22 - 23 March 2005
COCKERELL, Sir Sydney (1867-1962) -- A collection of thirteen sale catalogues issued by Sotheby's, London, 1951-1962, offering books and manuscripts from the collection of Sir Sydney Cockerell, all with printed lists of buyers and prices, except for the sale of 10 December 1962 [but with the relevant prices in manuscript] and 4-6 April 1955 which has the price list in xerox.
Together 13 volumes, various 8o. Original wrappers; together in a blue cloth slipcase, red morocco label on back.
Sir Sydney Cockerell, the great connoisseur of illuminated mansucripts and director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge for twenty-nine years, was at the same time endowed with an unusually pronounced commercial instinct. He bought illuminated manuscripts at bargain prices or received them as gifts of the rich collectors he advised, and collected the often unconsidered but valuable scraps which fell from the tables of the great upon whom he imposed his friendship, such as William Morris, Thomas Hardy and many others. In 1951, after a fall, he took permanently to his bed, looked after by relays of admiring maiden ladies and widows (two of whom benefitted under his will), and began disposing of his accumulations by private sales and through the auction rooms. The above series of sale catalogues appears to be a complete record of his sales and provides the only record of his collections. (13)
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