The Dyson Perrins Collection : Part I : Catalogue of forty-five exceptionally important illuminated manuscripts of the 9th to the 18th century, a Block book, and four printed books § Part II : Catalogue of forty-six Western and Oriental illuminated manuscripts § Part III : Catalogue of fifty-nine illuminated manuscripts (catalogues for auctions conducted by Sotheby & Co., London, 9 December 1958-29 November 1962)
London, Sotheby & Co., 1958-1962
Three volumes (28.5-29.5 cm), I (9 December 1958): 107 (1) pp., frontispiece-portrait, 6 colour plates (pls.A-F), 55 p. of black & white plates (pls.1-55). Lots numbered 1-50. II (1 December 1959): 109 (1) pp., colour frontispiece (lot 58), 5 colour plates (pls.A-E), 48 p. of black & white plates (pls.1-48, some folding). Lots numbered 51-96. List of prices realised and buyers’ names loosely inserted. III (29 November 1962): 137 (1) pp., 6 colour plates (pls.A-F, with A bound as frontispiece), 64 p. of black & white plates (pls.1-64). Lots numbered 97-155. Publisher’s printed boards. - Magnificent collection of illuminated manuscripts, almost all gathered between 1900 and 1920 (33 had been purchased en bloc in 1906 from Fairfax Murray); “Already in 1908, when the Burlington Fine Arts Club held its famous exhibition, fifty of Mr Perrins’s MSS. were selected for inclusion in it” (Percy Muir, “Private Libraries, XXIV: Mr C.W. Dyson Perrins, I: The Illuminated Manuscripts” in The Times Literary Supplement, 17 February 1940, p.92). “Perrins was a collector of the vintage and calibre of Yates Thompson, Fairfax Murray and Pierpont Morgan – giants beside whom even Sir Sydney Cockerell and St John Hornby seem of human size – and one whose place such contemporary collectors of Mss as Dr Martin Bodmer, Mr William S. Glazier and Major J.R. Abbey can hardly aspire to fill… There are, indeed, fine Renaissance Mss still on the shelves at Holkham and other English and Scottish houses. It is theoretically possible that the Bibliothèque Nationale or the Bodleian or the Morgan Library might go bankrupt and be sold up; but to the extent that any department of bibliophily depends on the periodic return to the market of treasures which nowadays gravitate ever more frequently to institutional ownership, this sale, and the two to come may well prove to be not merely a landmark but a terminal” (The Book Collector, Winter 1958, pp.354-355). ¶ Very good copies.