MACCARTHY-REAGH, Justin, comte de (1744-1811) -- Catalogue des livres rares et précieux de la bibliothèque de feu M. le comte de Mac-Carthy Reagh. Paris: Crapelet for De Bure frères, 1815 [sale held 27 January - 6 May 1817].
Large 8o (238 x 158 mm), 2 volumes. GRAND PAPIER D'ANNONAY ISSUE. Collector's woodcut arms on titles, 2 folding engraved facsimile plates, including one printed in red (Cremer's rubrication inscriptions in the Royal Library's copy of the Gutenberg Bible). With the printed price-list (1817) bound at the end of volume 2 and Debure's fixed-price catalogue (1817) of the books that did not reach their reserves in the sale. (Without the printed schedule of sale dates 1816, or the 1822 catalogue of unsold lots.)
BOUND IN VIENNA FOR ARCHDUKE KARL: contemporary red straight-grained half morocco over glazed orange paper boards, flat spines gold-tooled and lettered in compartments, the Archduke's initials CL in top compartment, yellow edges, blue marbled endpapers. Provenance: Archduke Karl-Ludwig, Duke of Teschen (1771-1847, Field Marshal General, victor at the battle of Aspern against Napoleon), adopted son of Duke Albrecht von Sachsen-Teschen, from whom he inherited all the art collections (now the Albertina Museum), his initials tooled on spine, the Sachsen-Teschen press-mark label inside front covers -- Arthur Rau, Paris bookseller (see The Book Collector 1960, p. 196) -- H.P. Kraus, New York bookseller (booklabel), sold to Hardy Grieb, who presented the catalogue to the Breslaueriana.
ONE OF ONLY SIX COPIES PRINTED ON LARGE PAPER (see the Debure family sale catalogue 1853, lots 1818 and 1820 "en très-grand papier"). MacCarthy-Reagh's was one of the finest and most bibliophile libraries ever formed, including the largest collection of vellum printing in private hands (over 800 volumes). The sale contained the Gaignat-Girardot copy of the Gutenberg Bible on vellum (now in the Grenville Collection at the British Library), both Mainz Psalters and too much else to summarize. Only the La Vallière collection and sale of a generation earlier were comparable in importance. The catalogue was compiled from hasty notes taken by the Debures in Toulouse and from the late count's own slips. MacCarthy's heirs instructed them to attempt an en-bloc sale to "quelque amateur assez riche et assez éclairé." William Cavendish, sixth Duke of Devonshire then put in a bid of £20,000, which was declined; two years later the auction realized a total of just over £16,000. IN VERY FINE CONDITION.