Catalogue of the very well-known and valuable library the property of Lt.-Col. W.E. Moss of the Manor House, Sonning-on-Thames, Berks., who is changing his residence : comprising a most important and extensive collection of the works of William Blake and of books and mss. relating to him, including fine early copies of Songs of innocence and Songs of innocence and experience; the West-Tomkinson coloured copy of America; the Beckford-MacGeorge copy of The gates of paradise; the complete designs to Hayley’s Ballads (one of three known), in wrappers, uncut; a superb coloured copy of Night thoughts; a very fine A.L.s. to his brother discussing his work; the only surviving example of his relief-etched plates; and much else of great interest and rarity. The well-known collection of rare and decorative bookbindings (many reproduced or discussed in works of standard reference), including books bound for Grolier, Count Mansfield, Matthew Parker, Claude Gouffier, William Brooke Lord Cobham, Pier Luigi Farnese, Apollonio Filareto, and a large number from the library of Sir Thomas Wotton; examples of many rare binders; and a considerable collection of “Settle” bindings. Fine illuminated manuscripts; early printed books; an autograph notebook of John Evelyn; a very complete run of the Daniel Press; a collection of Persian lacquer book covers and other objects; a very extensive library of works on bibliography, bookbinding and the fine arts; etc. (catalogue for an auction conducted by Sotheby & Co., London, 2-9 March 1937)
London, Sotheby & Co., 1937
(25.5 cm), 206 pp., 38 leaves of plates (2 plates in colour, some folding). Lots numbered 1-1478. Morocco-backed boards, a collector’s binding (original wrappers bound-in). - Contains an extensive collection of the works of William Blake, numerous bindings from the library of Sir Thomas Wotton, a complete run of the Daniel press, and illuminated manuscripts. Moss was especially interested in English bindings of the sixteenth century and he wrote and himself printed books on the bindings executed for Robert Dudley and for Wotton. Most of the Blake rarities were bought by Rosenbach; “the Duke of Rutland, who was present, gave £215 for a copy of the Bible… bound for Matthew Parker (1504-75), Archbishop of Canterbury, in his private bindery at Lambeth” (saleroom report, in The Times, London, 3 March 1937, p.17). Two English bindings were bought for the Victoria & Albert Museum Library: one binding, on a folio Greek Testament of 1550, is decorated by gilt strapwork ornament and painted arms of Edward VI (now Special Collections, Drawer 20, catalogued as a Parisian binding by Wotton’s Binder B); the other was made in the bindery of the religious community at Little Gidding, Huntingdonshire (Special Collections, Drawer 17a). Cf. Strickland Gibson, “Colonel William Moss” in Bodleian Library Record, volume 5 (1955), pp.156-166. ¶ Fine, well-presented copy. No Price list.