Prague, Barbara Elsenwanger for Anton Petzold, 1797
A description of the painted decoration of the so-called “philosophy library” of Strahovský Klášter, the Premonstratensian monastery on the Petřín hill in Prague, written by its Abbot, who had contracted the work in 1793. The frontispiece is a view of the hall (32m long, 10m wide, 14m high) showing its imposing walnut bookcases and a portion of the ceiling, painted in 1794 by Franz Anton Maulbertsch assisted by Martin Michl. An edition of the work in Latin was also published by Petzold in 1797. Our German version is a scarce book: only eight copies can be located (a copy once in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, is reported lost).
Nuremberg, In der Grattenauerischen Buchhandlung (Ernst Christoph Grattenauer), 1799
Only edition of this work celebrating the treasures of Bamberg, commencing with a classified bibliography of publications about the city, an historical outline, a list of the productions of the local mint, accounts of the contemporary civic administration and state of commerce (including the papermaking, printing, book and print-selling trades). The author then turns eagerly to his principal subject, the “Kostbarkeiten” preserved within the churches and monasteries of Bamberg, by its university, and other secular institutions. Murr is interested particularly in the printed books in the Bamberg libraries: he tells us that the Dominicans possessed 214 incunables (a dozen are described) and the Carmelites 469 incunables (nearly one hundred are described). In a lengthy appendix, Murr lists the books he believes were printed at Bamberg during the fifteenth century, commencing with Ulrich Boner’s Der Edelstein, printed by Albrecht Pfister, on 14 February 1461 (Murr examined the copy at Wolfenbüttel, still the only one known: “Das Papier ist stark, nicht sonderlich weisz, und hat den Ochsenkopf zum Zeichen”); then the thirty-six line Bible, noting inter alia “P. Alexander bey den Capuzinern in Bamberg, hat neun Pergamentblätter von dieser angeblich Pfisterischen Bibel gesammlet” and “Auch ich hatte Fragmente davon von alten Einbänden” (p.261). This book is rare outside Germany: two copies are located in the United Kingdom by COPAC, and three copies only (Library of Congress, University of Chicago, Florida State University) in North America by the National Union Catalog and WorldCat.
Three volumes (27 cm), I (1897): xiii, 602 pp. Entries 1-2386. II (1905): xviii, 593 pp. Entries 2387-3888. III (1909): viii, 653 (4) pp. Entries 3889-5394. Uniformly bound in contemporary half-morocco. - Pellechet-Polain is an incompleted union catalogue of incunabula in French libraries. The remainder of the alphabet (authors Gregorius IX - Zutphania, entry nos. 5395-11,887) was not issued until 1970 (in 23 volumes, a facsimile of Louis Polain’s manuscript). ¶ Leather decaying, joints cracked, but still sound.
Offered with Bibliothèque nationale (France), Catalogue des incunables. Tome 2: H - Z et Hebraica. Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, 1981-1985. Four volumes (27 cm), as issued, in publisher’s printed wrappers. - The BnF’s “Catalogue des incunables” is an authoritative guide to one of the three great collections of fifteenth-century printed books (approximately 8500 editions in 12,000 copies). The editors commenced with the letter H, since the Library’s copies of authors A-G were recorded by Pellechet & Polain. They afterwards turned to the earlier part of the alphabet, and three more fascicules (Tome 1, Fasc. 1-3) have been published 1992-2006; those fascicules can be supplied on request. ¶ Fine copies.
New York, American Institute of Electrical Engineers, 1909
Two volumes (24.5 cm), I: vii (1), 504 pp., frontispiece-portrait (tissue guardsheet present). II: 475 (1) pp., frontispiece-portrait (tissue interleaf). Uniform publisher’s orange cloth. - 5,966 entries, classified in eleven sections. The library of the English electrical engineer and pioneer of telegraphy, Josiah Latimer Clark (1822-1898), purchased in 1901 by Schuyler Skaats Wheeler (1860-1923) and later presented by him to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. In 1995 the collection was distributed between the NYPL and Linda Hall Library. First edition. ¶ Bindings lightly rubbed and finger-marked; fore-edge of volume II spotted; otherwise a very good, unmarked copy.
