21 March 2005
RICHARDUS DE BURY (1281-1345, Bishop of Durham). Philobiblon sive de amore librorum, et institutione bibliothecae. Accessit appendix de manuscriptis Oxoniensibus. Edited by Thomas James (1573?-1629). Oxford: Joseph Barnes, 1599.
Chancery 4o (197 x 136 mm). Collation: *4 (title, editor's dedication to Thomas Bodley, author's life extracted from Bale); A-H4 (Philobiblon, H4 blank); I4 (James's list of authors in Oxford manuscripts). Typographical title-vignette and head- and tail-pieces, ornamental initials. Contemporary English vellum binding (repair to back cover); quarter-morocco folding case. Provenance: Henry Trotter (armorial bookplate, purchase inscription dated 4th February 1695, cost ninepence) -- Harold Greenhill (bookplate, typed letter signed addressed to him by William Jackson, Houghton Library) -- H. Bradley Martin (Sotheby's New York, 14 June 1990, lot 3611).
FIRST ENGLISH EDITION OF THE FIRST MONOGRAPH ON BIBLIOPHILY; an earlier issue of the same edition, dated 1598, is recorded in an unique copy at the Bodleian Library (STC 958.5), which omits the dedication and appendix. The text was edited for the first time from the collation of various manuscripts by Thomas James of New College, Oxford, who dedicated the book to Sir Thomas Bodley. He was an outstanding paleaographer and became Bodley's first librarian in 1602. James's appendix to Philobiblon constitutes the second published catalogue of an English library (preceded only by Matthew Stoke's 1574 catalogue of manuscripts in Cambridge University Library); but it is certainly the first 'union' catalogue ever attempted, listing as it does 373 authors of manuscripts in Oxford collections. It was followed the next year by a more complete list of manuscripts in Oxford and Cambridge, published in James's Ecloga Oxonio-Cantabrigiensis. IN VERY FINE CONDITION, as books from the Trotter collection almost invariably are. STC 959; Pforzheimer 21.
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