22 - 23 March 2005
ROXBURGHE, John Ker, third Duke of -- G. and W. NICOL. A Catalogue of the Library of the late John Duke of Roxburghe. London: W. Bulmer for Robert Evans, 18 May 1812.
8o (233 x 147 mm). Contemporary English russia, decorated in blind and gilt (joints worn). Provenance: John S. Pakington (armorial bookplate); Charles Lilburn (armorial bookplate).
A fine copy of the auction catalogue of the most famous English sale, PRICED WITH BUYERS' NAMES in a contemporary hand. Strongest in early printing, including fifteen Caxtons and the celebrated Valdarfer Boccaccio, "the sale was a sensational affair and the total of £23,341 was an extraordinary one for the time. Dibdin has scribbled reams of enthusiastic literature on the smallest incident of each daily session. The success of the auction, as we see it now, was obviously due to the competition of three wealthy buyers, Lord Spencer, the Marquess of Blandford and the Duke of Devonshire...the greatest event of all was the purchase by the Marquess of Blandford, of the celebrated "Valdarfer Boccaccio" (1471) for £2260, a record price which remained unequalled until the sale of the Syston Park 1459 Psalter, in 1884. The Roxburghe Club was inaugurated in commemoration of the sale of this famous volume" (De Ricci). Blogie III, col. 14; De Ricci, p. 71-72.
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