The notable library of the late Lucius Wilmerding [other title:] Rare English literature of the XVI-XIX century, mainly first editions [Contents:] An extensive collection of color plate books, autograph letters, broadsides, association and other rare items § Part II [other title:] Rare XV-XIX century continental literature … including illuminated and other manuscripts; Renaissance and other armorial and association bindings; great Latin classics, including rare incunabula; and The Philobiblon; Montaigne’s diary; volume 1 of the first dated bible printed on vellum and other great rarities § Part III [other title:] Rare XV-XIX century continental literature … including illuminated and other manuscripts; Renaissance, armorial and association bindings; great Latin classics including rare incunabula; and a superb example of a twelfth century Romanesque bookbinding from the Benedictine monastery at Admont in Styria; other great rarities (catalogues for auctions conducted by Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 27 November 1950-31 October 1951)
New York, Parke-Bernet Galleries, 1950
Three parts in one volume (25 cm), I: (27-28 November 1950): (10) 187 (3) pp., text illustrations. 778 lots. II (5-6 March 1951): (16) 204 (4) pp., text illustrations. 662 lots. III (29-31 October 1951): (14) 240 (2) pp., text illustrations. 947 lots. Contemporary blue cloth, a collector’s binding (publisher’s printed wrappers retained). - The collector, a New York financier, “was a patrician humanist, with a bibliophilic taste both varied and fastidious” (The Times Literary Supplement, 19 January 1951, p.44). The star lot of his sale (Part II, 458) was the diary of Montaigne: this had appeared in Sotheby’s, 20-21 May 1935, when it made £780 to Wilmerding, against a representative of the Bibliothèque municipale, Bordeaux; it was bought in New York for $21,000 by the French government (Louis Desgraves, Inventaire des fonds Montaigne conservés à Bordeaux, Paris 1995, p.31). Many of the collector’s fine bindings came from sales conducted during the 1930s (Terry, Cortlandt Bishop, Schiff, Ham House, etc.), when the market for such books was uneasy; the prices achieved in 1951 were mostly double (cf. John Carter, “Mr Wilmerding’s Continental Books” in The Times Literary Supplement, 20 April 1951, p.252). Donald C. Dickinson, Dictionary of American Book Collectors (New York 1986), pp.340-341. ¶ Ink stamp on wrappers: “This book belongs to A. Douglas”; otherwise, unmarked copies. Typed Lists of prices realised loosely inserted in Parts I-II.