(23 cm), xv, 523 (1) pp. Publisher’s burgundy buckram, top edge gilt. - Chronological list of 8,000 catalogues, with a full index of owners, compiled successively by Harold Mattingly, I.A.K. Burnett, and A.W. Pollard. ¶ Spine sunned. Occasional marginalia in pencil (indicating sale catalogues offered in Sotheby’s sale, 19 December 1977, lots 183-190).
London, British Museum / British Library, 1921-1989
Three volumes (21 cm), I (1921): vii (1), 101 (1) pp. II (1966): xv (1), 169 (1) pp. III (1989): viii, 294 pp. Publisher’s printed wrappers (vol. I); publisher’s cloth, printed dust jacket (vol. II); publisher’s cloth (vol. III), no dust jacket issued. ¶ Very good copies.
Two volumes (26 cm), I: xv (1), 335 (1) pp., with 843 illustrations on 75 plates (further 50 illustrations printed with text). II: (8) 138 pp., illustrations. Publisher’s printed wrappers. - Founded in 1901 by the British Optical Association, the Library grew steadily, absorbing the private collections R.S. Clay, A.W. Oxbrow, and J.H. Sutcliffe, and in 1926, with assistance of the Carnegie Trust, it commenced an ambitious programme of acquisitions, leading to a third volume of the catalogue, published 1957 (not present here). The Association was voluntarily disbanded in 1980, and the library transferred to the College of Optometrists. ¶ Pencil annotations in some margins; small piece of wrapper spine missing (vol. 2). Good copies.
(26 cm), xv (1), 335 (1) pp., with 843 illustrations on 75 plates (further 50 illustrations printed with text). Publisher’s quarter-leather binding. - Part I only (two further volumes of the catalogue were published, in 1935 and 1957). Founded in 1901 by the British Optical Association, the Library grew steadily, absorbing the private collections R.S. Clay, A.W. Oxbrow, and J.H. Sutcliffe, and in 1926, with assistance of the Carnegie Trust, it commenced an ambitious programme of acquisitions. The Association was voluntarily disbanded in 1980, and the library transferred to the College of Optometrists. ¶ Back sunned; leather scuffed. Good, unmarked copy.
Five volumes (25 cm), I (A-D, 1937): iv, 446 pp. II (E-K, 1939): pp.450-887. III (L-R, 1945): pp.890-1310. IV (S-Z, 1955): pp.1314-1644 (2). V (1960): 546 pp. Volumes I-IV uniformly bound in publisher’s cloth; volume V in publisher’s printed wrappers. - Ritter’s monumental catalogue of books printed in Strasbourg was conceived in four parts: two parts covering the 16th century (books in the Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire de Strasbourg; books recorded elsewhere), and two parts covering the previous period (incunabula in BNUS, published 1938; and Strasbourg incunabula recorded elsewhere, 1960). Offered here are the volumes registering the 16th imprints. ¶ Evidently a publisher’s reissue of the 1960s or 1970s, substantially original sheets, with some quires reprinted. Attractive set.
