HEBER, Richard (1773-1833). Bibliotheca Heberiana. London: Sotheby & Son (parts I-III, IX, X), Evans (parts IV, VI-VIII, XI), Wheatley (parts V, XII, XIII), 10 April 1834-1837.
13 parts in 5 volumes, large 8o (225 x 137 mm). Parts I-XII in 4 volumes, later 19th-century English dark green morocco, part XIII in the original wrappers (lower wrapper detached). Provenance: William Arthur Charles James Cavendish, Bentinck, Sixth Duke of Portland, K.G. (1857-1943, bookplate).
PRICED in a contemporary hand. A COMPLETE SET OF ALL THE ENGLISH SALE CATALOGUES OF THE LIBRARY OF RICHARD HEBER comprising 54,208 lots. Parts I-XII belong to the very few copies printed on larger and finer laid paper. "The Dibdinian age may be aptly said to terminate with the dispersal of the gigantic library accumulated by Richard Heber, a bibliomaniac if there ever was one... From 1800 to 1830, he purchased at every London sale... He thought nothing of securing whole libraries... When he died, his books filled two houses in London, one at Hodnet, one at Oxford, one at Ghent and one at Paris, not to speak of smaller stores at... other Continental cities. The total number of volumes in his library must have been between two and three hundred thousand, and it is doubtful whether any private individual has ever owned so large a library... The London sales produced £56,744, for books which had cost their late owner over £100,000. The market was absolutely glutted and there were practically no new buyers... The Heber catalogues, although...arranged in the most inconvenient manner, are daily consulted by every bibliographer... His series of Continental books, early Italian and Spanish works, later Latin poetry, humanistic treatises...were unrivalled... The real strength...was, however, in the field of early English literature... For thirty years he...purchased nearly every item which came on the market" (De Ricci). Part I lists the books from his house in York Street, Westminster, Parts II and III those from his houses in York Street and in Pimlico, Parts IV, V, VII, VIII and XII those from Pimlico alone, Part VI books both from Pimlico and his house in Oxford, IX and X those from Hodnet Hall near Shrewsbury where "he had built a new library which he is said to have filled with volumes selected on account of their fine condition" (Fletcher); Part XI offered 1,717 lots of manuscripts, and Part XIII books removed from Holland. Parts II (with an index to early English drama) and IV, both compiled, and prefaced, by T.J. Payne Collier, list the early English dramatic and poetic literature. De Ricci, p.102. -- [With]: Catalogue of Drawings and Prints in the Portfolio Books of Prints and Illustrated Books &c. London, Stanley, 1834. (5)