly uniform price
of one guinea for the folios and 15s. for the quartos. At the Hon. Bryan
Fairfax\x92s sale (1756) nine Caxtons sold for \xA333, 4s. At James West\x92s
sale (1773) the price had considerably advanced, and thirty-four Caxtons
realised \xA3361, 4s. 6d. John Ratcliffe\x92s forty-eight Caxtons brought
\xA3236, 5s. 6d. At Dr. Richard Farmer\x92s sale (1798) five sold for \xA319,
11s. 6d. An astonishing advance in price is found at the Duke of
Roxburghe\x92s sale (1812), where fourteen fine Caxtons brought \xA33002, 1s.
At the sale of Stanesby Alchorne\x92s library in 1813 nine fetched \xA3666,
15s. Ralph Willett\x92s seven brought in 1813 \xA31319, 16s. John Towneley\x92s
nine sold in 1814 for \xA31127. The Marquis of Blandford\x92s (White Knights)
eighteen Caxtons brought in 1819 \xA31316, 12s. 6d. At Watson Taylor\x92s sale
in 1823 nine brought \xA3319, 14s. 6d.; John Inglis (1826), thirteen for
\xA3431, 15s. 6d.; John Dent (1827), four for \xA3162, 16s. 6d.; George
Hibbert (1829), five for \xA3339, 13s. 6d.; P. A. Hanrott (1833), six for
\xA3180, 16s.; R. Heber (1834), six for \xA3219, 16s.; Thomas Jolley
(1843-51), six for \xA3325, 15s.; E. V. Utterson (1852), three for \xA3116; J.
D. Gardner (1854), seven for \xA3739.

It will be seen from these totals that the present high prices did not
rule at the sales in the middle of the present century.

In 1897 the total for the ten Caxtons in the first portion of the
Ashburnham library reached \xA35622, and the six in the second portion
fetched \xA34264.

The following list contains particulars of the sale prices of some of
the chief issues of Caxton\x92s press:--

  _The Recuyell of the Histories of Troy_ (1).

      Dr. Bernard (1698), 3s.; Bryan Fairfax (1756), \xA38, 8s. This
      perfect copy was bought by Francis Child, and at the sale of
      the Earl of Jersey\x92s library in 1885 it was sold to Mr.
      Quaritch for \xA31820.

      J. West\x92s imperfect copy was sold in 1773 to George III. for
      \xA332, 11s., and it was perfected afterwards.

      J. Lloyd of Wygfair (1816), \xA3126. This copy was bought by G.
      Hibbert, and at his sale in 1829 J. Wilks bought it for \xA3157,
      10s.; at Wilks\x92s sale in 1847 E. V. Utterson bought it for \xA3165;
      at Utterson\x92s sale in 1852 the Earl of Ashburnham bought it for
      \xA355--not \xA3155, as stated by Blades. This was described in
      Hibbert\x92s and Wilks\x92s catalogues as having \x93six whole leaves and
      parts of four others supplied in facsimile,\x94 but at Utterson\x92s
      sale it was stated to want no less than forty-seven leaves. At
      the Ashburnham sale (part 2), 1897, it was said to want
      forty-nine leaves. It fetched \xA3950.

  _The Game and Play of the Chess_, first edition (2).

      R. Smith (1682), 13s. 2d.; J. West (1773), sold to George III.
      for \xA332, 0s. 6d.; S. Alchorne (1813), \xA354, 12s.--J. Inglis. J.
      Inglis (1826), \xA331, 10s.--Lord Audley. Lord Audley (1855), \xA360,
      10s.--H. Cunliffe.

      White Knights (1819), \xA336, 15s.--Duke of Devonshire. This copy,
      sold for \xA342, was found on collation after the sale to want
      three leaves instead of only two, as stated in the catalogue; it
      was therefore returned, and sold for \xA336, 15s.

      Sir H. Mainwaring (1837), \xA3101--J. Holford. This may be the same
      copy as R. Smith\x92s, as it has on a fly-leaf in manuscript, \x93Ex
      dono Thom\xE6 Delves, Baronett, 1682.\x94

      Old Essex library (Lord Petre), 1886, \xA3645--Quaritch (perfect,
      excepting only the blanks). Earl of Hardwicke (1888), wanting
      the Prologue and three other leaves, \xA3260--Quaritch.

      It is necessary to quote from Scott\x92s \x93Antiquary\x94 a well-known
      passage, because, as Mr. Blades says, \x93not a single statement is
      founded on fact.\x94 The particulars are so circumstantial, that
      they have possibly deceived many readers, more especially as
      Scott himself vouches for the anecdote as literally true.
      \x93Snuffy Davy bought the \x91Game of Chesse,\x92 1474, the first book
      ever printed in England, from a stall in Holland for about 2
      groschen, or twopence of our money. He sold it to Osborne for
      \xA320 and as many books as came to \xA320 more. Osborne resold this
      inimitable windfall to Dr. Askew for 60 guineas. At Dr. Askew\x92s
      sale this inestimable treasure blazed forth in its true value,
      and was purchased by Royalty itself for one hundred and seventy
      pounds.\x94 It may be added that Askew never had a copy.

  _Chesse_, second edition (34).

      Dr. Bernard\x92s copy (1698) sold for 1s. 6d.

      J. Ratcliffe\x92s (1776) was bought for \xA316 by R. Willett; and at
      his sale in 1813, the Duke of Devonshire bought it for \xA3173, 5s.

  _Le Recueil des Histoires de Troyes_ (3).

      James (1760), \xA32, 12s. 6d.--Jacob Bryant. This copy was
      presented by Bryant to George III., and made perfect with a few
      leaves presented by the Duke of Roxburghe. It was retained by
      George IV. when the Kings\x92 Library was presented to the nation,
      and is now at Windsor Castle.

      Payne, bookseller (1794), \xA35, 5s.--sold to the Duke of
      Roxburghe, at whose sale in 1812 it fetched \xA3116, 11s. It has
      been sold several times since, each time for less money. Among
      Lord Spencer\x92s duplicates (1823), for \xA373, 10s., to J. Dent; at
      Dent\x92s sale in 1827, for \xA336, 10s., to P. A. Hanrott; at
      Hanrott\x92s sale in 1833, to the Earl of Ashburnham, for \xA327.
      Second part of Ashburnham sale (1897), \xA3600. Wanting
      thirty-three leaves.

      G. Watson Taylor (1823), \xA3205, 16s.--Earl Spencer (perfect, and

      G. Libri (1844), \xA3200 (a perfect and unusually fine copy)--sold
      to British Museum.

      The copy, slightly imperfect, in the National Library, Paris,
      was purchased at Brussels in the early part of the century by M.
      de la Serna for 150 francs.

  _Les fais du Jason_ (4).

      The perfect copy in the National Library, Paris, was purchased
      in 1808 by M. de la Serna for 2 louis from a stranger, who had
      obtained it for half that sum.

  _Propositio Johannis Russell_ (7).

      The Althorpe copy formerly belonged to John Brand, and at the
      sale of his library the Marquis of Blandford bought it for \xA32,
      5s. At the White Knights sale in 1819 Lord Spencer bought it
      for \xA3126. The Earl of Leicester has the only other known copy.
      Both copies are perfect.

  _Infancia Salvatoris_ (8).

      The only existing copy known is in the Royal University
      Library, G\xF6ttingen. It was from the Harleian Library, and was
      purchased from Osborne in 1746 for 15s.

  _The History of Jason_ (9).

      Richard Smith (1682), 5s. 1d.; Dr. Bernard (1698), 3s. 6d.

      J. West\x92s copy was sold in 1773 for 4 guineas to J. Ratcliffe,
      at whose sale in 1776 it fetched \xA35, 10s.

      John Erskine\x92s copy was bought in 1817 by G. Watson Taylor for
      \xA3162, 15s., but at his sale in 1823 it only brought \xA395, 11s.,
      Richard Heber being the purchaser. At Heber\x92s sale (1834) it was
      bought by Payne the bookseller for \xA387. This uncut copy, which
      is the finest known, came afterwards into the possession of the
      Earl of Ashburnham. It sold at the second part of the Ashburnham
      sale (1897) for \xA32100.

      The White Knights copy (Marquis of Blandford) was sold (1819)
      for \xA385, 1s. At W. S. Higgs\x92s sale (1831) it was bought by J.
      Wilks for \xA387, 3s., and at his sale (1847) it was bought by J.
      Dunn Gardner for \xA3121. This copy was returned as wanting a leaf,
      and resold for \xA3105. Gardner bought it afterwards from
      Pickering, who had in the meantime supplied the leaf from
      another copy. At Gardner\x92s sale (1854) it was bought for Mr.
      Lenox for \xA3105.

  _The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers_, first edition (10).

      Francis Child bought his imperfect copy at Bryan Fairfax\x92s sale
      (1756) for \xA36. It was bound with \x93Moral Proverbs,\x94 and was one
      of the copies from the Harleian Library. At the Earl of
      Jersey\x92s sale (1885) it brought \xA3141.

      John Ratcliffe\x92s copy was bought by Ralph Willett in 1776 for 15
      guineas, and at his own sale in 1813 it brought \xA3262, 10s.

      Sales since the publication of Blades\x92s book:--Rev. T. Corser
      (1868), \xA3100. C. H. Crawford (1876), \xA387 (Corser\x92s copy). Duke
      of Buccleuch (1889), \xA3650. Earl of Ashburnham, 1897 (one of four
      complete copies), \xA31320--Quaritch.

  ---- Second edition (28).

      James West (1773), \xA321--George III. John Towneley (1814),
      \xA3189--Duke of Devonshire (erroneously described in the
      catalogue as \x93first edition\x94).

  ---- Third edition (83).

      John Munro (1792), \xA316, 16s. Dr. Vincent (1816), \xA399,
      15s.--Singer, for Marquis of Blandford. In 1840 some books were
      turned out of the Blenheim Library, and sent for sale at
      Oxford. The Bodleian Library bought this copy at that sale for
      \xA350. Blades was misled into saying that the Bodleian gave \xA3199,
      15s., by the fact, in this copy some irresponsible person has
      altered the price it fetched at Vincent\x92s sale to \xA3199, 15s. by
      the addition of the figure 1. Fuller Maitland (1885),
      \xA3165--Quaritch (described as a second edition in the catalogue,
      three leaves in facsimile).

  _Chaucer\x92s Canterbury Tales_, first edition (12).

      J. West (1773), \xA347, 15s.--George III. J. Ratcliffe (1776), \xA36.
      White Knights supplementary sale (1820), \xA331, 10s.--T. Payne
      (imperfect); not recorded by Blades.

      The highest price recorded by Blades is \xA3300, given by Mr. Huth
      at Lilly\x92s sale, 1861. In 1896 two copies (both imperfect) were
      sold for over \xA31000; Mrs. Corbet\x92s (Barlaston Hall), wanting
      nineteen leaves, \xA31020; R. E. Saunders (wanting only two leaves,
      a few wormed, lower margins in Melibeus mended), \xA31880. Earl of
      Ashburnham (1897), \xA3720--Pickering & Chatto (imperfect, also
      some leaves from a shorter copy).

  ---- Second edition (57).

      Brand\x92s imperfect copy (1807) was bought by Heber for 10
      guineas; it was sold at his sale in 1834 to the Earl of
      Ashburnham for \xA378, 15s. Lord Ashburnham (1897),
      \xA3300--Pickering and Chatto (wanting twenty-eight leaves).

  _Boethius de Consolacione Philosophi\xE6_, translated by Chaucer (25).

      B. Worsley (1678), 5s. J. West (1773), \xA35, 10s.--G. Mason. J.
      Ratcliffe (1776), \xA34, 6s.--George III. S. Alchorne (1813),
      bought by the Marquis of Blandford (Spencer duplicate,
      imperfect) for \xA353, 11s.; sold to Watson Taylor, at his sale in
      1819, for \xA322, 11s. 6d.; at Taylor\x92s sale (\xA31823) Thorpe bought
      it for \xA313, 5s.

      Thorpe bought a copy in old Oxford calf from Browne Willis\x92s
      library, \x93without the slightest defect or repair,\x94 for \xA359 in
      July 1849, and he sold it in December of the same year for \xA3105.

      The Grenville (very fine, clean, and perfect) copy was purchased
      for \xA352, 10s.; Duke of Hamilton (1884), \xA3160 (perfect, stained
      and mended); nobleman (Earl of Westmoreland), 1887, \xA3156
      (perfect, excepting the blank); Earl of Ashburnham (1897), \xA3510
      (two leaves in facsimile).

  _Cordyale, or the four last things_ (26).

      Osborne (1748), \xA32, 2s. J. West (1773), \xA314--W. Hunter.
      Stanesby Alchorne bought W. Fletewode\x92s copy in 1774 for \xA36,
      12s. 6d., and at his sale in 1813 George III. bought it for
      \xA3127, 1s. Dr. Valpy\x92s copy, bought in 1832 by Henry G. Bohn for
      \xA326, 15s. 6d., is not mentioned by Blades; Valpy is said to
      have given \xA387 for it. Earl of Ashburnham (1897),
      \xA3760--Pickering & Chatto (wanting eight leaves).

  _The Mirrour of the World_, first edition (31).

      R. Smith (1682), 5s. F. Child bought Bryan Fairfax\x92s perfect
      copy in 1756 for \xA33; this was sold to Mr. Quaritch at the Earl
      of Jersey\x92s sale (1885) for \xA3195. J. West had two copies, which
      were sold in 1773--a perfect one to George III. for 12 guineas,
      and a very imperfect one to Richard Gough for \xA32, 13s. The
      latter sold at Gough\x92s sale (1810) for \xA34, 14s. 6d. Mr.
      Cracherode\x92s perfect copy (now in the British Museum) was
      bought by him at Ratcliffe\x92s sale (1776) for \xA32, 15s. The Duke
      of Roxburghe\x92s fine and perfect copy, for which he gave 9
      guineas, was sold at his sale (1812) to the Duke of Devonshire
      for \xA3351, 15s.

      The following copies (in addition to the Earl of Jersey\x92s,
      mentioned above) have been sold since the publication of Mr.
      Blades\x92s book:--

      In 1877 Mr. Quaritch had a copy for sale with a vi, a viii, and
      the last leaf in facsimile, which he priced \xA3200.

      Sir John Thorold (1884), \xA3335--Quaritch (perfect, excepting the
      blanks). Earl of Hardwicke (1888), \xA360--Quaritch (very
      imperfect). W. H. Crawford (1891), \xA3160 (perfect, with the
      exception of one blank). Earl of Ashburnham (part 2, 1897), \xA3225
      (leaves in facsimile).

  _The Mirrour of the World_, second edition (84).

      West\x92s perfect copy was bought by Willett in 1773 for \xA39, 15s.;
      at his sale (1813) it was bought for Lord Spencer for \xA3136,

      A perfect copy, very clean and large, was sold in 1844 with the
      library of Calwick Hall, Staffordshire, to Rodd for \xA341. Thorpe
      gave Rodd \xA394 for it, but sold it to Mr. C. Hurt for \xA390. At
      Hurt\x92s sale in 1855 Sir William (then Mr.) Tite bought it for
      \xA3105. At his sale in 1874 it realised \xA3455.

      A perfect copy in the original binding of oak, covered with
      stamped leather, and almost uncut, is in the library of the
      Baptist College at Bristol, having been presented by A. Gifford,
      D.D. It has the following notes on a fly-leaf in Dr. Gifford\x92s

        \x93Memoranda. Pd. Simco                  \xA32  12  6
         Another at Mr. Ratcliffe\x92s
             sales to perfect y^s               2  16  0
         Repairing and gilding, &c.             0   2  6
                                                5  11  0

        Mem. Mr. White gave for another perfect one
        at Ratcliffe\x92s sale \xA38, 8s.

        Mem. 2. No copy of this in Museum.\x94

      The following sales, in addition to Sir William Tite\x92s,
      mentioned above, have taken place since the publication of
      Blades\x92s book:--

      Sale at Puttick & Simpson\x92s (1884)--a very poor copy, wanting
      eleven leaves, was sold for \xA38. Rev. Fuller Russell (1885), \xA3265
      (Hibbert\x92s copy, which sold in 1829 for \xA336, 4s. 6d.; Hibbert
      had given \xA355, 13s. at the Marquis of Blandford\x92s sale in 1819).
      Hardwicke (Wimpole), 1888, \xA360 (with \x93Cicero de Amicitia\x94). F.
      Perkins (1889), \xA3100 (two leaves of Table in MS.). Birket Foster
      (1894), \xA377 (wanting eighteen leaves).

  _The History of Reynard the Fox_, first edition (32).

      J. Ratcliffe (1776), \xA35, 10s.--George III. J. Inglis (1826),
      \xA3184, 16s.--T. Grenville. J. D. Gardner (1854), \xA3195--Duke of
      Newcastle. (All three copies are perfect.)

  ---- Second edition.

      One copy only--that in the Pepysian Library, Cambridge--is
      known to exist.

  _Tully of Old Age_, etc. (33).

      Dr. Bernard (1698), 4s. 2d. Francis Child bought Bryan
      Fairfax\x92s perfect copy in 1756 for 2 guineas. In 1885 this was
      sold at the Earl of Jersey\x92s sale (1885) for \xA3350.

      Dr. Askew bought T. Rawlinson\x92s perfect copy in 1756 for \xA31,
      5s., and at Askew\x92s sale (1775) Willett gave 13 guineas for it.
      At Willett\x92s sale (1813) it was sold to the Marquis of Blandford
      for \xA3210. At the Marquis\x92s sale (1819) T. Brockett gave \xA387, 3s.
      for it. At Brockett\x92s sale (1823) Watson Taylor bought it for
      \xA347, 5s. Thorpe bought it at Watson Taylor\x92s sale (1823) for
      \xA347, 15s. 6d. The \x93Merly\x94 copy turned up again in 1857, when it
      was sold to Mr. F. Huth for \xA3275.

      The Duke of Roxburghe\x92s imperfect copy was bought in 1812 by the
      Duke of Devonshire for \xA3115.