New York, Rosenbach Company (vols. I-IV: Camden, NJ: Haddon Craftsmen; vol. V: Portland, Maine: Anthoensen Press) / New York Public Library, 1937-1952; 1958-1969
Five volumes (34 × 24.5 cm), I (Imprints 1507-1615, 1937): xvi, 544 pp., including colour frontispiece, numerous illustrations printed with the text (7 printed in two or more colours). II (Imprints 1615-1698, 1938): xii, 564 pp., including frontispiece “View of the Library at ‘Hillbrook’, Rye, New York”), numerous illustrations printed with the text (10 printed in two colours). III (Imprints 1698-1783, 1941): viii, 546 pp., plus colour frontispiece (folding), numerous illustrations printed with the text (17 printed in two colours). IV (Imprints 1784-1942, 1943): (12) 386 pp., including colour frontispiece, numerous illustrations printed with the text (1 printed in two colours). “A synoptical chart [illustrating the chief divisions of the history of tobacco] has been placed at the inner back cover” (inserted in a pocket). Printed slip tipped-in at end: “In the Colophon the name of Richard Ellis was inadvertently omitted. He should also [with Jerome E. Brooks] be given credit for designing this book”. Printed card loosely inserted: “Such a large amount of additional material has been included in TOBACCO it will be necessary to publish a fifth volume containing the Index and notes on recent acquisitions. This volume is in preparation and will be sent without additional charge to those who have subscribed to a set of TOBACCO. May 1st, 1944”. V (Index, 1952): (8) 328 pp., including frontispiece portrait of George Arents, Jr. The five volumes uniformly bound in publisher’s orange cloth, bevelled boards, morocco lettering-pieces.
Offered with [Supplement] Tobacco: a catalogue of the books, manuscripts and engravings acquired since 1942 in the Arents Tobacco Collection at the New York Public Library. New York: New York Public Library, 1961-1969. Ten parts bound in two volumes.
A fine, complete set of the catalogue of the private library of George Arents Jr (1875-1960), privately printed in New York between 1937 and 1943 in an edition of 300 copies (this set is number 292). In 1944, the collection was received by the New York Public Library, and in 1952, an index volume (names of authors and subjects) was prepared by the New York Public Library. Ten supplements describing later additions to the collection were compiled by Arents Librarian Sarah Augusta Dickson and Curator Perry O’Neil from 1958 to 1969; subsequent acquisitions have been catalogued electronically. There are 3956 individual, catalogued entries (4235 separate, physical items). “Although the collection is devoted to tobacco and includes almost every important work dealing with the subject, it also contains many historical, literary, and artistic works in which tobacco appears only incidentally” (NYPL). ¶ Faultless set.
(22.5 cm), xvii (1), 124 (2) pp. Publisher’s brown cloth, printed dust jacket. - A catalogue of the stenography books in the Pepysian Library; Pepys was an excellent shorthand reporter, and put it to use in his daily work (not just the great diary). The fourth (and final) volume of the first modern catalogue (the previous volumes had appeared 1914-1923, in editions of “Not more than 500 copies”; the size of the present edition is not stated). ¶ Two short tears in dust jacket; otherwise an excellent, unmarked copy.
(32 cm), xii, , 403,  pp., with XCII photogravure plates (i.e. 94, including plates numbered XXA and XXB, XXVIA and XXVIB; some are double-page, one is in colour, and a few in red & black). Publisher’s half-vellum binding, top edges gilt, others uncut; red morocco lettering-piece on spine. - Catalogue of early Venetian books (mostly from the library of Victor Masséna, prince d’Essling) compiled by Tammaro de Marinis and printed by Hans (Giovanni) Mardersteig in an edition of 310 copies on handmade wove paper manufactured by Magnani of Pescia. Orginally kept at Conte Vittorio Cini’s (1885-1977) residence, Monselice, outside of Venice, the books were transferred in 1951 to the Fondazione Cini on San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, a cultural institute he founded in memory of his son, Giorgio, who had died in an airplane accident in 1949. Schmoller 53; The Officina Bodoni: Montagnola, Verona: Books printed by Giovanni Mardersteig on the hand press, 1923-1977 (London 1978), p.47 no. 37. ¶ Faultless copy, as new, without usual foxing.
