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The great size of the library made the task of dividing it into four parts, each representative of all classes of books, extremely difficult and tedious; and for the same reason it became necessary to use the utmost reticence in descriptions and notes. While it is not supposed that the catalogue is entirely free from errors, it is believed that it will be found far more accurate than the ordinary sales catalogue and will for many years prove to be a valuable work of reference.
To all collectors of rare books it may be pointed out that this sale affords opportunities which will seldom and in some instances never again occur. The great libraries of the world are rapidly securing the extremely rare books, where they always remain, and collectors will, to again use the words of Mr. Hoe's preface, be "seeking the unattainable."
It is impossible to present any adequate synopsis of the features of a library, of which nearly all the books would be "features" of a less important collection. We only offer a brief and imperfect classification and name a few of the many representative works of each class.
MANUSCRIPTS: The manuscripts form one of the richest and most interesting sections of the Library, numbering over 250 entries, of which about 80 are illuminated Horæ. They represent specimens of the various schools, styles and periods, and broadly illustrate the Art of Manuscript Illumination. Ranging from a Twelfth Century Codex of Bede's Commentaries and a remarkable Thirteenth Century Josephus, to the more modern caligraphers, as, for instance, Nicolas Jarry, they include examples of the schools of Hans Memling, Jehan Foucquet, Mantegna and Geoffroy Tory. Of special significance are the famous Pembroke Horæ, executed in England about 1440; the superb Missal of Charles VI; the Horæ made for Anne of Beaujeu, daughter of Louis XI; the Ovid executed for Anne de Bretagne, wife of Louis XII, and the Touranian Missal. Almost without exception they are in immaculate condition.
BINDINGS: As Mr. Hoe was particularly interested in the Art of Bookbinding, this department is naturally one of surpassing interest. Not only are all the great binders of recent times represented, but there is a remarkable array of the work of the earlier masters, many rich in the interest of past ownership and other associations.
Foremost in importance are the volumes bound for that distinguished lover of books Jean Grolier, the dates.
ranging between 1516 and 1552. There are several bindings of great historical interest, produced chiefly at Lyons and Paris, for Francis I, Henry the Dauphin, Henry II and Diana of Poictiers, while the remarkable Guicciardini, bound for Henry III of France, is of unusual importance. The famous collectors, Thomas Maioli and Demetrio Canevari, are represented, and there are a large number of Venetian bindings, many with the familiar geometrical designs, some with polychromatic strap-work. Richly ornamental bindings by Nicolas and Clovis Eve, Le Gascon and Monnier, are also worthy of special mention. A feature of the collection is the large number of bindings by, or attributed to, Padeloup and Derome, and books in Eighteenth Century red morocco with the Arms of Kings, Great Book Collectors, and "Femmes Bibliophiles." The English Bindings include a remarkable specimen of early deerskin (the "Bede" above mentioned), an example by Reynes, books bound for Queen Elizabeth, and Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Charles I and other English Kings and Queens, not forgetting that most original binder Roger Payne; there are also several charming Embroidered Bindings in fine state of preservation and a number of German Repoussé and Dutch Tortoise-shell bindings. Numerous beautiful examples of the delicate work of Bauzonnet, Trautz, Cuzin, Capé, Lortic, Chambolle-Duru, and others are to be found, while inlaid and mosaic specimens from the (Grolier) Club Bindery appear throughout the whole collection.
INCUNABULA: Pre-eminent among Printed Books is the Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed from movable type -probably the last vellum copy that will ever be offered for sale. The Catholicon, the second and only other known book printed by Gutenberg, is also in the collection, as well as examples from the presses of Fust and Schoeffer. From Mainz printing spread through Germany (Strasburg, Augsburg, Cologne, Nuremberg and other cities being well represented in the collection) to Italy, and examples are found from the presses of Ulrich Han and Sweynheim & Pannartz, including the Lactantius, the first known book printed in Italy (Subiaco).
There are no less than twelve books printed by Nicolas Jenson in his most beautiful type, six of which are on vellum, and attention should be called to the fact that this collection, which comprises over 150 Incunabula, contains sixteen examples printed on vellum. Mention should also
be made of the first printed editions of Homer, Euclid and other Classics, the Lascaris, the first book printed in Greek, and that masterpiece of the Aldine Press-the Poliphili Hypnerotomachia of Francesco Colonna. Several of the splendid Chronicles and Romances issued by the early Paris presses are found here, including the only known copy of the Mediæval Romance, Cleriardus et Meliadice, on vellum, the famous Mer des Histoires of Verard, and the earliest known edition of the Romaunt de la Rose.
As will be seen from the catalogue, there is a remarkable collection of Printed Horæ, numbering more than 75 examples, including a beautiful specimen by Geoffroy Tory, all of which are in fine condition, mostly printed on vellum and many illuminated; also many books from the later Continental Presses, including a large number of Elzevirs, while the Collection of 465 Books of Emblems contains many of great rarity.