      Since Blades\x92s book was published--the Rev. T. Corser (1868),
      \xA396 (\x93Old Age\x94 only); Mr. Severne (1885), \xA3250 (perfect); Earl
      of Crawford (1889), \xA3320 (perfect); Earl of Ashburnham (1897),
      \xA3102--Pickering & Chatto (_Declamatio_ only).

  _The Chronicles of England_, first edition (39).

      R. Smith (1682), 3s. 6d.; Dr. Bernard (1691), 4s.; J. Ratcliffe
      (1776), \xA35, 5s.; S. Alchorne (1813), \xA363--Duke of Devonshire.

      J. Roberts\x92s copy (1815) was bought for \xA3105 by John Milner, at
      whose sale in 1829 W. S. Higgs bought it for \xA370, 7s.; at
      Higgs\x92s sale (1830) it realised \xA373, 10s.

      The following sales have taken place since the publication of
      Blades\x92s book:--

      Mr. Rainy, Bath (1883), \xA3160--British Museum (poor copy, and
      imperfect). J. Hirst (1887), \xA367 (imperfect). Duke of Buccleuch
      (1889), \xA3470--Quaritch (perfect, blanks excepted).

  _The Chronicles of England_, second edition (43).

      Bryan Fairfax\x92s imperfect copy was sold in 1756 to Francis
      Child for \xA35. In 1885 it sold for \xA340 at the sale of the Earl
      of Jersey\x92s library.

      J. Ratcliffe\x92s imperfect copy was sold (1776) to George III. for
      \xA34, 5s.

      An imperfect copy was bought by the Earl of Ashburnham in 1860
      for \xA3180. It was added to the sale after the library of E. A.
      Crowninshield, of Boston, U.S., had been brought to England.
      This copy, bound in new brown morocco, with \x93Description of
      Britain\x94 (three leaves in facsimile), sold at Lord Ashburnham\x92s
      sale (1897) for \xA3610--Pickering & Chatto.

      Mr. Quaritch bought the Duke of Buccleuch\x92s copy in 1889 for
      \xA345. This was wrongly described in the catalogue as wanting only
      \x93fourteen leaves, of which two are blank,\x94 whereas it not only
      wanted the first fourteen printed leaves as well as the two
      blanks, but also the last six.

  _The Description of Britain_ (40).

      J. Towneley\x92s imperfect copy was bought by George III. in 1814
      for \xA385, 1s.

      The Duke of Buccleuch\x92s copy was bought by Mr. Quaritch in 1889
      for \xA3195. It was made up from two imperfect copies, with some
      leaves inlaid, but otherwise complete.

  _The History of Godfrey of Boloyne_ (42).

      R. Smith (1682), 18s. 2d--Earl of Peterborough. Dr. Bernard
      (1698), 4s. J. West (1773), \xA310, 10s.--George III. J. Ratcliffe
      (1776), \xA36, 16s. 6d.--W. Hunter. Dr. Vincent (1816), \xA3215, 5s.,
      bought by Singer, but Blades says the Marquis of Blandford;
      but Mr. Norgate thinks this is a mistake, as there was no copy
      in the White Knights sale. Mr. Holford\x92s copy and that in the
      British Museum were the only known perfect copies until 1884,
      when Mr. Quaritch announced in his catalogue (No. 21,842) a
      \x93very fine copy, quite perfect, with all the blanks, and in the
      original binding,\x94 priced \xA31000. Mr. Norgate suggests that this
      may be Dr. Vincent\x92s copy.

  _Polycronicon_ (44).

      R. Mead (1755), \xA33, 13s. 6d. Joseph Ames (1760), two copies;
      one sold for 7s., and the other for 14s. J. West (1773), \xA316,
      5s. 6d.

      There were three copies in Ratcliffe\x92s sale (1775); one sold for
      3s. 3d., another for 2s. 3d., and a third for \xA35, \xA35s. 6d.

      Heber bought S. Tyssen\x92s copy in 1801 for \xA35; at his own sale it
      fetched \xA310, 15s.

      The White Knights perfect copy was bought by Payne in 1819 for
      \xA394, 10s. It is now in the Grenville Library. (Blades overlooked

      Dent\x92s perfect copy was bought by Perkins in 1827 for \xA3103,
      19s.; at the latter\x92s sale (1873) it was bought by Mr. Quaritch
      for \xA3365.

      Lord Charlemont (1865), \xA3477--Walford (wanting two leaves). This
      copy went to New York, and was sold immediately for 6750 dollars
      (= about \xA31380). T. Edwards (1871), wanting seven leaves,
      \xA334--Quaritch. This copy was sold at the Earl of Aylesford\x92s
      sale (1888) for \xA3110, also to Mr. Quaritch. The seven leaves
      were supplied in facsimile. Ten were mounted, and a few others

      Sir W. Tite\x92s copy, with a 2, 3, 4, 8 in facsimile, realised in
      1874 \xA3150. Ashburnham copy (1897), wanting forty-six leaves,

      Other copies sold since the publication of Blades\x92s book were
      mere fragments, and only realised small sums.

  _The Pilgrimage of the Soul_ (45).

      R. Smith (1682), 5s. J. West (1773), \xA38, 17s. 6d. J. Ratcliffe
      (1776), \xA33, 17s. At the Marquis of Blandford\x92s sale (1819) Earl
      Spencer bought it for \xA3152, 5s. He perfected it with three
      leaves from a copy formerly belonging to Heber, and sold it in
      1821, when Heber bought it again for \xA326, 15s. 6d., but at his
      sale in 1834 it only realised 18 guineas.

  _The Festial_, first edition (47).

      J. Ratcliffe had two copies: J. Edwards bought one for \xA33, 2s.,
      and Dr. Farmer the other for \xA33. In 1796 the latter bought
      Herbert\x92s copy for \xA32, 2s., and made a perfect copy from the
      two. Lord Spencer bought this at Farmer\x92s sale in 1798 for \xA35.

  ---- Second edition (88).

      The Duke of Roxburghe\x92s copy was bought by Earl Spencer for
      \xA3105. Only one has occurred for sale since, viz., Rev. E. James
      (1854), \xA327, now in the British Museum.

  _Confessio Amantis_ (50).

      F. Child bought B. Fairfax\x92s beautiful and perfect copy for \xA33
      in 1756, and at the Earl of Jersey\x92s sale in 1885 it realised
      \xA3810. It is now in the United States. George III. bought West\x92s
      imperfect and cropped copy for 9 guineas. Topham Beauclerk\x92s
      copy, wanting ten leaves, sold in 1781 for \xA32, 4s.; in 1881 it
      was sold at Mr. G. L. Way\x92s sale for \xA377. The Duke of
      Roxburghe\x92s perfect copy was bought by the Duke of Devonshire
      for \xA3336.

      Willett\x92s copy has been sold several times, and each time for a
      lower price than before. In 1813 the Marquis of Blandford bought
      it at Willett\x92s sale in 1813 for \xA3315. At the White Knights sale
      (1819) it was described as \x93remarkably fine and perfect,\x94 and
      was sold to G. Watson Taylor for \xA3205, 16s. On being collated it
      was found to want six leaves, and was consequently returned, and
      resold to Mr. Watson Taylor for \xA3131, 5s. At his sale in 1823 it
      only realised \xA357, 15s.

      W. Haggard (1867), \xA3185 (wanting several leaves). Lord Selsey\x92s
      perfect copy sold in 1872 for \xA3670. H. Perkins (1873), \xA3245 (six
      leaves in facsimile). Ashburnham (part 2, 1897), imperfect,

  _The Knight of the Tower_ (51).

      R. Smith (1682), 5s. 1d. J. Brand\x92s perfect copy was bought by
      Earl Spencer in 1807 for \xA3111, 6s.

      G. Watson Taylor bought the Marquis of Blandford\x92s perfect copy
      (without blanks) in 1819 for \xA385, 1s. At his sale in 1823 Jolley
      bought it for \xA352, 10s. Rodd bought it for Corser, at Jolley\x92s
      sale in 1843, for \xA390. At Corser\x92s sale (1868) Mr. Quaritch
      bought it for \xA3560.

  _Caton_ (52).

      R. Smith (1682),4s. 2d.; Dr. Bernard (1698), 1s. 10d.

      The Duke of Devonshire\x92s fine and perfect copy has the Earl of
      Oxford\x92s autograph--\x93I bought this book at Edinburgh and paid
      for it the price of \xA33, 3s. to Mr. Alex. Seymmer Bookseller in
      the parliament close May 24 1725.\x94 In another hand, \x93Ex Bib:
      Harl: \xA31, 1s., Feb. 1745.\x94 It was bought from Messrs. Arch for

      The sale of Watson Taylor\x92s copy (1823) to Barclay for \xA330, 19s.
      6d. is not recorded by Blades.

      Earl of Ashburnham (1897), \xA3295--Pickering and Chatto

  _The Golden Legend_, first edition (53).

      West\x92s imperfect copy was bought (1773) by Dr. Hunter for \xA312,
      15s., and is now at Glasgow. Ratcliffe\x92s imperfect copy was
      bought by George III. (1776) for \xA35, 15s. 6d. The highest price
      recorded by Blades at which a copy has sold is \xA3230, bought by
      the Duc d\x92Aumale in 1854 at J. Dunn Gardner\x92s sale. This copy
      wants the last leaf in the Table and Biiij, the latter supplied
      in facsimile. Corser\x92s imperfect copy sold in 1869 for \xA3147. It
      is now in the Huth library. W. H. Crawford\x92s imperfect copy
      sold in 1891 for \xA3465.

  ---- Second edition (66).

      There are no records of sales.

  ---- Third edition (93).

      Printed by Wynkyn de Worde.

  _The Order of Chivalry_ (56).

      J. West (1773), \xA35, 5s.--G. Mason. J. Ratcliffe (1776), \xA32,
      8s.--George III. (imperfect). Lord Lovat (1852), \xA355,
      10s.--Earl of Ashburnham (imperfect). Lord Ashburnham (1897),
      \xA3345--Pickering & Chatto (imperfect).

  _Troylus and Creside_ (60).

      West\x92s perfect copy was bought by George III. in 1773 for 10
      guineas. Ratcliffe\x92s large and clean, but imperfect, copy has
      been sold several times at very varying prices. Herbert bought
      it in 1776 for \xA32. At Towneley\x92s sale in 1814 the Marquis of
      Blandford bought it for \xA3252, 2s. At the White Knights sale in
      1819 Watson Taylor gave \xA3162, 15s. for it. Thomas Grenville
      bought it for \xA366, 3s. at Watson Taylor\x92s sale in 1823.

  _The Life of our Lady_ (61).

      Earl Spencer gave \xA3130 for his imperfect copy. The highest sale
      price recorded by Blades is \xA349 for the Duke of Roxburghe\x92s
      copy. The Rev. T. Corser\x92s imperfect copy, for which he gave
      \xA332 at Utterson\x92s sale in 1852, sold for \xA3113 in 1868. Sir
      William Tite\x92s very imperfect copy (wanting thirty leaves)
      belonged to West, and was bought at his sale by Herbert for \xA32,
      12s. 6d. Tite bought it in 1859 for \xA341, and at his sale it
      sold for \xA354. The Earl of Devon\x92s quite perfect copy (with the
      blanks) was bought by Mr. Quaritch for \xA3880 in 1883.

  _The Noble Histories of King Arthur_ (63).

      The only known perfect copy was in the Harleian Library, and
      was sold by Osborne in 1748 to Bryan Fairfax for \xA35. At
      Fairfax\x92s sale in 1756 Francis Child bought it for two guineas
      and a half, and in 1885 it was sold at the Earl of Jersey\x92s
      sale to Mr. Quaritch for \xA31950. It is now in New York.

  _The Life of Charles the Great_ (64).

      The only known copy which is perfect is now in the King\x92s
      Library, British Museum. Ratcliffe bought it at West\x92s sale
      (1773) for \xA313, and at Ratcliffe\x92s sale (1776) George III.
      obtained it for 4 guineas.

  _The Knight Paris and the Fair Vienne_ (65).

      The only known copy, in the King\x92s Library, is perfect. It was
      bought at West\x92s sale by George III. for \xA314.

  _The Royal Book_ (67).

      West\x92s imperfect copy was bought by George III. for \xA310.
      Gustavus Brander bought Ratcliffe\x92s imperfect copy in 1777 for
      \xA32, 13s., but at his own sale it only brought 15s. It was sold
      in 1864 to Lilly for \xA362.

      The Althorpe perfect and beautiful copy was bought by the
      Marquis of Blandford at Louis Goldsmid\x92s sale (1815) for \xA385,
      1s. At the Marquis\x92s sale (1819) George Hibbert bought it for
      \xA373, 10s., and at Hibbert\x92s sale (1829) Lord Spencer obtained it
      for \xA361, 19s.

      The Duke of Buccleuch\x92s copy (wanting a. i, with two very slight
      defects, both repaired) is not mentioned by Blades. It was
      bought by Mr. Quaritch at the Duke\x92s sale (1889) for \xA3365.

  _Speculum Vit\xE6 Christi_ (70).

      West\x92s copy was bought by Ratcliffe, who had three imperfect
      copies; at his sale in 1776 George III. bought one for \xA33, 3s.,
      Dr. Hunter another for the same amount, and the third sold for
      \xA33, 10s. Earl Spencer bought two copies--one at J. Allen\x92s sale
      (1795) for 11 guineas, and the other at the Roxburghe sale for
      \xA345; he completed the latter with two leaves taken from the
      former. The duplicate was sold and came into the possession of
      Sir Francis Freeling; at his sale in 1836 Mr. Corser bought it
      for \xA325, 10s., and at Corser\x92s sale (1868) it realised \xA367.

      Two copies are known on vellum---one, in very poor condition, is
      in the Royal Library at Windsor; the other, in the British
      Museum, was bought in 1864 for \xA31000.

  _The Doctrinal of Sapience_ (71).

      The Duke of Devonshire gave \xA378, 15s. for the Spencer duplicate
      (perfect) in Alchorne\x92s sale (1813). Dawson Turner\x92s copy
      (wanting six leaves) was bought by T. Bateman in 1859 for \xA328;
      at his sale in 1893 it realised \xA358. Earl of Ashburnham\x92s copy
      (first and last leaf in facsimile), 1897, sold for
      \xA3660--Quaritch (for the British Museum). The last Earl gave
      \xA3150 for this copy.

  _Servitium de Transfiguratione Jhesu Christi_ (73).

      The only known copy was bought for the British Museum at a sale
      at Puttick\x92s in 1862 for \xA3200. It was found in a volume of
      Theological Tracts presented to the Congregational Library,
      Blomfield Street, by Joshua Wilson of Tunbridge Wells in 1831.

  _The Fayts of Arms_ (74).

      The largest amount paid for a copy at a public sale is \xA3336,
      which the Duke of Devonshire gave for the Roxburghe copy (with
      a few lines of the last leaf in facsimile).

      Bryan Fairfax\x92s imperfect copy was bought by Francis Child for
      \xA31, 11s. 6d. At the sale of Lord Jersey\x92s library in 1885 it
      sold for \xA371.

      Libri\x92s perfect, but mended and washed, copy, which he had
      bought in very poor condition from Mario the great tenor, was
      sold in 1862 to Mr. F. Huth for \xA3255.

      Mr. Corser\x92s perfect copy was bought in 1868 by Mr. Quaritch for

      Sir W. Tite\x92s copy (with the first two leaves in facsimile) sold
      in 1874 for \xA3190. This copy was bought by Tite at the Rev. C.
      H. Crauford\x92s sale in 1854 for \xA377. Crauford bought it at
      Wilks\x92s sale (1847) for \xA354.

      The Earl of Crawford\x92s perfect copy, with Table inlaid, sold in
      1889 for \xA3235. R. Lindsay, in Philadelphia, had this copy in his
      catalogue (June 1893) for \xA3425.

  _The History of Blanchardin and Eglantine_ (78).

      The only known copy, which is imperfect, is in the Althorpe
      library. This copy was bought at Ratcliffe\x92s sale by G. Mason
      for \xA33, 6s.; at Mason\x92s sale (1799) the Duke of Roxburghe
      bought it for \xA321. Earl Spencer gave \xA3215, 5s. for it at the
      Roxburghe sale.

  _Eneydos_ (81).

      R. Smith (1682), 3s. Walter Rea (1682), 1s. 6d.

      F. Child gave 30s. for B. Fairfax\x92s perfect copy, which sold at
      the Earl of Jersey\x92s sale (1885) for \xA3235.

      Hanrott\x92s imperfect copy was bought in 1833 by Lord Auckland for
      \xA343, 1s.; at his sale two years afterwards H. Holland bought it
      for \xA324. At Holland\x92s sale (1860) Mr. H. Huth bought it for \xA384.

      Mr. Quaritch had a copy in 1875 with two leaves in facsimile,
      otherwise a fine copy, which he marked \xA3300.

  _The Art and Craft to Know Well to Die_ (86).

      West\x92s perfect copy was bought by Ratcliffe for \xA35, 2s. 6d.; at
      Ratcliffe\x92s sale George III. bought it for 4 guineas.

      Mr. C. Tutet\x92s copy was bought in 1786 by Payne for 2 guineas;
      probably this is the perfect copy which Payne sold to the
      National Library, Paris, for 10 guineas.

  _The Chastising of God\x92s Children_ (90).

      R. Smith (1682). 5s. Dr. Bernard (1698), 1s. 10d. Osborne
      (1751), 15s.

      The Roxburghe copy (perfect) was bought by Lord Spencer for

      The Earl of Aylesford bought the Marquis of Blandford\x92s copy
      (bound with \x93Treatise of Love,\x94 No. 91) for \xA332, 10s., and at
      his sale in 1888 it realised \xA3305. F. Perkins (1889), \xA3100.

      S. Alchorne\x92s copy sold in 1813 for \xA394, 10s.; Valentine\x92s copy
      in 1842 for \xA35. Blades describes this last in his catalogue list
      as Alchorne\x92s; but this is probably a mistake, as Valentine
      bought J. Inglis\x92s copy (1826) for \xA317, 10s.

