HOE, Robert (1839-1909) -- Arthur SWANN. Catalogue of the Library of Robert Hoe of New York. New York: Anderson Auction Company, 24 April 1911-11 November 1912.
4 volumes, 8o (228 x 147 mm). Plates. Contemporary vellum-backed marbled boards, upper covers with arms of J.R. Abbey in gilt at center, gilt-lettered on spine, original printed wrappers bound in. Provenance: J.R. Abbey (bindings, bookplate).
THE VERY FINE ABBEY COPY OF THE HOE SALE. Hoe wrote of his books: "Having commenced collecting when quite young, and with no definite plan, my purchases have been such as only a progressive or artistic taste and knowledge suggested" (quoted in Dickinson, p.161). "Infected by book collecting, Hoe determined to surround himself with others of like mind. In 1884 he and eight other bibliophiles formed the Grolier Club of New York... In the manner of the disposition of his library, Hoe formed a careful plan. He was appalled at the condition of some of the institutional libraries he had seen in Europe and determined that his own books should never meet that fate. Arrangements leading up to the auction at the Anderson Auction Company in New York were elaborate. The annotated catalogs were done by talented bibliographer Arthur Swann and carried a special foreword by Hoe's friend and notable collector Beverly Chew [who called the collection "the finest the country has ever produced"]... The record-breaking prices paid by the glamorous bidders were reported as news events in the daily press. George D. Smith seized top honors buying for Henry E. Huntington. He obtained the Gutenberg Bible on vellum for $50,000, the "tall" copy of the first Shakespeare folio for $13,000, and the "Book of St. Albans" for $13,000. John Pierpont Morgan was able to get Morte d'Arthur for $42,800 and Quaritch bought the paper copy of the Gutenberg Bible for $27,500 (Dickinson, p.161). The sale realized an unprecedented $1,932,000, a record held until the Thomas W. Streeter sale in 1966.
A very fine copy in which Abbey makes several marginal notes relating to the reappearance of several of the books at the Schiff sale and which he bought. (4)