22 - 23 March 2005
RATCLIFFE, John (d. 1776) -- Bibliotheca Ratcliffiana. A Catalogue of the Elegant and truly Valuable Library... Which will be Sold by Auction, By Mr. Christie... London: (James) Christie, 27 March 1776.
8o (202 x 125 mm). (A few repairs at inner margin of title-page). 19th century half calf, green embossed cloth covers, spine gilt, speckled edges (spine faded, edges and joints rubbed). Provenance: Duke of Bedford (bookplate).
Ratcliffe, who kept a chandler's shop in Southwark, became an ardent book collector after taking to reading the pages of the books he used to wrap up the materials of his trade. His library contained early editions of English romances, divinity, poetry, and chronicles and had several Caxtons and other "black letter" books.
WEST, James (1704-1773) -- Bibliotheca Westiana: A Catalogue of the Curious and truly Valuable Library of the late James West... London: Mess. Langford, 29 March 1773. 8o. (189-192 mispaginated.)
West's collection was rich in early English printed books, included several Caxtons, and works from the presses of Lettou, Machlinia, Pynson, Wynkyn de Worde, and others. Beginning on 29 March and lasting for 24 days, the sale totalled almost £3,000.
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