  _Sex perelegantissim\xE6 Epistol\xE6_ (1483).

      24 leaves. The only copy known of this tract was discovered in
      1874 by Dr. G. K\xF6nnecke, archivist of Marburg, in an old volume
      of seventeenth-century divinity in the Hecht-Heinean Library at
      Halberstadt. The discovery was described by Mr. Blades at the
      time in the _Athen\xE6um_ (Feb. 27, 1875). This copy was bought by
      the British Museum in 1890 for \xA3250.

Almost as scarce and valuable as Caxtons are the books printed at St.

  _The Chronicle of St. Albans_ (circa 1484), the second book printed
      at St. Albans, and the first edition of the Chronicle, was sold
      at the Earl of Ashburnham\x92s sale (1897) to Messrs. J. & J.
      Leighton for \xA3180. It was imperfect, but no absolutely perfect
      copy is known.

      In Quaritch\x92s catalogue, 1884 (No. 355), a copy with five
      leaves in facsimile and twenty-two others deficient, was marked

  _The Boke of St. Albans_ (1486), a copy perfected in MS., was sold
      at the Roxburghe sale for \xA3147. It was resold at the White
      Knights sale for \xA384. In March 1882 Mr. Quaritch bought it at
      Christie\x92s for 600 guineas. The Grenville copy now in the
      British Museum has gone through many vicissitudes, which were
      graphically described by Dr. Maitland in 1847. It appears that
      at the end of the last century the library of Thonock Hall, in
      the parish of Gainsborough, the seat of the Hickman family, was
      sorted out by an ignorant person who threw into a condemned
      heap all books without covers. A gardener who took an interest
      in heraldry begged permission to take home what he liked from
      this heap, and he chose among other books _The Book of St.
      Albans_. This remained in his cottage till June 1844, when his
      son\x92s widow sold 9 lbs. of books to a pedlar for 9d. The pedlar
      sold the lot for 3s. to a chemist in Gainsborough, who was
      rather struck by _The Book of St. Albans_, and tried to sell
      it, but the neighbours did not wish to buy it. Eventually he
      obtained \xA32, 2s. for it from a man who expected to sell it to
      advantage. The purchaser sold it to Stark the bookseller for
      \xA37, 7s. Stark took it to London and sold it to the Right Hon.
      Thomas Grenville for seventy or eighty guineas. Mr. Blades
      communicated this account to _Notes and Queries_ (3rd Series,
      iv. 369).

      A copy was sold at the Earl of Ashburnham\x92s sale (1897), which
      was stated to be the Roxburghe copy, completed by the Earl from
      another copy. Mr. Quaritch bought this for \xA3385.

Still rarer than this is one of the treatises in a separate form, and
printed in the next century:--

  Juliana Barnes\x92s _Treatyse of Fysshynge with an Angle_. London:
      Wynkyn de Worde (1532). First separate edition, unique.

      In the Harleian Library, afterwards in Gulston\x92s collection,
      who sold it to J. Ratcliffe, bought at his sale by White the
      bookseller, sold by him to Mr. Haworth, at whose sale it sold
      for 19 guineas (unbound). Earl of Ashburnham (1897), green
      morocco, \xA3360.

A few prices may now be given of some of the most interesting
publications of the old English press, consisting of the works of poets,
travellers, &c., all of which have greatly increased in value, and will
probably increase still more:--

  _King Arthur_, W. Coplande, 1557.

      Dent, \xA320, 9s. 6d., fine copy, in olive morocco by Lewis. H.
      Perkins (1873), \xA3120 (same copy).

  Bancroft\x92s (T.) _Two Bookes of Epigrammes and Epitaphs_, 1639.
      _Rare Books and MSS._ (Sotheby, March 1897), fine uncut copy,

  Barnfield\x92s (Richard) _Encomion of Lady Pecunia_, 1598.

      Malone bought Farmer\x92s copy for 19s. Ouvry (1882), \xA3105.

  Bradshaw\x92s (Henry) _holy lyfe and history of Saynt Werburghe_
      (Pynson, 1521, 4^o, pp. 294).

      Only three copies known: (1) Gough\x92s, now in the Bodleian; (2)
      Heber\x92s, sold in 1834 for \xA319, 5s.; (3) copy in Longman\x92s
      catalogue (Bibl. Anglo-Poetica), 1815, marked \xA363.

The prices of Caxton\x92s two editions of Chaucer\x92s \x93Canterbury Tales\x94 are
recorded on a previous page of this chapter. Imperfect copies of
Pynson\x92s first and second editions were marked \xA325 in Longman\x92s
catalogue (1815). The first edition (fifty-four leaves inlaid and two
leaves in facsimile) fetched at the Heber sale \xA360, 18s., and at the
Earl of Ashburnham\x92s, \xA3233. The second edition (1526) sold at the
Roxburghe sale for \xA330, 9s., and an imperfect copy at the Ashburnham
sale for \xA326.

Wynkyn de Worde\x92s edition is as valuable as a Caxton, and a fine and
perfect copy sold at the Ashburnham sale for \xA31000.

  Cutwode\x92s (T.) _Caltha Poetarum; or, Bumble Bee_, 1599.

      Three copies only known: (1) Malone\x92s, now in the Bodleian; (2)
      Heber\x92s, from which the Roxburghe Club reprint was made, sold
      in 1834 for \xA33, 18s.; (3) a copy which belonged successively to
      Steevens, Caldecott, and Freeling. Steevens\x92 sale (1800), \xA32,
      12s. 6d.; Freeling (1836), \xA311, 15s.

      According to Ritson, this book \x93was staid at the press by order
      of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of London; and such
      copies as could be found or were already taken were to be
      presently brought to the Bishop of London to be burnt.\x94 Dibdin
      gives an amusing account of the Roxburghe Club reprint (1815) in
      his \x93Reminiscences\x94 (vol. i. p. 465, note):--\x93A bet was laid
      (the winner of the bet to give the Roxburghe Club a dinner)
      between Sir M. M. Sykes and Mr. Dent whether the anniversary
      meeting of 1815 was the third or fourth of the club. Mr. Dent
      was the loser, when Mr. Heber promised to present the club with
      a reprint of the above poem at the extra dinner in
      contemplation. Only nine days intervened, but within that period
      the reprint was transcribed, superintended at the press by Mr.
      Haslewood (without a single error), bound by Charles Lewis, and
      presented to the members on sitting down to dinner. Mr.
      Haslewood was reported to have walked in his sleep with a pen in
      his hand during the whole period of its preparation.\x94

  Drummond of Hawthornden\x92s _Forth Feasting_, 1617, bought by Ouvry
      at Sotheby\x92s in 1858 for \xA38, 15s. (bound in morocco), fetched
      \xA360 at Ouvry\x92s sale in 1882.

  Fabyan\x92s _Chronicles_ (Pynson, 1516), first edition.

      Dr. F. Bernard (1698), 4s. 8d.

      Roberts (1815), \xA384--North. John North (1819), \xA392. (Perfect.)

      Samuel Lysons (1820), \xA335--Lord Aylesford.

      Lord Aylesford (1888), \xA3250--Christie Miller. (Completed by
      leaves from another edition.)

  Foxe\x92s _Acts and Monuments_ (John Daye, 1562-63), first edition,

      Earl of Ashburnham (1897), \xA3150.

  Frobisher\x92s _Three Voyages of Discoverie_, 1578, with Keymis\x92s
      _Second Voyage to Guiana_, 1596, in one vol., calf gilt, by
      Beckford (1882), \xA3300.

      Ouvry\x92s copy of Frobisher, wanting the maps, sold for \xA368.

  Froissart\x92s _Cronycles_ (Pynson, 1523-25), two vols. folio.

      G. Mason (1798), \xA336, 15s. Roxburghe (1812), \xA363. Towneley
      (1814), \xA342 (title of vol. i. a reprint). W. H. Crawford
      (Lakelands), 1891, \xA325.

  Hakluyt\x92s _Principal Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the
      English Nation_, 1589, with rare map, fine copy, in pigskin.

      Jadis, \xA326, 5s. Same copy, Duke of Hamilton (1884), \xA323.

  Hariot (T.), _Merveilleux et estrange Rapport_ ... Francofurti,

      Duke of Hamilton (1884), fine copy, in morocco by Lewis, \xA397.

  Linschoten\x92s _Voyages into the Easte and West Indies_, 1598, maps
      and plates from the Dutch edition, title inlaid, and last leaf

      Roxburghe, \xA310, 15s. Same copy, Beckford (1882), \xA314. Colonel
      Stanley, \xA322.

  Lodge\x92s (Thomas) _Rosalynde_, 1598.

      Longman (1815), \xA320 (imperfect). Heber, \xA35, 10s. Ouvry (1882),

  Lok\x92s (Henry) _Ecclesiastes_ (London: Richard Field, 1597).

      Longmans (1815), \xA328. Sotheby\x92s (March 1817), \xA36, 16s. G.
      Daniel, \xA338, 10s.

The first editions of Milton\x92s works have greatly increased in price.
Not many years ago a copy of the first edition of the \x93Paradise Lost\x94
could be obtained for about five pounds, but now a good copy is worth at
least four times as much. The prices vary considerably with the date of
the title-page, of which there are several issues. G. Daniel\x92s fine copy
sold in 1864 for \xA328, 10s.

  Milton\x92s _Maske_ (_Comus_), 1637.

      Loscombe, \xA325. G. Daniel, \xA336.

  ---- _Poems_, 1645, first edition, with portrait by Marshall.

      G. Daniel, \xA35, 15s. _Rare Books and MSS._ (Sotheby, March
      1897), fine uncut copy, \xA324, 10s.

  _Purchas his Pilgrimes_, five vols., 1625-26.

      Digby (1680), \xA33, 5s. 6d. H. Perkins, 1873, fine copy, \xA386.
      Beckford, 1883, fine copy, \xA363. Earl of Gosford (1884), \xA382
      (crimson morocco). Earl of Crawford (1887), \xA360.

  Rhodes (Hugh), _Boke of Nurture_, 1577.

      Steevens (1800), \xA32, 2s. Longmans (1815), \xA315.

  Ricraft\x92s _Peculiar Characters of the Oriental Languages_, sm. 4to.

      Bindley, \xA319, 19s. Same copy, bound afterwards in russia extra
      by Lewis, who charged \xA31, 5s. for the binding, sold in Beckford
      sale (1883) for \xA38, 17s. 6d.

  Scot\x92s _Discoverie of Witchcraft_, 1584.

      Boswell, \xA33, 3s. Comerford (1881), \xA325, 10s. (citron morocco).

It is interesting to notice that in the old sales of the seventeenth
century the folios of Shakespeare, Beaumont and Fletcher, and Ben Jonson
all sold for about the same price. Those of the first now sell for one
hundred and two hundred times what they brought then, while those of the
second and third do not bring ten times.

  Beaumont and Fletcher\x92s Works, 1647.

      Sir Edward Bysshe (1679), 13s. 6d. Smallwood (1684), 8s. A.
      Young and others (Puttick\x92s), 1875, \xA35. Alfred Crampton (1896),
      10 guineas.

  Jonson\x92s (Ben) Works, 1640.

      Benj. Worsley (1678), \xA31, 13s. 6d. Sir Edward Bysshe (1677),
      \xA31, 10s. Lord Bateman (1896), \xA38, 5s.

  Spenser\x92s _Faerie Queene_, 1590-96, first edition.

      Sir Edward Bysshe (1679), 6s. 2d. Lloyd and Raymund (1685), 1s.
      Ouvry (1882), \xA333. Alfred Crampton (1611), 1896, with
      additional leaves, \xA385.

  Weever\x92s _Funeral Monuments_, 1631.

      Two copies on large paper in Beckford\x92s sale, part 4 (1883),
      olive morocco, index inlaid, \xA325; blue morocco, \xA338.


      Mr. Addington bought at the Dix sale four unique tracts of
      Wycliffe for \xA3400, and expressed his opinion that they would
      have been cheap at any price, but at his own sale (1886) they
      only realised \xA3133--viz., Crede, &c., \xA337; Consolation, \xA327;
      Testament of Moyses, \xA336; Small Prayers to Common People, \xA333.

_Americana_ is a class of book which has grown enormously in price.
Anything published in America in the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries now fetches a price.

  Smith\x92s _Virginia_, 1624.

      Dr. F. Bernard (1698), 4s. 2d. Hunter (1813), \xA327, 6s.

      A large paper copy sold at the Beckford sale (1883) for \xA3605
      (dedication copy to the Duchess of Richmond, in old brown
      morocco, covered with gold tooling, with the Duchess\x92s arms
      forming the centre ornaments).

  Eliot Bible of 1661-63.

      Dr. L. Seaman (1676), 19s. Wimpole library (Lord Chancellor
      Hardwicke), 1888, \xA3580--Quaritch.

      At this Wimpole sale (Christie\x92s) a volume of twelve tracts of
      the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries relating to America sold
      for \xA3555.

A curious incident occurred at Messrs. Sotheby\x92s in July 1897, during
the sale of the library of Mr. Cyril Dunn Gardner. A volume of Sermons,
which included \x93A Sermon preached at Plimmoth in New England, Dec. 9,
1621,\x94 was put up, and the biddings, commencing at 5s., were carried on
till \xA31, 17s. was reached, when the lot was knocked down at that amount.
A dispute arising, it was put up again, and was eventually bought by
Messrs. H. Stevens and Son for \xA387.


[57] Mr. Blades has given full particulars of all the sales in his \x93Life
and Typography of William Caxton\x94 (1863); but there have been many sales
since the publication of his great work, and particulars of these are
given chiefly from two valuable articles, entitled _Caxtoniana_, by Mr.
Frederic Norgate, which were published in _The Library_, Nos. 8 and 9
(August and September 1889). That accurate bibliographer has kindly
allowed the author to see and use his manuscript corrections and
additions to these articles.



The first edition of Shakespeare\x92s Plays (folio, 1623) has been rising
in price from the commencement of the nineteenth century; but the
enormous prices now paid do not date further back than 1864, when a
specially fine copy was bought by the Baroness Burdett-Coutts at George
Daniel\x92s sale for \xA3716, 2s. This amount was paid on account of the
height of the book and of its great beauty, and possibly the
circumstance of the year being the tercentenary of Shakespeare\x92s birth
had something to do with it, but this sale had the effect of raising the
price of all copies permanently.

Beloe, writing in 1807 (\x93Anecdotes,\x94 vol. i. p. 36), said, \x93Perhaps
there is no book in the English language which has risen so rapidly in
value as the first edition of the works of our great national poet. I
can remember a very fine copy to have been sold for five guineas. I
could once have purchased a superb one for nine guineas.\x94 This statement
can be corroborated; for the Cracherode copy in the British Museum, one
of the few really fine copies, has the price \xA38, 18s. 6d. marked in it.
Richard Wright\x92s copy sold in 1787 for \xA310, Allen\x92s in 1795 for 18
guineas. Farmer\x92s copy (wanting title, and with the last leaf in MS.)
sold for \xA37. Garrick bought his copy from Payne for \xA31, 16s. Jolley
obtained it at Garrick\x92s sale in 1823 for \xA334, 2s. 6d., and at Jolley\x92s
sale in 1844 it realised \xA384. Lord Denbigh\x92s fine copy sold in 1825 for
\xA389, 5s., and Broadley\x92s in 1832 for \xA351; William Combes\x92s copy (wanting
title-page and all prefatory leaves, but with the text of the Plays
complete) fetched 8 guineas in 1837; Bright\x92s copy (1845), with title
repaired, verses from another edition, and some leaves inlaid, brought
\xA331, 10s. The Stowe copy (1849), with verses inlaid, \xA376; Hawtrey\x92s
(1853), with some leaves mended, \xA363. In 1824 Mr. Thorpe the bookseller
advertised a set of the four folios--first, \xA365; second, 10 guineas;
third, \xA325; and the fourth, 6 guineas, or the four for \xA3100. About the
same time Mr. Pickering marked a similar set \xA395.

Copies of the first folio are so constantly sold that one might suppose
it to be a common book, but this may be accounted for by the fact that
they are constantly changing hands. There are only a few copies
absolutely perfect, but others are made up from various copies, or with
pages in facsimile. This makes the most imperfect copies of value,
because they can be used to perfect others.

Dibdin described thirty copies of the first folio in his \x93Library
Companion,\x94 and these he arranged in three classes. In the first class
he placed three copies, belonging respectively to Mr. Cracherode, the
Right Hon. Thomas Grenville, and Mr. Daniel Moore. The first two are now
in the British Museum, and the third is the Daniel copy, for which
Lilly the bookseller offered \xA3300.

    \x93These have size, condition, and the genuine properties of a true
    copy. They are thirteen inches in height, eight and a half in width,
    have the true portrait and title-page, with the genuine verses in
    the centre of the leaf facing the title-page. They have no spurious
    leaves foisted in from other editions.... Of these three copies,
    that in the Cracherode collection is the most objectionable, as the
    commendatory verses of Ben Jonson, facing the title-page, are,
    although genuine, inlaid.\x94

Mr. Grenville\x92s copy was bought at Saunders\x92s sale in 1818 for \xA3121,
16s., which was then thought to be a great sum, and Dibdin makes the
unfortunate prophecy that this was \x93the highest price ever given, or
likely to be given, for the volume.\x94 Mr. Grenville told Dibdin that an
ancestor of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn possessed an uncut copy of the
first folio. \x93It was lying on the table in that condition when, in a
luckless moment, a stationer in the neighbourhood of Wynnstay came in.
The book was given to him to be bound, and off went not only the edges,
but half of the margins.\x94 Another piece of vandalism was the inlaying
the leaves of the book and binding them in three volumes. This was
Henderson the actor\x92s copy, which sold at Reed\x92s sale for \xA338. In the
second class were included some very good copies.

