22 - 23 March 2005
WEST, James (1704-1773) -- Samuel PATERSON. Bibliotheca Westiana: A Catalogue of the Curious and truly Valuable Library of the Late James West. London: Langford, 29 March 1773.
8o (216 x 126 mm). Near-contemporary half calf, marbled boards (joints weak). Provenance: Cambridge, Trinity College (bookplate with withdrawn stamp); A.N.L. Munby (bookplate).
PRICED in a contemporary hand. James West was treasurer of the Inner Temple and President of the Royal Society. "The sale of his library... which produced nearly £3000, was a great event; although the prices now seem ridiculously low, Horace Walpole declared that they were outrageous. Most of his thirty-six Caxtons, which included beautiful specimens from the Hareleian library, sold at five or ten pounds apiece" (de Ricci). The library also contained "a large number of works from the presses of Lettou, Machlinia, the anonymous 'Schole mayster' of St. Albans, Wynkyn de Worde, Pynson, and the rest of the old English typographers, many of which were unique copies" (Fletcher).
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