Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
MORRIS, William (1834-96). Catalogue of the library of William Morris at Kelmscott House. Hammersmith, 1890-91.
MORRIS, William (1834-96). Catalogue of the library of William Morris at Kelmscott House. Hammersmith, 1890-91.

Details
MORRIS, William (1834-96). Catalogue of the library of William Morris at Kelmscott House. Hammersmith, 1890-91.

2o (325 x 200 mm). Partly AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT on paper (watermarked Fellows 1882 and G.C. & Co. 1888), 92 foliated leaves, written on rectos only: ff. 1-73 (entries 1-949) by Morris's elder daughter Jenny in pencil, ff. 74-91 by Morris himself in ink (entries 950-973 [recte 1057, as he duplicates the use of numbers 890-973 without noticing], f. 93 by Jenny Morris in ink (8 additional unnumbered entries), f. 92 left blank. The first page of an invoice from Bernard Quaritch, dated 31 March 1890, bound in front. (Final leaf foxed.)

BOUND BY KATHARINE ADAMS AT BROADWAY, WORCESTERSHIRE 1911 FOR SYDNEY COCKERELL: niger-backed vellum, top compartment of spine finely lettered in gilt, cut-out signature of William Morris mounted inside back cover. Original cloth slipcase. Provenance: Sir Sydney Cockerell (Morris's secretary, manuscript collector, director of the Fitzwilliam Museum), inscribed by him on front free endpaper "Sydney C. Cockerell given me by Mrs. Morris after her husband's death", on front pastedown: "This catalogue of the library of William Morris at Kelmscott House, Upper Mall, Hammersmith was begun in 1890 by his elder daughter Jenny and was continued in the same year and in 1891 (ff. 72-91) by Morris himself. In 1892 (Nov.) I was employed to make a more elaborate catalogue of the manuscripts and incunabula, and this list does not contain the numerous books acquired by Morris in the last five years of his life"; his autograph note on the binding on back pastedown, and his note on the otherwise blank f. 92 concerning Morris's copy of Gerard's Herball colored by Wilfrid Blunt and given by him to Cockerell -- Heinrich Eisemann, London bookseller (bought by him at the Cockerell sale, Sotheby's 10 December 1956, lot 88) -- Major J.R. Abbey (bookplate), bought from Eisemann the next day, T.L.s. from the dealer laid in, as well as an A.L.s. from Cockerell, dated 8 Dec. 1956, referring to an American bookseller [H.P. Kraus] in response to an inquiry from Abbey about Cockerell's medieval MSS; acquired by B.H. Breslauer from Abbey's widow in 1970.

THE MOST EXTENSIVE MANUSCRIPT CATALOGUE EXTANT OF WILLIAM MORRIS'S IMPORTANT LIBRARY. It is preceded by an 18-leaf catalogue of c. 1876 (PML 1976 exhibition cat. no. 1), partly in Morris's hand and partly in that of his younger daughter, May (now in the Paul Mellon Collection, Yale Center for British Art). The catalogue by Cockerell, to which he refers in his note on the pastedown, apparently never progressed very far, as only 10 leaves of rough notes seem to have survived, of which the best known is his attempt to list the woodcuts in the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle (John M. Crawford, Jr. Collection, Pierpont Morgan Library, 1976 cat. no. 4). Morris's continuation of Jenny's catalogue to some extent represents current acquisitions. More than 125 incunables are listed, which Morris marked with a single X, other early continental books were marked with XX, later continental and English book with XXX.

The binding by Katharine Adams (1862-1952) is an early example of her work. Her father had been at school with Morris and she was a friend of the Morris daughters from childhood. She was a pupil of Sarah Prideaux and Douglas Cockerell before setting up independently, continuing until 1947. Sydney Cockerell was one of her earliest and most frequent patrons. The MS was shown at the Morris Centenary Exhibition, Victoria & Albert Museum 1934; the Pierpont Morgan Library's 1976 Morris exhibition (no. 2 and pl. I in P. Needham's catalogue); the same library's 1996 Morris exhibition (centenary of his death); the Grolier Club's Morris exhibition 1996/97.
;

More from Bibliotheca Bibliographica Breslaueriana, The First Portion:

View All
View All