    \x93Lord Spencer\x92s copy had every leaf picked by the experienced hands
    of the late George Steevens. The verses opposite are genuine, but
    inlaid, and there are many tender leaves throughout. There are also
    in the centre of some of the pages a few greasy-looking spots, which
    might have originally received the \x91flakes of pie-crust\x92 in the
    servants\x92 hall, as notified by Steevens.[58] But it is a beautiful
    and desirable copy.\x94

The price mentioned by Steevens is that which the Duke of Roxburghe gave
for his copy in 1790, respecting which Dibdin relates an anecdote that
took his fancy so much, that he tells the story both at the beginning
and at the end of his _Bibliomania_.

    \x93A friend was bidding for him in the sale-room: his Grace had
    retired to a distance to view the issue of the contest. Twenty
    guineas and more were offered from various quarters for the book: a
    slip of paper was handed to the Duke, in which he was requested to
    inform his friend whether he was \x91to go on bidding.\x92 His Grace took
    his pencil and wrote underneath, by way of reply--

                            \x91Lay on, Macduff;
        And d--d be he who first cries, \x93Hold, enough!\x94\x92

    Such a spirit was irresistible, and bore down all opposition. His
    Grace retired triumphant, with the book under his arm.\x94

A rather different version of this story of Nicol\x92s purchase for the
Duke is given in Martin\x92s \x93Privately Printed Books.\x94

This copy sold at the Roxburghe sale for \xA3100, and is now in the Duke of
Devonshire\x92s library. Dibdin had a commission from Sir Mark Masterman
Sykes to give \xA375.

Hibbert\x92s copy was pronounced by Mr. Amyot to be the best copy he had
seen after those placed in the first class. It belonged to \x93Dog\x94
Jennings, and was purchased of Mr. Payne for 70 guineas. At Hibbert\x92s
sale it fetched 81 guineas, and was resold in 1847 at Wilks\x92s sale for
\xA3155. It again occurred at Dunn Gardner\x92s sale (1854), when it was
bought by Mr. H. Huth for \xA3250.

Dent\x92s copy was a tall copy, identical in measurement with Daniel\x92s, and
with some rough leaves, but the title and verses were pasted down. It
was bought by H. Perkins for \xA3110, 5s., and at Perkins\x92s sale it
realised \xA3585, 10s.

John Kemble\x92s copy was inlaid on large paper, and bound by Mackinlay. It
was purchased by Mr. Boswell for \xA3112, 7s., and at his sale it brought

In the third class are the following:--

Steevens\x92s copy was given to him by Jacob Tonson in 1765, and it had
passed through the hands of Theobald and Dr. Johnson, the \x93latter not
having improved its condition.\x94 It wants the title and portrait, the
latter being supplied by a facsimile drawing by Steevens. The verses are
from the second edition. Dr. Charles Burney bought this at the sale of
Steevens\x92s library for \xA322. It is now in the British Museum. Nassau\x92s
copy was perfect, with the exception that the verses were from the
second edition. It was bought by Mr. Thorpe for \xA349, 7s.

E. V. Utterson\x92s copy was fair, with title and portrait mounted, verses
inlaid, and several leaves mended. It sold for \xA349 in 1852.

Colonel Stanley\x92s copy was in fair condition, but wanted the original
verses and title-page. It was bought at Stanley\x92s sale by Mr. North for
\xA337, 16s., and at North\x92s sale it realised \xA339, 18s.

Heber gave 10 guineas for his copy, which wanted verses, list of actors,
&c., title a reprint from the second edition, some leaves stained, and
others mutilated. This sold at Heber\x92s sale (1834) for \xA357, 15s.

A copy of the first folio is now looked upon as a necessary addition to
a first-class library, but there was no copy in the libraries of the
Earl of Oxford, Dr. Mead, West, Askew, Crofts, Beauclerk, Heath,
Willett, Bindley, or in the Sunderland or Hamilton Palace libraries.

Mr. Robert Holford is said to have given \xA3250 for his tall copy.

The following is a list of some of the copies which have been sold since
the famous Daniel copy:--

    In 1882 Beresford-Hope\x92s copy, with verses inlaid, title repaired,
    in morocco by Clarke, fetched \xA3238; and Ouvry\x92s sound copy, in red
    morocco by Clarke and Bedford, sold for \xA3420.

    The Earl of Gosford\x92s copy, perfect, with title and verses mounted,
    and margins of leaves slightly mended, was sold in 1884 for \xA3470.

    Hartley\x92s copy was in poor condition, although very tall (13-3/8 by
    8-3/4), title with portrait wanting, page with verses mutilated, and
    some leaves mended. It sold in 1887 for \xA3255. Hartley gave \xA3500 for
    it to those who had bought it at a knock-out for \xA375.

    The Earl of Aylesford\x92s copy, wanting title, with verses from second
    edition, and five leaves stained, sold in 1888 for \xA3200.

    In 1889 F. Perkins\x92s copy, with title and verses mounted, sold for
    \xA3415; and Halliwell Phillipps\x92s poor copy, with portrait, verses,
    preliminary and last leaf in facsimile, for \xA395.

    W. H. Crawford\x92s imperfect copy, with title, verses, prefatory
    matter, and \x93Cymbeline\x94 reprinted in facsimile, sold in 1891 for
    \xA316, 10s.

    In this same year Brayton Ives\x92s copy, perfect, but rather short,
    was sold in New York for 4200 dollars (\xA3840).

    Addington\x92s copy, with verses inlaid, in good condition, but short
    (12-5/8 by 8-1/4), fetched \xA3280.

    A copy, with title in facsimile, leaf containing verses, last leaf
    and a few others mended in the margin, was sold in a sale of Early
    English Poetry (Sotheby, 1892) for \xA3208.

    Birket Foster\x92s copy sold in 1894 for \xA3255; and Mr. Toovey\x92s, with
    title and verses in facsimile, for \xA3169.


The most interesting copy of the second folio is in the King\x92s Library.
It belonged to Dr. Mead, at whose sale it was bought by Askew for \xA32,
12s. 6d. At Askew\x92s sale it was bought by Steevens for \xA35, 10s., an
amount which he styled enormous. At Steevens\x92s sale this copy was bought
for George III. for eighteen guineas. It formerly belonged to Charles
I., who wrote in it, \x93Dum spiro spero, C.R.\x94 The King presented it the
night before his execution to Sir Thomas Herbert, who had written, \x93Ex
dono serenissimi Regis Car. Servo suo Humiliss. T. Herbert.\x94 Steevens
mistook the identity of this Herbert, and wrote, \x93Sir Thomas Herbert was
Master of the Revels to King Charles the First.\x94 George III. wrote
beneath Steevens\x92s note, \x93This is a mistake, he (Sir Thomas Herbert)
having been Groom of the Bed-Chamber to King Charles I., but Sir Henry
Herbert was Master of the Revels.\x94

Dibdin made the same mistake with respect to this price that he did with
respect to the price of the Grenville first folio. He wrote, \x93\xA318,
18s.--the largest sum ever given, or likely to be given, for the book.\x94
Now in 1895, at the Earl of Orford\x92s sale, the largest and finest copy
known of the second folio, in the original calf binding, sold for the
enormous sum of \xA3540. This is out of all proportion to the price of the
first folio, and a ridiculous amount to pay for a volume of little
interest by itself, and only of value as one of the four original

The next largest price realised for a second folio was \xA3148 for Daniel\x92s
copy, which has some rough leaves, and was bought by Daniel from Thorpe,
who bought it at the Nevill Holt sale for \xA328, 1s.

The Earl of Aylesford\x92s copy, with title laid down, and without verses
(13-3/16 in. by 8-3/4 in.) sold in 1888 for \xA3140. Brayton Ives\x92s perfect
copy was sold in New York in 1891 for 400 dollars (\xA380). Birket Foster\x92s
copy sold in 1894 for \xA356.

It is only lately that such high prices have been obtained for this
edition. The following is a list of some of the prices given at an
earlier date:--

    B. Worsley (1678), 16s. Digby (1680), 14s. Richard Wright, M.D.
    (1787), \xA32, 9s. and \xA31, 6s. Allen (1795), \xA34, 4s. Stanley (1813),
    \xA313, 2s. 6d. Heber, Part 1, \xA310, 5s.; Part 4, wanting verses
    opposite title-page, and last leaf inlaid, \xA33, 7s. Valpy (1832),
    \xA318; resold to Broadley (1832), \xA312, 5s. Stowe (1849), \xA311, 5s.

    _Copies Sold within the Last Twenty-five Years_:--

    H. Perkins (1873), \xA344 (fine copy). Well-known collector
    (Sotheby\x92s), 1880, \xA312, 15s. (verses from fourth edition printed,
    part of title in facsimile reprint). Ouvry (1882), \xA346.
    Beresford-Hope (1882), \xA335, 10s. (title mended).

    Standard English Works (Puttick\x92s), 1886, \xA319. F. Perkins (1889),
    large copy, but worm-hole through half the volume, \xA347. W. H.
    Crawford (1891), wanting verses, \xA319, 10s. Smithson and others, 1896
    (Puttick\x92s), \xA318, 5s. (verses and several pages wanting, and a few
    worm-holes). Jack, Halliday, &c. (Sotheby, July 1897), \xA355 (fine
    copy, portrait and verses mended).

    Sir Henry Irving gave \xA3100 for Dr. Johnson\x92s copy of the second
    folio, which contains many notes in the margin by Theobald and
    Johnson. Osborn the bookseller bought it at Theobald\x92s death and
    presented it to Johnson. Samuel Ireland gave \xA31 for it at Johnson\x92s
    sale in 1785. It wants title and part of another leaf.[59]

THIRD FOLIO, 1664 (some copies dated 1663).

This edition is scarcer than the second, owing to the copies having been
destroyed in the Fire of London. The title-page of 1663 has the
portrait, and that of 1664 is without it. Mr. Thorpe, in one of his
catalogues, said that he had \x93refused \xA310 for the title of 1663.\x94 Mr.
Quaritch gave \xA311 for one in 1895 at Sotheby\x92s.

The following is a list of the prices that some copies have realised:--

    B. Worsley (1678), \xA31, 8s. 6d. Smallwood (1684), 15s. 6d. Richard
    Wright, M.D. (1787), \xA31, 1s. Allen (1795), \xA36, 6s. Steevens (1800),
    \xA38, 8s. Roxburghe (1812), \xA335. Stanley (1813), \xA316, 16s. Broadley
    (1832), \xA311, 5s. William Combes (1837), \xA35, 7s. 6d. (some leaves
    inlaid). Stowe (Duke of Buckingham), 1849, \xA335 (margin of portrait
    mended, title lined). Lord Stuart de Rothesay, \xA350 (tall copy, with
    duplicate titles). Miss Currer (1862), \xA343, 10s. (original calf).
    Addington, \xA3130 (large and fine copy). S. Daniel (1864), \xA346. H.
    Perkins (1873), \xA3105 (1/8-inch taller than Daniel\x92s copy).
    Beresford-Hope (1882), \xA372, 10s. (portrait and title inlaid). Ouvry
    (1882), \xA3116. Earl of Aylesford (1888), \xA393 (13-1/2 in. by 8 in.).
    F. Perkins (1889), \xA3100. Halliwell Phillipps (1889), \xA324 (title
    mounted, portrait, verses, and last leaf mounted). Brayton Ives
    (1891), 950 dollars (\xA3190), portrait from fourth edition. Hawley
    (1894), \xA3205. Hildyard, 1895 (with two title-pages), \xA3280. Misc.
    Coll. (Sotheby\x92s), 1895, original calf, \xA3350.


Dibdin says of this that it \x93has little to recommend it, either on the
score of rarity or intrinsic worth.\x94 Even now the prices are not very
high, and it is only required to complete the set of folios.

The following are some of the prices that this volume has realised:--

    Richard Wright, M.D. (1787), \xA31, 1s. Steevens (1800), \xA32, 12s. 6d.
    Roxburghe (1812), \xA36, 6s. Broadley (1832), \xA32, 2s. William Combes
    (1837), \xA32, 5s. Stowe (Duke of Buckingham), 1849, \xA34, 6s. Daniel
    (1864), \xA321, 10s. H. Perkins (1873), \xA322. Beresford-Hope (1882),
    \xA324. Ouvry (1882), \xA328. Choice library of a gentleman (1882), \xA317,
    10s. Chevalier de Chatelain (1882), \xA37, 5s. (imperfections supplied
    in MS.). Addington (1886), \xA323 10s. (good tall copy). Old Essex
    library (Lord Petre), 1886, \xA331, 10s. (old calf). Earl of Aylesford
    (1888), \xA329 (14-1/4 in. by 9-1/4 in.). F. Perkins (1889), \xA314
    (portrait and last two leaves slightly repaired). Halliwell
    Phillipps (1889), \xA330 (perfect copy, in original calf). Brayton Ives
    (1891), New York, 210 dollars (\xA342). Early English Poetry (Sotheby,
    1892), \xA331. Birket Foster (1894), \xA325. Alfred Crampton (1896), \xA342
    (14-3/8 in. by 9-1/8 in.).


  _All\x92s Well that Ends Well_, _Antony and Cleopatra_, _As You Like
      It_, _Comedy of Errors_, _Coriolanus_, _Cymbeline_, first
      editions in first folio.

  _Hamlet_ (Printed for N. L. and John Trundell), 1603, two copies

      (1) Duke of Devonshire, purchased of Payne and Foss, 1825 (in
      vol. containing twelve early editions of this play), for \xA3250
      (wanting last leaf).

      (2) British Museum, wanting title-page. Bought by Mr. Rooney of
      Dublin in 1856 for small sum, sold to Boone for \xA370, purchased
      of them by Halliwell Phillipps for \xA3120. It was sold
      subsequently to the British Museum.

  ---- (L. R. for N. L.) 1604.

      (1) Duke of Devonshire. (2) Earl Howe. (3) H. Huth.

  _Henry IV._, Part 1 (P. S. for Andrew Wise), 1598.

  ---- (S. S. for Andrew Wise), 1599.

      Steevens, \xA33, 10s. Roxburghe, \xA36, 6s. White Knights, \xA318, 7s.
      6d. Utterson, \xA314. Halliwell (May 1857), \xA375. G. Daniel (1864),
      \xA3115, 10s.

  _Henry IV._, Part 2 (V. S. for A. Wise and W. Apsley), 1600.

      Steevens, two copies (Dibdin, \x93Library Companion,\x94 805), \xA33,
      13s., \xA32, 15s. Smyth (1797), \xA38, 8s. Roxburghe, \xA32. 4s. Heber
      (Part 2), \xA340. Utterson (1852), \xA317, 10s. Halliwell Phillipps,
      \xA3100--sold to Mr. Huth. F. Perkins, 1889 (Heber\x92s copy), \xA3225.

  _Henry V._, \x93Chronicle History\x94 (Thomas Creede for T. Millington &
      J. Burby), 1600.

      Steevens (inlaid), \xA327, 6s. Kemble, resold (Sotheby, April
      1821), \xA318, 7s. 6d. Heber (Part 2), \xA324, 3s.--bought by Mr.
      Daniel. Bought at Daniel\x92s sale (1864) for 220 guineas by
      Lilly. (Fine copy.)

  _Henry VI._, Parts 1 and 2, first editions in folio. Part 3 (\x93The
      true Tragedie of Richard, Duke of York\x94), P.S. for T.
      Millington, 1595.

      Chalmers (Part 1), \xA3131.

  ---- (W. W. for T. Millington), 1600.

      Steevens, \xA31, 16s. Rhodes, \xA35, 7s. 6d. (one leaf MS.). Jolley,
      \xA310, 10s. Halliwell (1857), \xA360.

  _Henry VIII._, _Julius C\xE6sar_, _King John_, first editions in

  _True Chronicle Historie of King Lear_ (Nathaniel Butter, St.
      Paul\x92s Churchyard), 1608.

      Steevens, \xA328. Dent, \xA314, 5s. Strettell, \xA315. Edwards (1804),
      \xA315, 4s. 6d. Heber (Part 2), \xA332. Halliwell (1856), \xA322,
      10s.--bought for Mr. Huth. Birket Foster (1894), \xA3100.

      There were second and third editions published in the same year
      with Butter\x92s name, but without place.

  _Love\x92s Labour Lost_ (W. W. for Cuthbert Burby), 1598.

      Dent, \xA326. Bindley, \xA340, 10s. Rhodes, \xA353, 11s. Heber (Part 2),
      \xA340 (Bindley\x92s copy); came into the possession of George
      Daniel, who valued it at \xA3200. It sold for 330 guineas at
      Daniel\x92s sale. F. Perkins (1859), \xA370 (headlines cut into, and
      last leaf mended). Thomas Gaisford (1890), \xA3140.

  _Macbeth_, _Measure for Measure_, first editions in folio.

  _Merchant of Venice_ (J. Roberts), 1600.

      Steevens, \xA32, 2s., \xA32 (two copies, both inlaid). Roxburghe, \xA32,
      14s.; resold to Jadis, \xA36, 6s.; resold to Holland (1860), \xA315.
      Heber (Part 2), \xA312. Jolley, \xA314. Utterson (1852), \xA316.
      Halliwell (1859), \xA321. F. Perkins (1889), \xA3121. W. H. Crawford
      (1891), \xA3111. Sir Cecil Domville, 1897, (fine copy), \xA3315.

  ---- (J. R. for Thomas Heyes), 1600.

      Duke of Grafton, \xA39, 9s. Bindley, \xA322, 1s. Roxburghe, \xA310.
      Heber (Part 2), \xA333, 10s. Field, \xA313, 15s. Gardner (1854),
      \xA332--bought by Mr. Tite. Halliwell (1856), \xA337--bought by Mr.
      Huth. Daniel, \xA399, 15s. F. W. Cosens (1890), \xA3270. W. H.
      Crawford (1891), \xA3111. Birket Foster (1894), \xA3146.

  _Merry Wives of Windsor_ (T. C. for Arthur Johnson), 1602.

      Bindley, \xA318. Steevens, \xA328--purchased by Malone; resold to
      Heber. Heber (Part 2), \xA340; bought by G. Daniel; sold at his
      sale in 1864 for 330 guineas to Lilly. Thomas Gaisford (1890),

  _Merry Wives of Windsor_, for Arthur Johnston, 1619.

