THORPE, Thomas (book seller). A full run of book and manuscript catalogues in 44 uniformly bound volumes. London: Thomas Thorpe, 1818-1840.
45 volumes (including an unused manuscript notebook), 8° (211 x 127mm). (Some water-staining, most heavy in vol. XIII.) Contemporary hard-grained green morocco gilt by J Mackenzie, spines directly lettered and dated, and with armorial crests in top compartment, gilt edges (a few vols. rubbed or worn). Provenance: 'The present series of catalogues comprise every one published by me from the commencement in 1818 to the present period, the greater portion of which were preserved by ... the late Revd. Samuel Butler, Bishop of Lichfield at the sale of whose library they were purchased by me, completed and sold to J.W.K. Eyton ... under whose great care ... they now appear in such excellent preservation, bound by Mr. J. Mackenzie .... Only two other complete collections are known' (manuscript note, dated 178 Piccadilly, 10 December 1840, signed by Thomas Thorpe, bound into vol. I).
AN ASTONISHING RUN OF RARE CATALOGUES from one of the principal dealers in great book collections during the earlier 19th-century. Volume I contains parts one and two of his first catalogue, A Catalogue of Books for 1818 ... to be sold for ready money only [and:] Books of Rare Occurence. Catalogue (Part II). London: 1818; together with the 1819 catalogue in two parts. Each subsequent catalogue was annual, but the number of parts steadily grew, so that a ten-part catalogue was produced over the year 1837, including a Bibliotheca splendidissima with the introductory pages on yellow paper. One part alone could contain several thousand books or manuscripts. While a few parts are entirely devoted to a single owner such as Richard Heber in 1834, or Sir Francis Freeling in 1837, most are drawn from mixed sources which are frequently named. As early as 1824, Dibdin described Thorpe's catalogues as 'never-ceasing productions thronged with treasures which he has gallantly borne off' (The Library Companion, p. xxvii). (45)