LIBRI, Guglielmo (1803-1869) -- A collection of catalogues of his sales in London:
Catalogue of the Extraordinary Collection of Splendid Manuscripts, Chiefly upon Vellum. London: S. Leigh Sotheby & John Wilkinson, 28 March 1859.
Catalogue of the Choicer Portion of the Magnificent Library. London: S. Leigh Sotheby & John Wilkinson, 1 August 1859. Blogie III, col. 23.
Catalogue of the Mathematical, Historical, Bibliographical and Miscellaneous Portion of the Celebrated Library... Part the First, A-L. London: S. Leigh Sotheby & John Wilkinson, 25 April 1861. Blogie III, col. 24.
Catalogue of the Reserved & Most Valuable Portion of the Libri Collection. London: S. Leigh Sotheby & John Wilkinson, 25 July 1862. Blogie III, col. 24.
The Libri Collection of Books and Manuscripts. Prices and Purchasers' Names. London: Puttick and Simpson, 1868. Prices for the sales of 1859-1866. [Bound with:] Catalogue of the Magnificent Collection of Precious Manuscripts and Objects of Art and Vertu. 1 June 1864.
Together 5 volumes, 8o (254 x 172 mm). 19th-century half calf gilt (two lower covers detached). Provenance: J.R. Abbey (bookplates).
Libri was sentenced by the French courts in absentia to ten years in prison on 22 June 1850 for stealing books. He never returned to France, and moved to England where he brought his remaining books (see lot 578 for his French sale catalogues). In his introduction to the 1861 catalogue he wrote: "The collection about to be sold is composed for the most part of books relative to the sciences (more particularly mathematics), and their history, taken in its most extended sense, that is to say, comprising also many works of biography, bibliography, literary history, and even general literature, necessary to shed light on the march of the human mind..." Libri's health began to fail in 1869 and he returned to his native Italy. Léopold Delisle proved that Libri had in fact stolen many of the books in his library, and in 1888 the French government requested that the books and manuscripts which Libri had stolen, and then sold, be made available for them to buy back. Many of the documents were returned to France after lengthy negotiations with English authorities. (5)