      Roxburghe, \xA31, 3s. Steevens, \xA31, 4s. Dent, \xA38. Heber (Part 2),
      \xA37. Halliwell (1856), \xA316--bought by Mr. Tite. Halliwell
      (1858), \xA314. 5s.

  _Midsummer Night\x92s Dreame_ (Thomas Fisher), 1600.

      Steevens (part of a leaf wanting), \xA325, 10s. Bindley, \xA322, 10s.
      Heber (Part 2, very fine), \xA336--bought by Daniel; sold at his
      sale in 1864 for 230 guineas to Lilly. Brayton Ives (New York),
      1891, 725 dollars. Birket Foster (1894), \xA3122 (large copy).

  ---- (James Roberts), 1600.

      Boswell, \xA32, 1s. Roxburghe, \xA33, 3s. Duke of Grafton, \xA34, 8s.
      Dent, \xA34, 10s. Heber (Part 4, fine), \xA37--bought by Daniel; sold
      at his sale for \xA336--bought by Lilly. Gardner (1854), \xA312, 15s.
      Sotheby, 1857 (Berry), \xA321. F. Perkins (1889), \xA361 (three
      headlines shaved).

  _Much Ado about Nothing_ (V. S. for A. Wise and W. Apsley), 1600.

      Smyth (1797), \xA37, 10s. Steevens, \xA32, 12s. 6d. Roxburghe, \xA32,
      17s. Broadley (1832), \xA32, 19s. Bindley, \xA317, 17s.

      Heber, Part 2 (finest copy known, with rough edges), \xA318--bought
      by Daniel; sold at his sale (1864) for 255 guineas--Toovey.
      Halliwell (1857), \xA365--bought by Mr. Huth. Halliwell Phillipps
      (1889), \xA350 (several leaves in facsimile). F. Perkins (1889),
      \xA375 (headlines cut into). Thomas Gaisford (1890), \xA3130.

  _Othello_ (N. O. for T. Walkley), 1622.

      Steevens (with MS. notes), \xA329, 8s. Gilchrist, \xA319, 10s. Dent,
      \xA322. Bindley, \xA356, 14s.; resold Heber (Part 2), for \xA328; bought
      by Daniel; sold at his sale for \xA3155 to Lilly. William Combes
      (1837), \xA315, 5s. F. Perkins (1889), \xA3130.

  _Pericles_ (H. Gosson), 1609.

      Steevens, \xA31, 2s. Roxburghe, \xA31, 15s.

      Heber, Part 2, \xA318--bought by Daniel; sold at his sale for \xA384.

      F. Perkins, 1889 (Steevens\x92s copy, with his autograph), \xA360.
      Halliwell Phillipps (1889), \xA330 (title reprinted, and two leaves

      J. T. Frere, 1896, \xA3171.

  _Richard II._ (Valentine Simmes for Andrew Wise), 1597.

      Daniel\x92s was the first copy brought to auction. Bought by Lilly
      (1864) for 325 guineas.

  ---- (Val. Simmes for Andrew Wise), 1598.

      Steevens, \xA34, 14s. 6d. Roxburghe, \xA37, 7s. White Knights, \xA310.
      Heber, \xA34, 14s. 6d. Bright (1845), \xA313, 10s. Daniel (1864), 103

  _Richard III._ (Valentine Sims for Andrew Wise), 1597.

      Nixon (1818), \xA333; resold to Heber. Heber (Part 2), \xA341, 9s.
      6d.; bought by Daniel; sold at his sale for 335 guineas to

  _Romeo and Juliet_ (John Danter), 1597.

      Heber, Part 2 (wanting title, and cut into the text), \xA31, 1s.

      Kemble gave Stace the bookseller \xA330 for his copy, now in the
      library of the Duke of Devonshire.

  _Romeo and Juliet_, second or first complete edition (T. Crede for
      C. Burby), 1599.

      Steevens, \xA36. Roxburghe, \xA37, 10s. White Knights, \xA310, 10s.
      Heber, \xA35, 15s. 6d. Daniel, \xA352, 10s. F. Perkins (1889), \xA3164
      (headlines cut into, and title mounted).

  _Taming of the Shrew_, _Tempest_, _Timon of Athens_, first editions
      in folio.

  _Titus Andronicus_ (Edward White), 1611.

      Daniel (1864), \xA331, 10s.

      F. Perkins (1889), \xA335 (margin of title repaired).

  _Troilus and Cressida_ (G. Eld for R. Bonian & H. Walley), 1609.

      Boswell, 13s. Steevens, \xA35, 10s. Roxburghe, \xA35, 5s. Heber (Part
      2), \xA316. Daniel (1864), 109 guineas; this fine copy, with
      second title, cost him \xA350. F. Perkins (1889), \xA330 (headlines
      cut off).

  _Two Gentlemen of Verona_, _Winter\x92s Tale_, first editions in

  _Venus and Adonis_ (Richard Field), 1593.

      Malone gave \xA325 for his unique copy, now in the Bodleian.

  ---- (Richard Field), 1594.

      Jolley (1844), \xA3106 (close cut, and mended); now in the
      Grenville Library. Daniel (1864), \xA3240--Lilly; finest copy

  _Venus and Adonis_ (R. F. for John Harrison), 1596.

      Sir W. Bolland (1840), \xA391--Bright; Bright\x92s sale (1845), \xA391,
      10s.--Daniel; Daniel\x92s sale (1864), 300 guineas--Boone.

  _Lucrece_ (Richard Field for John Harrison), 1594.

      Baron Bolland (1840), \xA3105. Bright, \xA358 (top margin repaired).
      Daniel (1864), 150 guineas--Lilly. W. H. Crawford (1891), \xA3250.
      Mr. Holford is said to have given \xA3100 for his copy. F. Perkins
      (1899), \xA3200 (small hole burnt in two leaves).

  _Sonnets_ (G. Eld for T. T.), 1600.

      Steevens, \xA33, 19s.; this copy cost Narcissus Luttrell 1s.; at
      Daniel\x92s sale (1864) it realised 215 guineas. Edwards (1804),
      \xA38. Longman\x92s Catalogue, \xA330. Roxburghe, \xA321. Chalmers (1841),
      \xA3105. Halliwell (1856), \xA341--bought by Mr. Tite. Halliwell
      (1858), \xA3154, 7s.--bought by Mr. Huth.

  _Poems_ (Thomas Cotes), 1640.

      Collins (1683), 6d. Lloyd & Raymond (1685), 6d. Field, \xA32, 5s.
      Nassau, \xA33, 13s. 6d. Bindley, \xA35, 15s. Longman\x92s Catalogue, \xA38,
      18s. 6d.; another copy, \xA310, 10s. Stowe, \xA37, 10s. Bright, \xA315.
      Daniel (1864), \xA344. F. W. Cosens (1890), \xA361.


[58] Steevens\x92s remarks, given in another page of Dibdin\x92s \x93Library
Companion,\x94 are worth quoting here, more particularly as that
Shakesperian commentator gives his opinion of what was a high price
for the first folio: \x93I have repeatedly met with thin flakes of
pie-crust between the leaves of our author. These unctuous fragments,
remaining long in close confinement, communicated their grease to
several pages deep on each side of them.... Most of the first folios
now extant are known to have belonged to ancient families resident in
the country. Since our breakfasts have become less gross, our
favourite authors have escaped with fewer injuries.... I claim the
merit of being the first commentator on Shakespeare who strove with
becoming seriousness to account for the present stains that disgrace
the earliest folio edition of his plays, which is now become the most
expensive single book in our language; for what other English volume
without plates, and printed since the year 1600, is known to have
sold, more than once, for \xA335, 14s.?\x94

[59] \x93Talk about Autographs,\x94 by George Birkbeck Hill, London, 1896,
p. 69.



In this chapter some account will be given of a few of the various
classes of literature which have not previously been alluded to; but to
give a general idea of some of these books which bring a high price, it
will be necessary to be brief.

Oldys refers to the sale of a book which he supposes to have been
erroneously valued, but he was not quite correct in his statement. He
wrote, \x93The atheistical book of Giordano Bruno sold at Paul\x92s
Coffee-house for \xA330 in 1709; it has scarcely sold for so many pence

The book referred to was--Giordano Bruno, _Spaccio de la Bestia
Trionfante. Parigi_ (Londra: T. Vautrollier 1584), the sale of which is
commented upon in _The Spectator_, No. 389. The sale at which this book
occurred was that of Charles Bernard in 1711, and the amount was really
\xA328. The purchaser was Walter Clavel, and this copy was successively in
the possession of John Nichols, John Ames, Sir Peter Thompson, and M. C.
Tutet. At the sale of the latter\x92s library in 1786 it was bought by
Samuel Tyssen for seven guineas. Another copy, which had formed part of
the library of Mr. P. Le Neve, was sold at Dr. Mead\x92s sale (1754) for
four or five guineas.[61] The price has not gone down, as Oldys supposed
it would, for at the Dunn Gardner sale (1880) a copy brought \xA320, 15s.,
and another, at the Duke of Hamilton\x92s sale (1884), sold for \xA318, 10s.

There is a larger circle of bibliophiles in France than in England, and
they are more willing to pay high prices for out-of-the-way books. The
early editions of Moli\xE8re and Rabelais, like those of Shakespeare, are
sold for large sums, and early French literature generally, like our
own, has greatly advanced in price of late years.

Two instances of the great advance that has occurred may be given:--

Perrault, _Contes de ma Mere Loye_, 1697, wanting leaf of errata, a fine
copy, in blue morocco by Bauzonnet, sold at Charles Nodier\x92s sale for
112 francs. The same copy at the Duke of Hamilton\x92s sale brought \xA385.

Gringoire, _Les Fantasies de Mere Sote_ (Paris, 1516), a copy in blue
morocco by Padeloup, sold at Hibbert\x92s sale for nine guineas. The same
copy brought the large sum of \xA3180 at Beckford\x92s sale. One can
understand such high prices as these, which arise from the revived
interest felt in this kind of book, but the high price of _Le Pastissier
Fran\xE7ois_ (Amsterdam: L. & D. Elzevier, 1655) seems absurd. Such a book
can be of little interest to English buyers, although certainly Mr.
Andrew Lang grows enthusiastic over it in his \x93Books and Bookmen.\x94 In an
early edition of his _Manuel_ (1821) Brunet wrote--

    \x93Till now I have disdained to admit this book into my work, but I
    have yielded to the prayers of amateurs. Besides, how could I keep
    out a volume which was sold for one hundred and one francs in 1819?\x94

The book has greatly increased in value since then, and, as a
consequence, copies not hitherto known have come into the market. Berard
only knew of two copies. Pietiers, writing on the Elzevirs in 1843,
could cite only five, and in his _Annales_ he had found out but five
more. Willems, on the other hand, enumerates some thirty, not including
Motteley\x92s.[62] Mr. Lang himself calculates the number of _Pastissiers_
now existing at forty, and gives a good many prices to show how the book
has increased in value. A copy was sold in 1780 for 4 francs. Sensi\xE8r\x92s
copy sold for 128 francs in 1828, and for 201 francs in 1837. It was
afterwards bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet, and sold with Potier\x92s books in
1870 for 2910 francs. At the Benzon sale (1875) it fetched 3255 francs,
and was sold again in 1877 for 2200 francs. Mr. Lang further says that a
copy was marked in Bachelin-Deflorenne\x92s catalogue at \xA3240, and that
Morgand and Fatout sold an uncut copy for \xA3400. The Earl of Orford\x92s
copy sold in 1895 for \xA3100.

This is one of the very few books that are absolutely valueless, except
in regard to such value as it gains from its rarity and association with
a great firm of printers; yet Mr. Lang says that \x93there are at least
four thousand people who would greatly rejoice to possess a
_Pastissier_, and some of these desirous ones are very wealthy.\x94 This is
amazing, but I suppose it would scarcely be polite to refer to Carlyle\x92s
verdict as to what the mass of people are.

Another scarce book, which is stupid, and of no interest in itself, is
Horace Walpole\x92s \x93Hieroglyphic Tales\x94 (1785). The British Museum does
not possess a perfect copy, but it has some of Walpole\x92s own corrected
proofs bound up in a volume. The Earl of Orford\x92s copy, interleaved and
bound in morocco by Roger Payne, sold in 1895 for \xA337.

County histories vary in price, but they must always hold their ground
and sell well, on account of the value of the information contained in
their pages, which cannot easily be found elsewhere. They may be
considered as eminently safe property. The following are the prices of a
few of these:--

  Atkyns\x92s (Sir R.) _Gloucestershire_, folio, 1712. Large paper
      (first and best edition).

      Bryant (1807), \xA317, 17s. Dent (1827), \xA314, 14s. Sykes, \xA316.
      Nassau, 15 guineas. H. Perkins (1873), \xA329. Comerford (1881),
      \xA341. Beresford-Hope (1882), \xA338. Beckford (1882), \xA352.

  Aubrey\x92s _Surrey_, 5 vols., 1719. Large paper.

      Dent, \xA319, 5s. H. Perkins (1873), \xA332, 10s.

  Blomefield\x92s _Norfolk_, 5 vols., 1739-75.

      Comerford (1881), \xA3160 (illustrated). Earl of Gosford (1884),
      \xA387 (drawings by Cotman inserted). William Brice, &c. (1887),

  Drake\x92s (T.) _Eboracum_, _History of the City of York_, 1736. Large
      paper, proof-plates coloured, in red morocco by Kalthoeber.

      H. Perkins (1873), \xA325. Beckford (1882), \xA363.

  Dugdale\x92s (Sir W.) _Antiquities of Warwickshire_, 1656. First
      edition, and the only one admitted as evidence in a court of

      Bindley, \xA310, 10s. Sykes, \xA311, 11s. Comerford, \xA312, 10s.
      Beckford (1882), \xA320. Sunderland (1882), \xA315.

  Dugdale\x92s _Warwickshire_, 2 vols., 1730. Large paper.

      Dent, \xA333. Sykes, \xA339, 8s. Heath, \xA364, 1s. Nassau, \xA333.
      Willett, \xA352, 10s. H. Perkins (1873), \xA384 (red morocco by

  Gough\x92s _Sepulchral Monuments_, 5 vols., 1786-96.

      Fonthill, \xA392, 8s. Beckford (1882), \xA331. (Same copy.)

  Loggan (D.), _Oxonia illustrata_, 1675.

      Beckford (1882), \xA314 (old red morocco).

  ---- _Cantabrigia illustrata_, 1688.

      Beckford (1882), \xA311 (old red morocco).

  Nichols\x92s _Leicestershire_, four vols. in eight, 1795-1815. Large
      paper (original edition of vol. iv., part 1), russia extra.

      H. Perkins (1873) \xA3260. Earl of Gosford (1884), \xA3275.

  Ormerod\x92s _Cheshire_, 3 vols., 1819. Large paper.

      H. Perkins (1873), plates in three states-etchings, proofs, and
      proofs on India paper, morocco extra by Lewis, one of six
      copies, \xA3155.

  Plot\x92s _Oxfordshire_, 1677. Large paper.

      Beckford (1883), \xA38, 15s. (old red morocco).

  ---- _Staffordshire_, 1686. Large paper.

      Beckford (1883), \xA340, 10s. (old black morocco).

  Thoroton\x92s _Nottinghamshire_, 1677.

      Heber (part 9), \xA311, 5s. Beresford-Hope (1882), \xA311. Beckford
      (1883), \xA314, 10s.

First editions of our English classics have increased
greatly in price of late years. Many of
Defoe\x92s works are very scarce, and bring good prices.
The late Mr. James Crossley had a fine collection
of these, but his library was in such poor condition
that the books did not sell well. The British
Museum bought at his sale, June 20, 1885, the autograph
manuscript of Defoe\x92s \x93Compleat English
Gentleman,\x94 which had never been printed until
Mr. Nutt issued it to subscribers in 1890. The
manuscript remained in the possession of Defoe\x92s
relations, the Baker family, for more than a hundred
years, as Dawson Turner bought it in 1831 from
the Rev. H. D. F. Baker, the descendant of Henry
Baker, son-in-law of Defoe, for \xA369. In 1859, at
the sale of Turner\x92s MSS., Crossley bought the
book for \xA375, 8s.

  _Robinson Crusoe_, first edition, 2 vols., 1719.

      Roxburghe (1812), \xA31, 4s. Sotheby\x92s (1846), \xA34, 16s. (with
      \x93Serious Reflections,\x94 3 vols., 1719-20).

      Alfred Crampton, 1896 (3 vols.), \xA375.

      Sir Cecil Domville, 1897 (part 1), \xA345, 10s.

  Walton\x92s _Angler_, 1653, first edition.

      Rev. J. Brand (1807), \xA33, 3s. (fine copy). Hunter (1813), \xA37,
      10s. Utterson (1852), \xA311, 15s. Beckford (1883), fine copy in
      green morocco, \xA387--Bain. Gibson-Craig (1887), \xA3195 (morocco).
      Gibson-Craig (1888), \xA323 (imperfect, sold with all faults). G.
      Wood (Sotheby, 1891), \xA3310 (clean, in original sheepskin).
      Sotheby (December 1895), \xA3415.

  Goldsmith\x92s _Vicar of Wakefield_, 1766, first edition.

      Mansfield-Mackenzie (1889), \xA367. T. B. T. Hildyard (1895), \xA356
      (original calf). Alfred Crampton (1896), \xA365 (morocco extra by
      Bedford). Rare Books and MSS. (Sotheby, March 1897), \xA360
      (original calf).