The Dutch cities, Antwerp and Bruges, are also represented, including a volume from the press of Colard Mansion, Caxton's master. There are four examples from England's first printer, William Caxton, including the only perfect copy known of Malory's Morte D'Arthur, in remarkably fine state of preservation. From Wynken de Worde there is a "Communycaycon" undescribed by bibliographers and the only known copy of Helyas, Knight of the Swanne, said to be the only book from this press on vellum. The library also contains two books by the unknown printer of St. Albans, including a fine copy of the Book of St. Albans-the first English book on Hawking and the first book in which the cuts were printed in colorsand the rare Nova Statuta printed by William Machlinia in 1482. From the press of Richard Pynson are the Chirche of euyll men and women, 1511, of which the only other known copy is in the Bodleian Library; the Froissart of Sir John Bourchier, 1525, and Lydgate's Historie of Troye, 1573.
EARLY ENGLISH LITERATURE: This is another most remarkable section of the Library and one which will appeal to all English-speaking people. Commencing with Caxton's Chaucer of 1477-78, we find the original private edition of Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book of 1569, of which only one other copy is known; Sidney's Arcadia, 1590, and the rarest of Spenser's Works, including the Faerie Queene in the First edition. Shakespeare is represented by no less than fifteen quartos, including the Hamlet of 1611 and Troilus and Cressida, also a magnificent copy of Venus and Adonis.
in the original vellum, while there is a fine set of the Four Folios, as well as a second copy of the Second Folio, and three variations of the Third Folio. The rarest works of other contemporary Poets and Dramatists, as well as the Poets of the Restoration, are found, including Ben Jonson, Chapman, Shirley, Marlow, Middleton, Brathwaite, Skelton, Herrick, Suckling, Wycherley (with the author's autograph inscription), Dryden, Congreve, Defoe, Pope, and very many others. There are also George Herbert's The Temple (one of only two copies known without date), the Earl of Stirling's Recreations with the Muses, with portrait; the Earl of Surrey's Poems, the first edition of Walton's Angler, 1653, and two issues of the First Edition of Milton's Paradise Lost, and a great number of similar rarities.
LATER ENGLISH LITERATURE: All the favorite authors are here represented and mostly in the finest possible state. They include the First Edition of Gray's Elegy, a presentation copy in the original binding of Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield, and uncut copies of the Deserted Village and the Haunch of Venison; an uncut copy of the Kilmarnock Burns and a presentation copy of the Poems of 1793; four of the original productions of William Blake, including the Milton, of which only two other copies are known; the first edition of Keats' Endymion, with a letter from the poet to Fanny Brawne, and a series of original editions of Shelley, including the Queen Mab.
AMERICANA: The field of early Americana is fully covered, including the first and extremely rare editions of the four voyages of Vespucci, 1504; four editions of the Letter of Columbus, 1493; De Bry's Grand Voyages in Latin, 1590; early or first editions of Champlain, Peter Martyr, Richard Eden, Hakluyt and the Voyages of the English Navigators.
There is a remarkably fine copy of John Winthrop's Declaration between the English and the Narrowgansetts, 1645, from the first press in North America, of which only three other copies are known, all in public libraries. Smith's Virginia is on large paper with both portraits and the engraved title in the first state, and with the arms of James I and the Duchess of Richmond quartered on the binding. Of New York interest are the uncut copy of Denton's New York, the first New York Directory, and the New York Charter of 1719, printed by Bradford; Filson's Kentucky with the map in perfect condition, of which not
more than six copies are known; Smith's Advertisement for Planters, 1631; Thomas' Pensilvania, 1628; Wood's New England's Prospect; Eliot's Indian Tracts; Franklin's Cato Major; an uncut copy of Mason's Pequot War, and others of equal importance.
In the later period will be found Longfellow's OutreMer, with the original wrappers preserved and an autograph letter from the author relating to it; Hawthorne's Fanshawe; Lowell's Pioneer; Bryant's Embargo; and the writings of Irving, Holmes, Poe, Whittier, Emerson and others, all first editions.
FRENCH BOOKS constitute in point of actual numbers the largest section of the whole library and number nearly 5,000 titles. There are a large number of first and other early Editions of the French Classical authors, while the beautiful Eighteenth Century Illustrated Books cannot fail to attract attention. As would naturally be expected from the fact that Mr. Hoe was a member of the Société des Amis des Livres, he was especially interested in modern French works. A large number of these books, as may be seen from the Catalogue, are Limited Editions printed on special paper, the plates in several states, while many contain the original Water-Color Drawings used for the production of the Illustrations. Moreover, they are almost all most sumptuously bound "in their redolent crushed levant.'
AUTOGRAPHS AND MANUSCRIPTS: One of the letters from Robert Burns to "Clarinda " and the manuscripts of three poems, one unpublished; the manuscript of Scott's Life of Swift, and an important letter relating to Napoleon; a document signed by Oliver Cromwell; a full letter in the hand of Cardinal Richelieu; a letter from Sterne mentioning Tristram Shandy; a letter from Carlyle on the American Civil War; a letter from David Garrick and one from Horace Walpole; the signatures of Killigrew and Congreve; some remarkable manuscripts of Washington Irving, including extracts from Washington's Diary, the manuscript of his Life of Oliver Goldsmith and his revised copy for the 1853 edition of Knickerbocker's History of New York.
The above very imperfect summary includes a number of important works which do not appear in the first Catalogue. Part I comprises only about one-fourth of the library and it is proposed to hold three additional sales, the dates of which will be announced hereafter.