22 - 23 March 2005
BLANDFORD, George Spencer-Churchill, fifth Duke of Marlborough, Marquis of (1766-1840) -- White Knights Library. Catalogue of that Distinguished and Celebrated Library. London: R.H. Evans, 7 June, 1819.
Two parts in one, 8o (236 x 150 mm). Contemporary half calf and marbled boards (rubbing to spine and edges). Provenance: Henry B.H. Beaufoy (bookplate); A.L. McLaughlin (bookplate).
PRICED WITH BUYERS' NAMES in a contemporary hand, ruled in red. "George Spencer, fifth Duke of Marlborough, better known to book collectors as the Marquess of Blandford, spent enormous sums of money on his library at White Knights, near Reading In 1819, he was compelled by circumstances to part with his library (7 and 22 June 1819). Although the sale was brilliantly attended and such great collectors as Spencer, Heber, and Grenville bought liberally, the result was disapponting. The 'Valdarfer Boccaccio' which Blandford had bought against Lord Spencer for £2260 in the Roxburghe sale, now brought only £918.15s. and the buyer was Lord Spencer, who had lost nothing by waiting seven years" (De Ricci pp.77-78). Believed to be a first edition and described in the catalogue as "the only known perfect copy of this edition." Unfortunately the copy was neither complete nor a first edition. Spencer had already bought the true first edition in 1817 at the Borromeo sale.
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