Four volumes only, of six (30.5 cm), I (1943): xix (1), 295 (3) pp., XXVII leaves of illustrations (Tav.XVIII folding). II (1948): viii, 246 pp., XXX leaves of illustrations. V (1972): ix, 335 pp., LXVII leaves of illustrations. VI (1981): 498 (2) pp., XXXVIII leaves of illustrations. Publisher’s printed wrappers. - Incomplete set, lacking Volume 3: G-L, Indice e cataloghi, nuova serie, 1, no. 3 (Rome 1954); and Volume 4: M-R, Indice e cataloghi, nuova serie, 1, no. 4 (Rome 1965). ¶ Minor shelf wear; otherwise good, unmarked copies.
London, Friends of the National Libraries / British Museum, 1948
(25 cm), 13 (3) pp., 3 leaves of plates (pls.1-5). Publisher’s printed wrappers. - The plates illustrate “acquisitions by Gift and Purchase”, including the Sherborne Chartulary (pl.1; purchased from W.H. Robinson, Catalogue 77, item 19, £3800; for the British Museum), the Shrewsbury Chartulary (pl.3; a Phillipps manuscript, sold at Sotheby’s, 1 December 1947, £320; for the National Library of Wales), and a Sammelband of six German books (1598-1610) in an embroidered six-way binding (presented by Albert Ehrman; for the British Museum). ¶ Good, unmarked copy.
New York, Henry Schuman Inc. / Army Medical Library, 
(26 cm), xiii (1), 361 (1) pp., with 12 black & white plates. Publisher’s black cloth. - First edition (introduction dated October 1, 1948). Describes 490 incunabula, 35 Western and 127 Oriental manuscripts (the latter catalogued by F.E. Sommer, of the John G. White Collection, Cleveland Public Library). ¶ Loosely inserted are offprints of three publications of William Jerome Wilson: “Historical Libraries – New style” (from College and Research Libraries, January 1950); “Historical source materials in medical libraries” (from Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, volume 39, No. 1, January 1951); “A Plan for a comprehensive medico-historical library: scope and coverage” (from The Library Quarterly, volume XXI, No. 4, October 1951). ¶ An excellent, unmarked copy.
Two volumes (23 cm), I (1958): viii, 992 pp. II (1986): 152 pp. Publisher’s blue cloth. - First editions, first printings of both volumes. Author catalogue listing roughly 25,000 different editions printed in Italy or in the Italian language outside Italy during the 15th and 16th centuries, with an invaluable “Index of Printers and Publishers”. ¶ Fine copy.
(26 cm), xlii, 496 pp., 13 illustrations. Publisher’s orange cloth, printed dust jacket. - In 1944-1945 Faber du Faur had negotiated the sale of his outstanding collection (some 7500 items) to Yale University Library, and thereafter served as its curator of German literature. “An extraordinarily interesting catalog of little-known books with a stimulating commentary. I have read many catalogs but do not recall another that I have read from cover to cover” (from a review by Archer Taylor, in The Library Quarterly, volume 29, 1959, pp.57-59). “This is a standard work and deserves to remain so for a very long time” (from a review by Leonard Forster, in The Book Collector, Summer 1959, pp.200-204). Donald C. Dickinson, Dictionary of American Book Collectors (New York 1986), p.322. ¶ Small chips to dust jacket. Good copy.
(26 cm), xlii, 496 pp., 13 illustrations. Publisher’s dark red cloth. - In 1944-1945 Faber du Faur had negotiated the sale of his outstanding collection (some 7500 items) to Yale University Library, and thereafter served as its curator of German literature. “An extraordinarily interesting catalog of little-known books with a stimulating commentary. I have read many catalogs but do not recall another that I have read from cover to cover” (from a review by Archer Taylor, in The Library Quarterly, volume 29, 1959, pp.57-59). “This is a standard work and deserves to remain so for a very long time” (from a review by Leonard Forster, in The Book Collector, Summer 1959, pp.200-204). Donald C. Dickinson, Dictionary of American Book Collectors (New York 1986), p.322. ¶ Inside front hinge broken; binding rubbed. Dust jacket lacking.