22 - 23 March 2005
MALTA, Public Library -- Cesare VASSALLO. Catalogo dei libri esistenti nella Pubblica Biblioteca di Malta. Valletta: Stamperia di Governo, 1843.
Four volumes bound in one, 8o (234 x 148 mm). Contemporary plum half straight-grained morocco, flat spine gilt, marbled edges (spine a bit faded). Provenance: Sir Richard Bourke, Governor of New South Wales (1777-1855, presentation inscription).
PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR TO SIR RICHARD BOURKE on the front flyleaf, 1846. The first catalogue of the Public Library at La Valletta, now the National Library of Malta. It was founded in 1555 by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, then owners of the island which since 1800 has been a part of the British Empire (now Commonwealth). Vassallo, member of an ancient Palermitano family, was the librarian of the library. His connection with Sir Richard Bourke (1777-1855), Governor of New South Wales (1831-1837), is not known, unless the latter, during his retirement, visited Malta in 1846.
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