Collectors have always had a fancy for these very choice books, and that
the taste has not yet died out is seen from the fact that the late
William Morris printed copies of the beautiful books issued from the
Kelmscott Press on vellum, and was particularly careful in the selection
of the skins, which he obtained at first from Italy. A complete set of
all the books on vellum (including Chaucer), forty-nine volumes, were
offered at the Kelmscott Press for \xA3650, and have been sold at that

We can understand the early printed books being struck off upon vellum,
as the printers appreciated that material on account of its use by the
scribes in the production of the beautiful manuscripts of a former age,
but it is surely infinitely more convenient to have a book printed on
good paper rather than on such a refractory material as vellum. Some
collectors have been so infatuated as to confine their libraries to
books printed on vellum, and the French Marshal Junot was one of them.
Modern books were printed for him on this substance; but when they came
to be sold it was found that the public did not care much for his books,
and more than half of them were bought in. One of the lots illustrates
in a remarkable manner the advance in prices at the present time. The
book was Longus\x92s _Pastoralia_, printed by Didot in 1802. One copy only
was pulled on vellum for the Marshal, and this volume contained the
original drawings of Proudhon, and a set of proof impressions of the
engravings. At the Junot sale in 1816 this book only realised \xA337, 10s.;
at the Beckford sale it brought \xA3900. One of the most charming of
Junot\x92s books was the Didot _Horace_ of 1799 folio, a volume which
contained the original drawings from which the copperplate vignettes
were executed. This was bought by George Hibbert for \xA3140.

Of old books, mention may be made of the dedication copy to James V. of
John Bellenden\x92s translation of Hector Boece\x92s \x93Cronikles of Scotland\x94
(1536), which was printed on vellum, and which, in a fine old binding,
realised at the Duke of Hamilton\x92s sale (1884), \xA3800.

Dibdin styled this hobby of collectors the fifth symptom of the
bibliomania, and he gave a list of the vellum-printed books in Count
MacCarthy\x92s and James Edwards\x92s libraries. In the latter collection was
a copy of Martin Luther\x92s German Bible (Augsburg, 1535, two vols.
folio), which sold for the reasonable price of \xA352, 10s. These copies on
vellum were printed at the charge of John Frederick, Elector of Saxony.

Edwards employed Bodoni to print for him six copies of the edition of
the \x93Castle of Otranto\x94 (Parma, 1791) on vellum, and his own copy, made
up with a selection of the best sheets, sold at his sale in 1815 for
\xA329, 8s.

At Watson Taylor\x92s sale Pope\x92s \x93Essay on Man\x94 (1819), printed on vellum,
sold for \xA310.

Mention has already been made of the grand copies on vellum of the
earliest productions of the printing-press--the Mazarin Bible, &c.


Good illustrated books, which are an ornament to any library, are now
high priced, and are not likely to fall in value. Such books as Dibdin\x92s
bibliographical works, Rogers\x92s \x93Italy\x94 and \x93Poems,\x94 and many other
books of a like kind, must always be a delight to the \xE6sthetic

Collections of engraved portraits have realised great prices, such as
Holland\x92s _Basili?gia_ (1618), which sold for \xA3600 at Christie\x92s in
1811; and his _Her?ologia_ (1620), which sold for \xA317 at the Beckford
sale, \xA328, 10s. at the Earl of Crawford\x92s sale (1887), and \xA319, 15s. at
W. H. Crawford\x92s (Lakelands) sale (1891); and the superb series of
Vandyck\x92s etchings, which sold for \xA32850 at the Beckford sale.

Great prices have also been paid for extra illustrated books; but it is
useless to record the prices given for them, unless a list of the
contents is given also. Grangerising has been ridiculed with much
justice, and some of the bulky works which have been produced, such as
the illustrated Bibles and Shakespeares, are instances of a very absurd
mania. Dr. Hill Burton gave an amusing and by no means exaggerated
sketch in his \x93Book Hunter\x94 of how the compiler set about his work. Now
in England Grangerising is mostly confined within the limits of
illustrating topographical works with views and historical books with
portraits, but in the United States the old plan is said to be still in


In no class of books have prices more conspicuously advanced than in the
case of bindings, and in many sales that have taken place of late years
fine specimens have been brought to the hammer; but no sale could
compare with that of the Beckford library in this respect. Good examples
of the libraries of Margaret of Valois, Maioli, Grolier, Thuanus, and
Canevari are eagerly sought after, and the following prices of some of
the choicest of these bindings will give readers an idea of the current
values of these charming books:--

  _Marguerite de Valois._ Carmina illustrium Poetarum Italorum, 1579,
      2 vols. Old brown morocco, covered with the arms and devices of
      Marguerite de Valois.

      Beckford (1882), \xA3242.

  _Diane de Poictiers._ Le Livre des Statuts et Ordonances de l\x92Ordre
      de Sainct Michel (Paris, 1550), printed on vellum. A beautiful
      specimen of the library of Diane de Poictiers, in old brown
      morocco, ornamented with the arms of Henry II. of France, the
      crescent, bows and quivers of Diana, and fleurs de lis.

      Beckford (1882), \xA3155.

  _Grolier._ I. Aurelius Augurellus (Venetiis: Aldus, 1505). Brown
      morocco, beautiful specimen of Grolier\x92s library.

      Beckford (1882), \xA3250.

  ---- Lucanus cura Aldi Romani (Venetiis: Aldus, 1515). Grolier\x92s
      copy, covered with scroll tooling.

      Beckford (1882), \xA3290.

  ---- Another copy, _veau fauve_, with Grolier tooling, \xA3120.

  _Grolier and Thuanus._ Lucanus de Bello Civili (Luteti\xE6: R.
      Stephanus, 1545). Brown morocco, covered with Grolier tooling;
      apparently bound for Grolier, and subsequently possessed by

      Beckford (1882), \xA3135.

  ---- Franchini Poemata (Rom\xE6, 1554). Red morocco, covered with
      Grolier tooling, and monogram of the Marquis de Menars on back,
      from the libraries of Grolier and Thuanus.

      Beckford (1882), \xA3230.

  _Grolier and Thuanus._ Buchanani Psalmorum Paraphrasis Poetica
      (apud H. et R. Stephanum, s.a.). Olive morocco, sides and back
      covered with gold tooling in the Grolier style, the first arms
      of Thuanus forming the centre ornament.

      Beckford (1882), \xA3310.

  _Louis XIII. and Anne of Austria._ Sainct Johan Zebedee
      L\x92Apocalypse, Myst\xE8re (Paris, 1541). Blue morocco, richly
      ornamented with gold tooling and the crowned cyphers of Louis
      XIII. and Anne of Austria, by A. Ruette.

      Beckford (1882), \xA3255.

  _Demetrio Canevari, Physician to Urban VIII._ Tirante il Bianco
      (Vinegia, 1538). A perfect specimen of Canevari\x92s library, in
      Venetian red morocco, with his device.

      Beckford (1883), \xA3111.

  _Du Fresnoy._ Lucanus de Bello Civili (Lugd. Bat., 1658). Red
      morocco, richly ornamented with gold tooling, with arms and
      monogram of H. Petit Du Fresnoy stamped on the sides and back,
      by Boyet.

      Beckford (1882), \xA384.

  _Marguerite de Montmorency, Dame de Fosseteau._ Duchesne, Histoire
      genealogique de la maison de Montmorency et de Laval, 2 vols.
      in 1 (Paris, 1624). Old olive morocco, the sides and back
      covered with the MF and device (the Marguerite) of Marguerite
      de Montmorency.

      Beckford (1882), \xA3120.

A few instances of the work of the great French binders follow, and it
will be seen that the work of no binder is more appreciated by
collectors than that of Monnier:--

  _Clovis Eve._ Coloured Drawings of Maps and Plans of places in
      France, executed in 1602 and 1603 for Henry IV.\x92s own use.
      Olive morocco, covered with fleurs de lis, the King\x92s arms
      forming the centre ornament, with his crowned H at each corner.
      A magnificent specimen of Clovis Eve\x92s art.

      Beckford (1882), \xA3375.

  _Boyet._ In the second portion of the Sunderland library there was
      a small volume in old crimson morocco (Cicero, _De Officiis_,
      Amst. ex off. Elzeviriani, 1677), which was not specially
      described, nor the title printed in capitals. It did not look
      worth many pounds, but Mr. Quaritch obtained it after an
      exciting contest with Mr. Morgand for \xA3120. The cause of the
      excitement was this: from the character of the end papers it
      was judged that the book had been bound by the French binder
      Boyet. Specimens of his handiwork are very rare, and hence the
      great price.

  _Deseuil_ (or _Du Seuil_). In the second portion of the Beckford
      library was a copy of the Leyden edition of Macrobius (1670),
      bound in red morocco doubl\xE9 by Deseuil. This fetched \xA339, while
      another copy in vellum only realised 16s.

      Here is another instance of the increased value of a copy of a
      book bound by a good binder. A copy of Montaigne, _Essais_, 3
      vols. 8vo (Amst.: Elzevir, 1659), bound in red morocco double
      by Deseuil, brought \xA3200, while another copy, bound by Roger
      Payne in red morocco, only sold for \xA312, 10s.

      A small duodecimo volume bound by Deseuil (Longus, Les Amours
      Pastorales de Daphnis et Chloe, _Paris_, 1788) was sold at G.
      Daniel\x92s sale in 1864 for \xA392.

  _Monnier._ Decor Puellarum (Venetia: N. Jenson, 1471). Girardot de
      Prefond\x92s copy, a magnificent specimen of Monnier\x92s binding, in
      blue morocco, ornamented with flowers worked on variegated
      leathers, and stamped in gold.

      Beckford (1883), \xA3530.

  ---- De l\x92Imitation de Jesus Christ traduction nouvelle (Paris,
      1690). Large paper. Citron morocco, magnificent specimen of
      Monnier\x92s binding.

      Beckford (1882), \xA3356.

  ---- Corneille, Rodogune. Au Nord [Versailles], 1760. Madame de
      Pompadour\x92s own copy, printed under her eyes in a northern
      apartment of the Palace of Versailles, in yellow morocco; fine
      specimen of Monnier\x92s binding.

      Beckford (1882), \xA3325.

It has hitherto been the fine French and Italian bindings that have
fetched the high prices, but now some of the beautiful English bindings
of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are coming in for their
share of consideration. At the Earl of Orford\x92s sale (1895) R. Wood\x92s
\x93Essay on Homer\x94 (1785), bound by Roger Payne by order of Wood\x92s widow
for presentation to Horace Walpole, sold for ten guineas. There is an
interest in this book as having fallen into the hands of Goethe when his
powers were first developing themselves, and it strongly interested
him. Robert Wood was Under-Secretary of State in 1762, and he related an
affecting anecdote of Lord Granville, a statesman known now only to the
few. Wood was directed to wait upon the President of the Council (Lord
Granville) a few days before he died with the preliminary articles of
the Treaty of Paris. \x93I found him,\x94 he continued, \x93so languid that I
proposed postponing my business for another time; but he insisted that I
should stay, saying that it could not prolong his life to neglect his
duty,\x94 adding a quotation from Homer, which may be found in Mr. Matthew
Arnold\x92s discourses on Homeric translations.


The last five-and-twenty years has seen the rise of a new taste in early
editions of the works of modern authors, and a new class of
bibliographers has arisen to describe these books.

Mr. J. H. Slater (the editor of \x93Book Prices Current\x94) has published a
useful guide to this subject, entitled \x93Early Editions: a
Bibliographical Survey of the Works of some popular Modern Authors.
London, 1894.\x94

I have taken some particulars from this book, and supplemented them with
a note of the prices realised at the remarkable sale of Mr. Alfred
Crampton\x92s collection in 1896. I have also added a few books sold since
that date.

Among the first of modern books to sell for high prices were the
illustrated novels of Dickens and Thackeray, and to be valuable these
must be in perfect condition, with the original wrappers, &c. After
these come the other books illustrated by Cruikshank, \x93Phiz,\x94 Leech, and
others, viz., Ainsworth\x92s and Lever\x92s novels, Surtees\x92 Sporting
novels--\x93Sponge\x92s Sporting Tour,\x94 \x93Jorrocks\x92s Jaunts,\x94 \x93Handley Cross,\x94

Of poets, Shelley\x92s pieces were among the first to attain high prices,
and Byron\x92s among the last.

_Arnold._--Matthew Arnold\x92s \x93Strayed Reveller. By A.,\x94 1849, and
\x93Empedocles on Etna,\x94 1852, have long been classed among the rare books.
The former was published at 4s. 6d., and its usual price now is \xA34, but
a copy has fetched \xA37. The latter was published at 6s., and is now
valued at from \xA33, 10s. to \xA36.

  Beckford, _Poetical Sketches_.
      Gaisford (1890), \xA340.

  Blake (W.), _Songs of Innocence and of Experience_ [1789].
      Engraved and coloured by Blake, in green morocco by Lewis.

      Sir W. Tite, \xA361. Lord Beaconsfield, \xA385. Beckford (1882),

  ---- _Milton: a Poem._ Engraved throughout, and ornamented with
      designs by Blake, blue morocco by Mackenzie.

      Beckford (1882), \xA3230.

_Browning._--Robert Browning\x92s first publication, which appeared when
its author was in his twenty-first year, is a great rarity.

\x93Pauline; a Fragment of a Confession. \x91Plus ne suis ce que j\x92ai \xE9t\xE9, Et
ne le s\xE7aurois jamais \xEAtre.\x92--_Marot._ London: Saunders & Otley, Conduit
Street, 1833.\x94

Mr. Slater says that there are about eight copies known, and that it was
supposed to be worth \xA340 or \xA350. A copy, with an autograph note by the
author, was sold at Alfred Crampton\x92s sale for \xA3145. Mr. Thomas J. Wise
printed a facsimile reprint in 1886, which has been used by the forger
to deceive. Mr. Slater had seen a \x93doctored\x94 copy of this reprint, in
which Wise\x92s title and prefatory note were removed, the paper was rotted
to make it porous, and the leaves were smoked to give them a mellow
appearance. Mr. Wise\x92s paper is thicker than the original, and Mr.
Slater gives a hint how to distinguish the two:--

    \x93On the final page (71) appear the words--\x91Richmond, October 22,
    1832.\x92 If the word \x91October\x92 is printed in _thin_ italics the book
    is without doubt a reprint. So far as I am aware, there is no other
    difference between Mr. Wise\x92s excellent reprint and the original
    (the paper excepted).\x94

_Burns._--The most amazing price ever realised for a modern book was
that of \xA3572 for \x93Poems chiefly in the Scottish dialect. By Robert
Burns. _Kilmarnock_, 1786.\x94 The original price of this octavo volume was
three shillings. The history of the very fine copy sold in Edinburgh in
February 1898 is traced back about eighty years by a writer in
_Literature_. In 1870 it was sold for six guineas to G. B. Simpson, of
Dundee, who sold it in 1879, with some other books, to A. C. Lamb for
\xA3124. The price of the Kilmarnock Burns has steadily advanced from \xA33,
10s. in 1858 to \xA3111 in 1888, and then it made the immense leap to \xA3572.

_Byron._--\x93Poems on Various Occasions\x94 (Newark, 1807, 8vo) sold at
Alfred Crampton\x92s sale for \xA345. \x93The Waltz\x94 (1813, pp. 27), published
without a wrapper at 3s., sold at the same sale for \xA355. Mr. Slater says
that an uncut copy has been sold by auction for \xA386.

_Meredith._--A fine uncut copy of George Meredith\x92s Poems, 1851, sold at
a sale of Rare Books and Manuscripts (Sotheby, March 1897) for \xA317, 10s.
Another copy with alterations in the author\x92s autograph (Sotheby, June
1897) sold for \xA325.

_Morris._--The beautiful issues of William Morris\x92s Kelmscott Press
advanced in price in many instances before publication, and are likely,
now that the supply has ceased, to advance still more; but they vary
very much according to the literary rank of the books. The edition of
Keats, published at 30s., was sold lately for \xA312. Shelley\x92s Poetical
Works, in three volumes 8vo, was sold at Sotheby\x92s early in 1898 for \xA38.
Chaucer\x92s Works, folio, is out of print, and was marked by Messrs. J. &
J. Leighton at \xA330.

_Rossetti._--The first printed work of Dante G. Rossetti is of great
rarity. The poet was thirteen years old when the lines were composed,
and fifteen when they were printed. The title is \x93Sir Hugh the Heron: a
Legendary Tale, in four parts. G. Polidori\x92s Private Press, 15 Park
Village East, 1843. Private Circulation only,\x94 pp. 24. A copy was sold
at Sotheby\x92s in 1890 for \xA316. Miss Christina Rossetti\x92s first poems,
privately printed at the same press, have brought seven guineas.

_Ruskin._--\x93Poems by J. R., collected in 1850 for private circulation
only,\x94 a foolscap octavo volume of 283 pages, is valued at \xA350 or \xA360.
The value of his sumptuous books, \x93The Stones of Venice,\x94 the \x93Seven
Lamps of Architecture,\x94 and \x93Modern Painters,\x94 is known to all, and when
in good condition they look their value. The original editions of the
first, 1851 to 1853, are valued at from \xA312 to \xA315. The first edition of
the \x93Seven Lamps,\x94 1849, at \xA34, and the second edition, 1855, at \xA34,
10s. The \x93Modern Painters,\x94 5 vols., early editions, from \xA320 to \xA325.

_Shelley._--The early editions of Shelley\x92s Poems and Prose Treatises
were amongst the first of this class of books to attain high prices.
Some may be noted here in chronological order:--

\x93Zastrozzi: a Romance,\x94 1810, was published at 5s. Bound and cut copies
have sold for \xA35, 15s., and \xA312, 5s. An uncut copy, in calf, fetched
\xA312, 5s. in 1890, and an uncut copy in morocco brought fifteen guineas
in 1897 (Sir C. S. Forbes).

The most interesting of these pamphlets is the one which was the cause
of its author being expelled from University College, Oxford.

\x93The Necessity of Atheism. Worthing. Printed by E. & W. Phillips. Sold
in London and Oxford,\x94 n.d. [1811] f. 8vo, pp. 13.

Nearly all the copies were destroyed by the printers, and Mr. Slater
values a clean copy at about \xA320, but probably it would realise much
more than that.

\x93St. Irvyne,\x94 1811, morocco uncut, Sir C. S. Forbes, 1897, \xA316, 10s.

\x93An Address to the Irish People\x94 (Dublin, 1812) was published at 5d.,
and Mr. Slater values a copy at \xA38 to \xA312, but one was sold at Alfred
Crampton\x92s sale, 1896, for \xA342.

\x93Queen Mab,\x94 1813, in the original boards, was sold in 1891 for \xA322,

\x93The Refutation of Deism,\x94 1814, fetched \xA333 at an auction in 1887.

