• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2011

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    12 June 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 63

    WILSON, James (1742-1798), Signer (Pennsylvania). ADDISON, Joseph and Richard STEELE. The Spectator. Volume the Sixth. London: Jacob and Richard Tonson, 1757.

    Price Realised  

    WILSON, James (1742-1798), Signer (Pennsylvania). ADDISON, Joseph and Richard STEELE. The Spectator. Volume the Sixth. London: Jacob and Richard Tonson, 1757.

    8o (7 7/8 x 4¾ in). Vol. 6 (only, of 8). Engraved vignette on titlepage. (Some stains to a few leaves). Contemporary speckled sheep, covers gilt-ruled, spine gilt with red morocco gilt-lettered label. (Board edges a bit darkened, joints cracked). Quarter morocco gilt protective slipcase.

    SIGNER JAMES WILSON'S COPY OF AN ENGLISH JOURNALISTIC CLASSIC. Boldly signed "James Wilson" in ink in blank portion of title. Tonson's 1757 complete edition of the Spectator, was intended as a deluxe typographical production. Finely printed on heavy paper and embellished with vignettes by skilled engravers, it is a reflection of the enduring public regard for Addison and Steele's 555 daily papers (published from March 1711 to December 1712; 80 issues added in 1714). Wilson, educated in Scotland before emigrating to the U.S., taught Latin and English literature at the College of Philadelphia before taking up a legal career and becoming involved in the independence movement. In light of his own politics, Wilson no doubt appreciated the Whig political orientation of The Spectator. He was named Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by Washington in 1789. No other book from Wilson's library has been offered at auction since 1982.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR