London, South Kensington
9 June 2015
ASKEW, Anthony (1722-1772) – Bibliotheca Askeviana. Sive Catalogus Librorum rarissimorum Antonii Askew, M.D. London: S. Baker & G. Leigh, 1775. 8° (211 x 129mm). (Light marginal browning, one or two spots.) Contemporary crimson morocco, single gilt fillet on sides, flat spine ruled in gilt (extremities rubbed).
PRICED IN A CONTEMPORARY HAND THROUGHOUT. In the preface to the catalogue, Askew's library is described as ‘the best, rarest and most valuable Collection of Greek and Latin Books that were ever sold in England.’ De Ricci describes Askew's achievements in the medical field being ‘quite eclipsed by his proficiency as a classical scholar.' He attempted to acquire a complete series of all the Greek classics ever published, and privately purchased the Greek manuscripts of R. Mead. ‘His sale...was a great success and was attended by the Paris bookseller Debure, who bought for the Duc de La Vallière and other French collectors’ (De Ricci). Askew's book auction included a significant number of books printed on vellum; his manuscripts were sold a decade later. De Ricci, pp. 52-53; Munby & Coral, pp. 73 and 83.
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