The largest price, however, given for one of these pamphlets was \xA3130
for \x93\x8Cdipus Tyrannus,\x94 1820, at Crampton\x92s sale. The entire impression
was destroyed except seven copies, only two or three of which are known
to exist, but a reprint on vellum appeared in 1876. The British Museum
possesses a copy, presented by Lady Shelley.

_Tennyson._--The first editions of Tennyson\x92s Poems bring high prices,
and the scarcest is the famous \x93Poems by Two Brothers,\x94 1827, published
for 5s., and large paper for 7s. The present value of the former is
about \xA315 to \xA310.

The original MS. was sold in December 1892 to Messrs. Macmillan & Bowes
of Cambridge for \xA3480. After a facsimile had been taken, it was resold
to an American collector.

_Dickens._--\x93Sunday under Three Heads\x94 was one of the first of the
novelist\x92s works to sell for a high price. As it is a very small book,
it is not saying much to describe it as selling for its weight in gold;
in point of fact, it sells for more. Mr. F. C. Kitton gives the market
value of the various novels in his \x93Novels of Charles Dickens,\x94 1897.
The first edition of the \x93Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi\x94 sold in July 1897
at Sotheby\x92s (Jack, Halliday, &c.) for \xA38, 17s. 6d.

_Thackeray._--Thackerayana is very high priced, and the following two
instances of sales in 1897 show that the tendency is still upwards:--Two
incomplete sets of \x93The Snob,\x94 ten numbers and thirteen numbers,
1829-30, fetched at Sotheby\x92s (Parlane & Dasent) \xA389. The eleven numbers
complete, with seventeen numbers of the \x93Gownsman,\x94 sold at the
Mansfield-Mackenzie sale, 1889, for \xA325.

\x93The Fox and the Cat,\x94 final proof-sheets of a story apparently intended
for the _Cornhill Magazine_, but never published, revised by the author,
with numerous corrections and additions in his autograph, sold by
Sotheby\x92s in March 1897 (Rare Books and MSS.) for \xA345, bought by Messrs.
Smith, Elder, & Co.

The price of the first editions of Sir Walter Scott\x92s novels have been
long in rising, but good fresh copies fetch a good price now.

The most remarkable price for a three-volume novel was obtained in July
1897 at Sotheby\x92s (Jack, Halliday, &c.), when the first edition of \x93Jane
Eyre\x94 sold for seventeen guineas.

The question naturally occurs, Will such prices as this continue? but it
is a question very difficult to answer. All that can be said is, that in
this class of books there is the most uncertainty as to the high prices
being sustained.

Depreciation is a factor which must be taken into consideration, but it
is not at present very widespread. It is quite easy to understand why
editions of the classics and Thomas Hearne\x92s editions of \x93Chronicles,\x94
&c., have gone down in price, because the publication of superior texts
has partially superseded them; but one can scarcely explain why the set
of \x93Byzantine Historians\x94 should fall so much in price, for these
ponderous volumes have not been superseded. At the Hamilton sale in 1884
a fine large paper set of these \x93Historians,\x94 1645-1777, eighteen
volumes in red morocco by Ruelle, and five in calf, only brought \xA34,

Mezeray\x92s _Histoire de France_, 3 vols. folio, bound in blue morocco by
Derome, which sold formerly for \xA3105, only sold for \xA333 at the Beckford

A large paper set of Hearne\x92s Works, bound in red morocco, was bought at
Mead\x92s sale for fifty guineas by an ancestor of Meerman the
bibliographer. It continued at the Hague with Meerman\x92s library until
the sale of the latter in 1822, when it was bought by a London
bookseller for \xA3200. Pickering purchased it, and sold it to Hanrott for
\xA3500; at his sale in 1836 it was bought by the Duke of Buccleuch for
\xA3400. At Watson Taylor\x92s sale a set fetched \xA3200. At the Beckford sale,
the set of Hearne\x92s Works were all on small paper, with the exception of
\x93Camden,\x94 \x93Annales,\x94 1717, \x93Fordun\x92s Scoticronicon,\x94 1722, and \x93History
and Antiquities of Glastonbury,\x94 1722. The twenty-seven lots only
brought altogether \xA341, 10s.

       *       *       *       *       *

In conclusion, there remain two points to lay stress upon and to

(1) That price depends largely upon condition. This every one connected
with book-buying knows, but the fact is almost entirely overlooked by
those who know but little of books. Constantly when a very high price is
announced in the papers some person finds that he has a copy of the
identical book, for which he expects to obtain an identical price, and
he cannot understand when he is told that his copy is practically
valueless, because it is in bad condition.

If a book is unique, he who wants it must take it as it is, and make the
best of the missing leaves, the worm-holes, or the stained pages; but if
several copies still exist, it will be found that the price of the bad
copy bears no proportion to that of the good one.

(2) The forger is abroad whenever prices rule high. We have seen how
facsimiles have been sold as the originals, and bindings have often been
doctored, Maioli\x92s and Grolier\x92s being manufactured for the ever greedy
demand. Fortunately, however cleverly the frauds may be produced, the
expert is pretty sure to notice something that makes him suspicious, and
suspicion will soon be turned to certainty; but the public are easily
gulled by that to which they are unaccustomed.

Groliers may be imitated to deceive even the expert, but in respect to
more elaborate toolings, such as those of Le Gascon, we are safe,
because to imitate these successfully would cost so great an expenditure
of time, that the forgery would be worth almost as much as the


[60] \x93Memoir of William Oldys,\x94 1862, p. 104.

[61] Nichols\x92s \x93Literary Anecdotes,\x94 vol. i. p. 593.

[62] Lang\x92s \x93Books and Bookmen,\x94 p. 13.


  Adam the royal goldsmith, 58

  \xC6sopus (1485), 185

  Albani Missal, vicissitudes of, 75

  Alchorne (Stanesby), his library, purchased by Lord Spencer, 154

  Allen (Thomas), his library, 144

  Althorpe library purchased by Mrs. Rylands, 16

  Americana, growth in value, 221

  Anacreon, 1554, 185

  Apponyi (Count Louis), his library, 173

  Ariosto (1516), 190

  Aristoteles (1483), 185;
    copy on vellum, 143

  Arnold\x92s (Matthew) poems, 256

  \x93Arthur (King),\x94 1557, 216

  Ashburnham (Earl of), sale of his library, 174, 176;
    Ashburnham MSS., 70

  Ashmole\x92s (Elias) library, 9

  Ashwell (Rev. George), sale of his library, 119

  Askew (Anthony), sale of his library, 138;
    MSS., 141

  Astle (Edward), his library, 156

  Atkyns\x92s \x91Gloucestershire,\x92 244

  Aubrey\x92s \x91Surrey,\x92 244

  Auchinleck library, 173

  Auction, use of the word, 105

  Auction sales:
    In the seventeenth century, 104-125
    In the eighteenth century, 126-146
    In the nineteenth century, 147-178

  Auctioneer, print of, by Nicholls, 45

  Auctioneers, 37-48

  Augustinus, \x91De Civitate Dei,\x92 192

  Aungerville (Richard) = Richard de Bury, 3

  Authors, remuneration of, 2, 14

  Averages of book sales, 177

  Aylesford (Earl of), his library, 171, 176

  Bacon\x92s Henry VII., price, 94

  Baker (Samuel), auctioneer, 134

  Ballard (Thomas), auctioneer, 128, 130

  Bancroft\x92s (T.) epigrams (1639), 216

  Barnes\x92s (Juliana) \x91Treatyse of Fysshynge,\x92 216

  Barnfield\x92s (R.) \x91Lady Pecunia\x92 (1598), 216

  Barrois collection of MSS., 72

  Bateman (Lord), his library, 174

  Bateman heirlooms, 173

  Beauclerk (Topham), sale of his library, 140

  Beaumont and Fletcher\x92s works, 221

  Beckford (William), sales (1823) 158, (1882-3) 166, 175
    \x91Poetical Sketches,\x92 256

  Bedford Missal, 75

  Bedford (Francis), his library, 170

  Beloe (William), 20

  Bentley (T.), auctioneer, 118

  Bent\x92s \x91General Catalogue,\x92 93

  Beresford-Hope (Rt. Hon. A. J. B.), his library, 170

  Berri (Jean Due de), inventory of his library, 56

  Berri (Duchesse de), her library, 159

  Bernard (Charles), sale of his library, 127

  Bernard (Dr. Francis), sale of his library, 119, 126

  Berwick (Lord), his library, 162

    \x91Biblia Sacra Latina,\x92 Gutenberg & Fust, price of, 182
    \x91Biblia Sacra Latina,\x92 Fust & Schoeffer, price of, 182
    Latin version of the Psalms, Fust & Schoeffer (1459), price of, 182
    \x91Biblia Latina,\x92 N. Jensen, 183
    In English, by Coverdale (1535), 183
    Tyndale\x92s New Testament (1526), 183
    Complutensian Polyglot (1514-17), 142, 183
    Plantin Polyglot, 184
    Walton\x92s Polyglot, 185
    (Alcuin\x92s), at the British Museum, 74
    (Eliot), 222

  Bindings, sale of, 111;
    specimens of, 250-255

  Bindley (James), his library, 157, 175;
    his portraits, &c., 158

  Blake\x92s poems, 256

  Blew (Rev. W. J.), his library, 174

  Block books, price of, 181

  Blomefield\x92s \x91Norfolk,\x92 245

  Boccaccio, 190;
    Valdarfer edition (1471), 154

  Boece\x92s \x91Cronikles,\x92 translated by Bellenden, on vellum, 248

  Bohn (Henry G.), bookseller, 35;
    sale of his \x91Epoch,\x92 176

  Bolland (Baron), his library, 162

  Book-collecting as an investment, 19

  Book sales in the nineteenth century which have realised
      over \xA310,000, 175

  Book trade _circa_ 1525, 85

    Imported into England, 81
    Not to be sold at too high a price, 82
    Sellers of, 26-48

  Borromeo (Count), his library, 157

  Botticelli\x92s drawings in illustration of Dante, 69

  Boucher (Rev. Jonathan), his library, 151

  Boyet, specimens of his binding, 253

  Brabourne (Lord), his library, 173

  Bradshaw (Henry), \x91St. Werburghe\x92 (1521), 216

  Bradshaw (Henry), Notes on Dorne\x92s Day-Book, 84

  Brand (Rev. John), his library, 151

  Bridges (John), sale of his library, 111

  Bright (B. H.), his library, 163

  British Museum:
    Library of the kings and queens of England, 6
    Manuscript collections at, 67

  Britton (Thomas), sale of his books, 128

  Broadley (John), his library, 160

  Bront\xEB\x92s \x91Jane Eyre,\x92 262

  Browne (Sir Thomas) on the increase of books, 10

  Browning\x92s (Robert) \x91Pauline,\x92 256

  Bruno (Giordano), \x91Spaccio de la Bestia Trionfante,\x92 241

  Brydges (Sir Egerton), his list of book prices (1564), 88

  Buccleuch (Duke of), his library, 172

  Buckingham (Duke of), Stowe library, 163, 175;
    MSS., 163

  Buckley (Rev. W. E.), his library, 173

  Bullord (John), auctioneer, 44, 121;
    confused with Ballard by Nichols, 44

  Bunbury (Sir E. H.), his library, 174

  Burgess (Fred), his library, 173

  Burney (Dr. Charles), purchase of his library for the British Museum, 67

  Burns, Kilmarnock edition of his Poems (1786), 257

  Burton (J. Hill) on collecting as an investment, 19

  Bury (Richard de) and his \x91Philobiblon,\x92 2-5

  Bute\x92s (Earl of) botanical library, 144

  Butler\x92s \x91Hudibras,\x92 published price, 98

  Byron\x92s Poems, 258

  Bysshe (Sir Edward), sale of his library, 111

  Byzantine historians, 262

  \x91C\xE6sar,\x92 edited by Dr. Samuel Clarke, large paper, fall in price, 181

  Campbell\x92s (Colin) \x91Vitruvius Britannicus,\x92 published price, 95

  Canevari (Demetrio), specimen of binding from his library, 252

  Carr (Samuel), auctioneer, 117

  Cassano library bought by Lord Spencer, 15

  Castell (Dr. Edmond), sale of his library, 117;
    his \x91Lexicon Heptaglotton,\x92 14

  Catalogue (monthly) of books, 100

    Changes in the value of the productions of his press, 193-214
    Chaucer\x92s translation of Boethius, 109
    \x91Golden Legend,\x92 its original price, 83
    Caxtons, 137, 140;
    at Dr. Francis Bernard\x92s sale, 121

  Chalmers (George), his library, 162

  Chaucer\x92s \x91Canterbury Tales,\x92 2, (Caxton) 199, (Pynson) 217,
      (Wynkyn de Worde) 217;
    subscription for Urry\x92s edition, 100

  Chiswell (Richard), auctioneer, 43, 109, 111, 113

  Christie and Manson, auctioneers, 48

  Church books, 86

    \x91Opera Omnia\x92 (1483), 185
    \x91Epistol\xE6 ad familiares\x92 (1467), 185
    \x91Epistol\xE6\x92 (1471), 186
    \x91Orationes\x92 (1472), 186

  Clare (Earl of), his library, 166

  Clarke (Dr. Hyde), his library, 174

  Classics, _editiones principes_ of the, 185;
    fall in the price of other editions, 180

  Claudianus (1482), 186

  Clavel\x92s (R.) catalogue of new books, 93

  Cock (Mr.), auctioneer, 130, 132

  Colard Mansion, a scribe before he turned printer, 67

  Coleridge (Lord), his library, 174

  Collins (Anthony), sale of his library, 131

  Comerford (James), his library, 160

  Cooper (William), first English auctioneer, 37, 104, 117

  Copland\x92s (R.) reference to the price of books, 85

  Corser (Rev. T.), his library, 165, 175

  Cosens (Frederick William), his library, 172

  Crampton (Alfred), his library, 174, 255

  Crauford (Rev. C. H.), his library, 165

  Crawford (Earl of), his library, 171, 175

  Crawford (W. H.), Lakelands library, 173, 176

  Crofts (Rev. Thomas), sale of his library, 140

  Crossley (James), his library, 170

  Currer (Miss Richardson), her library, 164

  Cutwode\x92s (T.) \x91Caltha Poetarum,\x92 217

  Daly (Right Hon. Denis), his library, 144

  Dampier\x92s (Bishop) library bought by the Duke of Devonshire, 16

  Daniel (George), sale of his library, 164, 175

  Dante, 190;
    \x91Divina Commedia\x92 illustrated by Botticelli, 69

  Davis (Charles), auctioneer, 130

  Davis (Richard):
    \x91Auctio Davisiana,\x92 37
    Sale of his stock, 117

  Defoe\x92s \x91Robinson Crusoe,\x92 246

  Delisle (L\xE9opold), his claim for stolen MSS., 72

  Dent (John), his library, 159, 175

  Deseuil (or Du Seuil), specimens of his binding, 253

  D\x92Ewes\x92s (Sir Symonds) MSS. bought by Harley, 11

  Diane de Poictiers, specimen of binding from her library, 251

  Dibdin (Dr. T. F.), 21, 32

  Dickens\x92s Novels, &c., 255, 261

  Digby (Sir Kenelm), sale of his library, 112

  Dillon (John), his library, 165

  Domville (Sir Cecil), his library, 174

  Dorne\x92s (John) Day-Book, 84

  Drake\x92s \x91Eboracum,\x92 245

  Drummond of Hawthornden\x92s \x91Forth Feasting,\x92 218

  Du Fresnoy (H. Petit), specimen of binding from his library, 252

  Dugdale\x92s \x91Warwickshire,\x92 245

  Dunsmore (John), 109, 111

  Dunton\x92s (John) account of the booksellers of his time, 29

  D\x92Urfey\x92s (T.) \x91Pills to Purge Melancholy,\x92 published price, 99

  Dyneley (R. D.), his library, 172

  Dyson (Humphrey), sale of his books, 115

  East, destruction of MSS. in the, 55

  Ebesham (William), 61

  Edwards (James), his library, 149

  Ellis\x92s (F. S.) stock, sale of, 176

  Evans (Robert H.), bookseller and auctioneer, 34, 154

  Eve (Clovis), specimen of his binding, 253

  Fabyan\x92s \x91Chronicles,\x92 218

  Fagel (Greffier), his library, 148

  Farmer (Richard), D.D., sale of his library, 145

  Fashion in the prices of books, 17

  Fastolfe\x92s books (1459), 57

  Fielding\x92s (Henry) library, 135

  Flavel\x92s (Rev. John) Works, published price, 95

  Fletewode (William), sale of his library, 138

  Folkes (Martin), sale of his library, 135

  Fonthill Abbey sale, 158

  Forbes (Sir Charles Stewart), his library, 174

  Foster (Birket), his library, 173

  Foxe\x92s \x91Acts and Monuments,\x92 218

  Frere (John Tudor), his library, 174

  Frobisher\x92s \x91Three Voyages,\x92 218

  Froissart\x92s \x91Cronycles,\x92 218

  Gaisford (Thomas), his library, 172

  Gardner (Cecil Dunn), his library, 166

  Gellius (Aulus), 1469, 186;
    1472, 186

  Gennadius (John), his library, 173

  Gibson-Craig (James T.), his library, 171, 175

  Godolphin (John), sale of his library, 109

  Goldsmith (Oliver):
    Sale of his library, 138
    \x91Vicar of Wakefield,\x92 247

