Sotheby & Co. (London)

Catalogue of the second portion of the famous library principally of fine bindings, rare engravings, illustrated books and French literature formed by the late Mortimer L. Schiff, Esq. … (catalogue for an auction conducted by Sotheby & Co., London, 5-7 July 1938) § Third and final portion (catalogue for an auction conducted by Sotheby & Co., London, 9 December 1938)

London, Sotheby & Co., 1938
Two volumes (25 cm), II (5-7 July 1938): pp.153-308, illustrations (some in colour). Lots numbered 569-1287. III (9 December 1938): pp.309-554, 41 leaves of plates, illustrations. Lots numbered 1288-2493. Publisher’s printed wrappers. - The second and third parts of the Schiff sale catalogue only (lacking catalogue for Part I conducted by Sotheby & Co., London, 23-25 March 1938). “The method of describing and presenting the books in the catalogue was a triumph for the auctioneers” (from “Bibliographical notes” in The Times Literary Supplement, 17 December 1938, p.909). The collector’s “Early English engravings and French prints in mezzotint & colour” were sold by Christie’s, 27 June 1938. Donald C. Dickinson, Dictionary of American Book Collectors (New York 1986), pp.281-282. ¶ Unmarked copies.
Subjects
Auction sale catalogues - Books - 1938
Bookbinding - Collections, USA - Schiff (Mortimer Loeb), 1877-1931
Authors/Creators
Sotheby & Co. (London)
Owners
Schiff, Mortimer Loeb, 1877-1931
Auction date
19380705
19381209
  • This collection contains

  • Sotheby & Co. (London)

    Catalogue of the second portion of the famous library principally of fine bindings, rare engravings, illustrated books and French literature formed by the late Mortimer L. Schiff, Esq., and now sold by order of John Mortimer Schiff, Esq. of New York City (catalogue for an auction conducted by Sotheby & Co., London, 5-7 July 1938)

    London, Sotheby & Co., 1938
    (25 cm), (4) pp.153-308 (8), 38 leaves of plates (colour plate C; pls.45-81). Lots numbered 569-1287 (continues the pagination and lot numeration of part 1, sold 23-25 March 1938). Publisher’s printed wrappers. - French bindings were again the chief feature of the sale: the 1522 Aldine Guillaume Budé, De Asse, bound for Marcus Laurinus, sold for £230 (now Houghton Library, WKR 16.4.1), and the fine and unusual Mahieu binding on Paolo Giovio, Vitae duodecim vicecomitum Mediolani principum (1549), made £290. The latter volume had been in the Beckford (1882, £189) and Guyot de Villeneuve sales (1900, 5,400f; about £416); it reappeared recently in the Maurice Burrus sale (Christie’s, Paris, 15 December 2015, lot 84, €133,500). Sale report “The Mortimer L. Schiff Library”, in The Times Literary Supplement, 16 July 1938, p.484. ¶ Contents loosening in binding. Unmarked copy. No Price list.
  • Sotheby & Co. (London)

    Third and final portion (catalogue for an auction conducted by Sotheby & Co., London, 9 December 1938)

    London, Sotheby & Co., 1938
    (25 cm), (4) pp., pp.309-554 (10), 41 leaves of plates (colour plate D; pls.82-121, some in colour, some folding), text illustrations. Lots numbered 1288-2493 (continues the pagination and lot numeration of parts 1-2, sold 23-25 March and 5-7 July 1938). Publisher’s printed wrappers. - The sale realised a total of £12,848 for about 1200 lots. “It serves to reinforce certain reflections aroused by the earlier [Schiff] sales. For example, it was more clear than ever that condition and binding are of supreme importance where French books of the eighteenth century are concerned” (from “Bibliographical notes”, in The Times Literary Supplement, 17 December 1938, p.808). The sale contained no less than four Grolier bindings (£150-£380); the 1536-1540 Aldine Pliny, with the arms of Cardinal Peretti (afterwards Pope Sixtus V), made £32 (ex-Hoe sale, $295), while Doni’s Lettere 1545 etc bound for Thomas Mahieu made £105 (ex-Christie-Miller sale, £92; returned to the market in the Maurice Burrus sale, Christie’s Paris, 15 December 2015, lot 55, €49,500). ¶ “Orders received by Maggs Bros Ltd” (label pasted on upper cover). Contents loosening in binding. Unmarked copy. No Price list.
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