  Gordon (Sir Robert), Gordonstoun library, 156

  Gosford (Earl of), his library, 170, 175

  Gosset (Isaac), his library, 155

  Gough, Richard:
    His library, 152
    \x91Sepulchral Monuments,\x92 245

  Gramont Memoirs, published price, 97

  Grangerising, 250

  Greenhill (Thomas), sale of his library, 108

  Greenwood (Jonathan), auctioneer, 43

  Gringoire, \x91Les Fantasies de Mere Sote,\x92 242

  Grolier, specimens of binding from his library, 251

  Guilford (Earl of), his library, 159, 175

  Gulston (Joseph), sale of his library, 141, 166

  Gurney (David), his library, 166

  Hailstone (Edward), Walton Hall library, 173

  Hakluyt\x92s \x91Navigations,\x92 219

  Halliwell-Phillipps (J. O.), his library, 177

  Hamilton Palace MSS. sold to the German Government, 69, 169, 176

  Hamilton\x92s (Duke of) library, 169, 175

  Hampton (Lord), his library, 166

  Hanrott (P. A.), his library, 160, 175

  Hardwicke (Lord Chancellor), his library, 172

  Harleian MSS. bought for the British Museum, 12

  Harley library bought by T. Osborne, 13, 30

  Harriot (T.), \x91Merveilleux et estrange Rapport,\x92 219

  Hartley (Leonard L.), his library, 171, 175

  Haslewood (Joseph), his library, 160

  Hawkins (Rev. W. B. L.), his library, 174

  Hearne (Thomas):
    His remuneration, 15
    Diaries sold for a hundred guineas, 129
    Editions, original subscription, 101;
      depreciation in price, 260

  Heath (Rev. Benjamin, D.D.), his library, 152

  Heathcote (Robert), his library, 148

  Heaton (Beresford R.), his library, 174

  Heber (Richard):
    Collection of early sale catalogues, 112
    Sale of his library, 160, 175

  Henley (\x91Orator\x92), sale of his library, 136

  Henry VIII., Act respecting importation of books, 81

  Hibbert (George), his library, 159

  Hildyard (T. B. F.), his library, 174

  Hill (Thomas), his library, 162

  Hoare (Sir Richard Colt), his library, 170, 175

  Holland (Henry):
    \x91Basili?logia,\x92 249
    \x91Her?ologia,\x92 249

  Holmes\x92s \x91Life of the Queen,\x92 enhanced price, 102

  Homerus (1488), 186

  Homer\x92s \x91Iliad\x92:
    MS., 68
    Subscription for Pope\x92s translation, 101
    \x91Batrachomyomachia\x92 (1486), sold in Maittaire\x92s library, 133

  Hope (Adrian), his library, 174

  Hopetoun (Earl of), his library, 172

  Horatius (1470), 186;
    printed by Didot (1799), on vellum, 248

  Home (Rev. T. Hartwell) on MSS., 53

  Howell (John), auctioneer, 119

  Hunt\x92s (John) inventory of books (1483), with prices, 84

  Hunter (John), his library, 155

  Hurd (Philip), his library, 159

  Hutchinson (Joshua H.), his library, 173

  Illustrated books, 249, 250

  Italian classics, 190

  Jacomb (Dr. Thomas), sale of his library, 118

  James I. as a book collector, 6

  Jersey (Earl of), Osterley Park library, 171, 175

  Johnson (Dr. Samuel):
    His work on the \x91Bibliotheca Harleiana,\x92 31
    English Dictionary, published price, 96
    Sale of his library, 141

  Johnson\x92s (Michael) address prefixed to an auction catalogue, 46

  Jonson\x92s (Ben) Works, 221

  Junot (Marshal), his library, 156

  Justinus (1470), 186

  Juvenalis et Persius, 187

  Kidner (Thomas), sale of his library, 107

  Kirton (Joseph), bookseller, ruined by the Fire of London, 28

  Kloss (Dr.), his library, 161

  Knight (Charles), pioneer in the cheapening of good literature, 28

  \x91Knocks-out,\x92 dishonesty of, 124

  Lacy\x92s (T. H.) stock, sale of, 176

  Laing (David), his library, 165, 175

  Lakelands library, 173, 176

  Lang (Andrew) on collecting as an investment, 20

  Langford, auctioneer, 137

  Lansdowne (Marquis of), sale of his library, 150;
    MSS., 137, 150

  Larking (J. Wingfield), his library, 173

  Larpent (Baron), his library, 174

  Lawrence (Edwin H.), his library, 173

  Leicester (Eleanor de Montfort, Countess of), pocket lectionary
      made for her (1265), 57

  Leland (John) saved MSS. from destruction, 55

  Libraries of the Middle Ages, destruction of, 5

  Libri sales, 164, 175;
    collection of MSS., 71

  Lilly\x92s stock, sale of, 176

  Linschoten\x92s \x91Voyages,\x92 219

  Livius (1469), 187,
    (1470) 187

  Lloyd (Bishop), sale of his library, 121

  Lodge\x92s (T.) \x91Rosalynde,\x92 219

  Loggan\x92s \x91Oxonia,\x92 95, 245;
    \x91Cantabrigia,\x92 95, 245

  Lok\x92s (H.) \x91Ecclesiastes,\x92 219

  London\x92s (William) \x91Catalogue of Vendible Books,\x92 93

  Longus, \x91Pastoralia,\x92 on vellum, 248

  Lort (Michael, M.D.), sale of his library, 144

  Louis XIII. and Anne of Austria, specimens of binding from their
      library, 252

  Lucanus (1469), 187

  Lucianus (1496), 188

  Lyte (Rev. H. F.), his library, 163

  Mackenzie (J. M.), his library, 172

  Macready (W. C.), his library, 165

  Madan (Falconer):
    Account of the Thomason Civil War Tracts, 6
    Account of an historical mass-book, purchased for the Bodleian
        Library at a cheap price, 76
    His edition of Dorne\x92s Day-Book, 84
    On cost of MSS., 59
    On collections of MSS., 67 (_note_)

  Madox\x92s (Thomas) \x91History of the Exchequer,\x92 14

  Maitland (Dr. S. R.) on prices of books in the Middle Ages, 53, 58

  Maittaire (Michael), sale of his library, 132

  Malmesbury MSS. destroyed, 54

  Malone (Edmond), his library, 157

  Manton (Thomas), sale of his library, 108

  Manuscript books, prices of, 49-78

  Manuscripts in public libraries, 67 (_note_)

  Marche (Richard du), illuminator, 57

  Margaret (St.) of Scotland, her historical mass-book, 77

  Marguerite de Montmorency, specimen of binding from her library, 252

  Marguerite de Valois, specimen of binding from her library, 251

  Marshall (Frank), his library, 172

  Martialis (1471), 188;
    \x91Apud Vindelinum Spirensem,\x92 sold in Maittaire\x92s library, 134;
    original MS. copies of epigrams, sold for 3s. 6d., 1

  Mason (George), his library, 145

  Maunsell\x92s (Andrew) Catalogue of English Books, 90

  Mead (Richard, M.D.), sale of his library, 134, 139

  Meredith\x92s (George) Poems, 258

  Merly library, 155, 175

  Mezeray, \x91Histoire de France,\x92 262

  Middleton (Prof. J. H.) on MSS., 51, 58, 61, 63, 78

  Millington (Edward), auctioneer, 37, 113, 117;
    elegy, 40

  Milton\x92s \x91Paradise Lost,\x92 219;
    published price, 96;
    \x91Comus,\x92 220;
    Poems, 220

  Minsheu\x92s Dictionary, published by subscription, 100

  Moli\xE8re\x92s Works, published price, 99

  Monasteries as producers of books, 2

  Money, change in the value of, as a factor in the prices
      of books, 50, 63

  Monnier, specimens of his binding, 254

  Moore\x92s (Bishop) library, 10;
    epigrams on its presentation to Cambridge University, 11

  Moore\x92s (Thomas) Poems, profitable sale, 96

  More (Sir William) of Loseley, his library, 87

  Morris\x92s (William) Kelmscott Press publications, 247, 258;
    his collection of illuminated MSS., 73

  Nassau (George), his library, 158

  Niccolo Niccoli, book collector, 64

  Nicholl (J. B.), his library, 165

  Nichols\x92s \x91Leicestershire,\x92 245

  Nicol (George), bookseller, 34

  Noailles (Comte de), his library, 161

  North (John), his library, 158, 175

  Ogilby\x92s (John) lottery of books, 94

  Oliver (Mrs. Elizabeth), sale of her library, 119

  Omar Khayyam, translated by Fitzgerald, 103

  Orford (Earl of), his library, 174

  Ormerod\x92s \x91Cheshire,\x92 246

  Osborne (Thomas), bookseller, 13
    Purchase of the Harley library, 30
    Charge of over-pricing the books unjust, 32

  Ouvry (Frederick), his library, 169

  Ovidius, 188

  Oxford, book-sales at, 38

  Paine (Cornelius), his library, 172

  Paper, deterioration of, 24

  Papillon\x92s (David) purchase of books, 13

  Paris de Meyzieux, sale of his library, 142

  Pastissier (Le) Fran\xE7ois (1655), 242

  Paston (John), books sold by his executors to King\x92s Hall, Cambridge, 56

  \x91Paston Letters,\x92 extracts from, respecting cost of MSS., 60, 61

  Patents for books, 89

  Paterson (Samuel), auctioneer, 44, 136, 137, 138, 140, 148

  Payne (J. T.), his library, 165

  Payne (Roger), specimen of his binding, 254

  Payne (Thomas), bookseller, 33

  Payne & Foss\x92s stock, sale of, 176

  Pearson (Major Thomas), sale of his library, 142

  Pellet (Dr. Thomas), sale of his library, 131

  Penn (Granville), his library, 164

  Penrhyn (Lord), his library, 152

  Pepys (Samuel):
    On the increased price of books after the Fire of London, 28
    Subscriber to Ogilby\x92s lottery, 94
    Original published price of the Diary, 97

  Perkins (Frederick), his library, 172

  Perkins (Henry), his library, 165, 175

  Perrault, \x91Contes de ma Mere Loye,\x92 242

  Petrarca, 191;
    \x91Opere\x92 (1514), 143;
    his library, 54

  Phillipps (Sir Thomas), his collection of MSS., 73, 174

  \x91Philobiblon,\x92 editions of, 3

  Pickering (William), his private library, 164, 175

  Pinelli library, 142

  Pitt (Moses), 110

  Plato (1513), 188

  Plautus (1472), sold in Maittaire library, 134

  Plays, published price of, 96

  Plinius, 188

  Plot\x92s \x91Oxfordshire,\x92 246;
    \x91Staffordshire,\x92 246

  Poems printed in quarto, 96

  Pole (Sir W.), his library, 174

  \x91Poliphili Hypnerotomachia,\x92 191

  Pollard (Alfred W.):
    On collecting as an investment, 20
    On English book-sales, 106

  Pope\x92s \x91Essay on Man,\x92 on vellum, 249

  Porson (Richard), his library, 152

  Price (Sir Charles), his library, 165

    Vicissitudes of, 16
    Causes of increase of price, 18, 21
    Cautions respecting price, 263, 264
    Depreciation, 262, 263
    Of early printed books, 179-192
    Of early English literature, 193-222
    Of Shakespeare\x92s Works, 223-240
    Of various classes of books, 241-264
    County histories, 244-246
    English classics, 246, 247
    Books on vellum, 247-249
    Illustrated books, 249, 250
    Bindings, 250-255
    Early editions of modern authors, 255-262

  Prust (John), Canon of Windsor, 58

  Psalmanazar\x92s (George) \x91Formosa,\x92 published price, 98

  Published prices, 79-103

  Publishers and stationers, 27

  \x91Purchas his Pilgrimes,\x92 price, 94, 220

  Putnam (G. H.), his works on the history of bookselling, 26, 79

  Puttick & Simpson, auctioneers, 47

  Quaritch (Bernard), 21, 36;
    his remarkable catalogues, 36;
    catalogues of MSS., 68

  Quintilianus (1470), 189

  Ranew (Nathaniel), auctioneer, 110

  Ratcliffe (John), sale of his library, 139

  Rawlinson (Richard), sale of his library, 135

  Rawlinson (Thomas), sale of his library, 126, 128

  Reed (Isaac), his library, 152

  Rees\x92s \x91Cyclop\xE6dia,\x92 published price, 97

  Reid (H. G.), his library, 173

  Revicksky\x92s (Count) library bought by Lord Spencer, 15

  Reynbold (John), scribe, 59

  Rhodes (Hugh), \x91Boke of Nurture,\x92 220

  Richard III., Act respecting importation of books, 81

  Ricraft\x92s \x91Oriental Languages,\x92 220

  Rodd (Thomas), bookseller, 34

  Rogers (Thorold) on the prices of books, 55, 86

  Roscoe (William), his library, 157

  Rose (J. Anderson), his library, 173

  Rossetti (Dante G.), \x91Sir Hugh the Heron,\x92 258

  \x91Roxburghe Ballads,\x92 142

  Roxburghe sale, an epoch in book collecting, 17, 147, 153, 175

  Ruskin\x92s (John) plea for the purchase of the Hamilton MSS., 69;
    his Works, 259

  Russell (Rev. J. F.), his library, 171

  Russia, libraries in, bought by the yard, 14

  \x91St. Albans, Chronicle of,\x92 214;
    \x91Boke of,\x92 215

  St. Paul\x92s Cathedral library, loss of MSS., 6

  Sallustius (1470), 189

  Salmond (W. D.), his library, 172

  Sangar (Gabriel), sale of his library, 110

  Scot\x92s \x91Discoverie of Witchcraft,\x92 220

  Scott\x92s (Sir Walter) Novels, 261;
    published price of his Poems, 96

  Seaman (Lazarus), sale of his library, 105

  Seilli\xE8re (Baron), his library, 171, 175

  Selsey (Lord), his library, 165

  Shakespeare\x92s Works:
    Prices of, 223-240
    First folio, 223-229
    Second folio, 230-232
    Third folio, 232
    Fourth folio, 233
    Separate plays, 234-239
    Published price of separate plays, 94-96
    Poems, 239, 240

  Shelley\x92s Poems and Prose Treatises, 259

  Shrewsbury (Earl of), his library, 164

  Silius Italicus (1471), 189

  Smalridge (George), \x91Auctio Davisiana,\x92 37

  Smith (Consul Joseph), his library bought by George III, 136;
    his second library sold by auction, 136

  Smith\x92s (Capt. J.) \x91Virginia,\x92 221

  Smith (Richard), sale of his library, 113

  Smollett\x92s \x91History of England\x92 published by subscription, 102

  Solly (Edward), his library, 171

  Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, auctioneers, 47

  Southby (T. H.), his library, 172

  Spencer (Earl), purchase of Revicksky and Cassano libraries, 15;
    sale of Althorpe library, 16

  Spenser\x92s \x91Faerie Queene,\x92 221

  Stanley (Colonel), his library, 154

  Stationers in the time of Henry VIII., 80

  Stationers\x92 Company, 89

  Steevens (George), his library, 148

  Stevens (Henry), 21

  Stourbridge Fair, sale of books there, 117

  Stourhead heirlooms, 170, 175

  Stowe collection of MSS., 70

  Strawberry Hill sale, 162

  Stuart (William), his library, 174

  Sullivan (Sir Edward), his library, 172, 176

  Sunderland library, 12, 166, 175

  Sussex (Duke of), sale of his library, 162, 175

  Sykes (Sir Mark Masterman), his library, 158, 175

  Syston Park library, 170, 175

  Talleyrand (Prince), his library, 156

  Taylor (Baron), his library, 164

  Taylor (George Watson), his library, 158

  Tennyson\x92s Poems, 260

  Thackerayana, 261

  Thackeray\x92s Novels, 255

  Thomas (Ernest) on Richard de Bury, 3

  Thomas, the limner, 60

  Thomason\x92s (George) Collection of Civil War Tracts, 6-9

  Thorold (Sir J. H.), Syston Park library, 170, 175

  Thoroton\x92s \x91Nottinghamshire,\x92 246

  Thorpe (Thomas), bookseller, 34;
    his catalogues, 35

  Thuanus, specimens of binding from his library, 251

  Tite (Sir William), his library, 165, 175

  Tooke (J. Horne), his library, 155

  Toovey\x92s stock, sale of, 176

  Towneley (John), his library, 155;
    drawings, &c., 155

  Towneley Hall library, 170;
    MSS., 170

  Townshend (Marquis of), his library, 154

  \x91Tristan,\x92 192

  Trithemius, his objections to printing, 66;
    scolds his monks, 66

  Turner (Dawson), his library, 164

  Turner (R. S.), his library, 172, 176

  Utterson (E. V.), his library, 164

  Valerius Maximus (1471), 189

  Vellum, books printed on, 247-249

  Vespasiano di Bisticci, book producer, 64

  \x91Vigilles des Mors,\x92 192

  Vincent (Dr.), his library, 156

  Virgilius, 189

  Vossius (Isaac), sale of his library, 12

  Walford (B.), auctioneer, 118

  Walpole\x92s (Horace) \x91Castle of Otranto,\x92 on vellum, 249;
    \x91Hieroglyphic Tales,\x92 244;
    library, 162

  Walton (Brian), Bishop of Chester, sale of his library, 117;
    his Polyglot Bible published by subscription, 100

  Walton\x92s \x91Angler,\x92 published price, 98;
    present price, 247

  Wanley (Humphrey) on the sale of Bridges\x92 library, 130

  Warwick (Earl of), sale of his library, 110

  Way (G. L.), his library, 166

  Weever\x92s \x91Funeral Monuments,\x92 221

  West (James), sale of his library, 137;
    his MSS. sold to Lord Shelburne, 137

  Willett (Ralph), Merly library, 155, 175

  Wills (Howard), his library, 173

  Wimpole library, 172

  Wodhull (Michael), his library, 171, 175

  Wolf (John), a pirate bookseller, 89

  Wood\x92s \x91Essay on Homer,\x92 254

  Woodhouse (John), his library, 149

  Wordsworth\x92s \x91Excursion,\x92 published price, 97

  Worsley (Benjamin), sale of his library, 109

  Wren (Sir Christopher), sale of his library, 132

  Wycliffe, unique tracts, 221

  York (Duke of), his library, 159

  Young (Alexander), his library, 172



Edinburgh & London

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note:

Punctuation in the text has been standardised, and typographical errors
have been silently corrected. Variations in hyphenation and obsolete or
variant spelling have all been preserved.

Superscripted characters are preceded by the ^caret symbol.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Prices of Books - An Inquiry into the Changes in the Price of Books which - have occurred in England at different Periods" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.