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HE intelligent and diligent book-buyer will need but little incentive to a perusal of this catalogue, for the reputation of Mr. William Menzies as a collector, who, to a ripened judgment unites a fastidious taste, is so extensive, that it is almost superfluous to attempt a description of his grand and probably unrivalled collection of books. is much more than a collection, it is a library in every sense of the term; for in the departments to which it is devoted it is replete with the best editions of the best authors, in the very best condition, selected and purchased from time to time, without regard to cost, during a period of nearly forty
It has been at once our occupation and privilege, during the last five and twenty years, to compile many catalogues, some of which, from the nature. and extent of the libraries catalogued, possess considerable bibliographical interest, but we have never, until now, had the pleasure of preparing a catalogue in which almost every book possesses special importance, and we might with propriety terminate this notice by remarking, that where all the books are good, it seems invidious to make a selection, but, as this catalogue will circulate among many buyers whose engagements are numerous, and whose time is limited, we have thought it worth while to group in a succinct preliminary notice some of the leading specialities. "
The department of Early Printed Books merits attention as containing some fine specimens by the inventors of Printing. Lots 74 and 167 being respectively the work of John Gutenberg, and Fust & Schoiffer; lot 75 is from the press of Peter Schoiffer; and there are several other examples, dated and undated, printed by the fathers of the art between the years 1460 and 1472; while English Printing is illustrated by a beautiful specimen of William Caxton's work, viz., lot 926 Higden's Polycronycon; and three examples of Wynkyn de Worde, one of which, lot 2132, is the earliest example of the use of Italian type in England.
The specimens of American Typography include some of the rarest of the books in this catalogue. Among them lot 665 Eliot's Bible, which, in addition to its claim as the first Bible printed in America, is worthy of distinction as being one of the finest copies in existence. Lot 514 besid
• The alphabetical list of the rare books which follows this notice was prepared for another pu but is reprinted for its convenience as to their order in the catalogue.
being an early specimen of printing in Massachusetts, 1663, is remarkable as the only known copy which has occurred for sale in 40 years. Lot 1511, by John Norton, 1664, is almost equally rare and interesting. Lot 1219 is conspicuous as the first book printed in Pennsylvania and is believed to be unique. Lot 1250 is the first book printed in New York, and the only known copy. Lot 990 is the first book printed in Boston. Lot 452 is the first book printed in Connecticut.
Of books printed by William Bradford, the first printer in the middle colonies, there are nearly 50 titles, many of which are properly included in the following list of rare books. Benjamin Franklin, the printer, is represented by upward of 20 titles, including an uncut copy of his chef d'œuvre, Cicero's Cato Major, and others equally rare. Chris. Sower, of Germantown battle-ground renown, is represented by several titles, so also is John P. Zenger, the successor to William Bradford.
Of Printing on Vellum, we have specimens of two of the only three works known to have been so printed in the United States; several Heures on vellum, printed in Paris, are here worthy of mention, as also is lot 2002 Turnbull's Birds of Pennsylvania, which is one of the most beautiful specimens of modern printing on vellum that we have ever seen.
It is scarcely necessary to remark that the zealous collector is always desirous of obtaining uncut copies of his favorite works, particularly of such as have generally fallen victims to the bookbinder's plough, in this special field Mr. Menzies has been more than ordinarily successful, for the library abounds in uncut copies many of which may be regarded as almost unique, and none of them as common. We content ourselves with a brief enumeration of some of their titles, viz., Smith's New Jersey, Heath's Memoirs, Peters' Connecticut, Franklin's Cato Major, Hutchinson's Massachusetts Bay and Papers, Backus' Church History, Burk's Virginia, Sanderson's Signers on large paper, Calef's More Wonders, Mather's Invisible World, Mather's Further Trials, Mante's American War, Bullock's Virginia, M'Call's Georgia, Thomas' History of Printing, Proud's Pennsylvania, Smith's Canada, and Donck's New Netherland.
Of books which relate to America, and possess the attraction of much rarity, the alphabetical list appended to this notice contains short titles of the principal portion, but we call special attention to a remarkably fine series of De Bry's, and of Hakluyt's Voyages, Purchas' Pilgrimes, Smith's Virginia, True Travels, and New-England, Mourt's Relation, Symmes' Piggwacket Fight, Denton's, Wolley's, and Smith's New York, the last on large paper and the only known copy, Hamor's, Bullock's and Jones' Virginia, Thomas' and Budd's Pennsylvania, Colden's Indian Nations, st edition, Cook's Sot-Weed Factor, Gorges' America Painted to the Life, e's North West Fox, Mather's Magnalia on large paper, and many other 3 by the Mathers, Romans' Florida, Anne Bradstreet's Poems, Colden's
Action in Matter, Hale on Witchcraft, Jefferson's Notes on Virginia, first edition, Trials of Gens. St. Clair and Lee, Linschoten's Voyages, Haywood's Tennessee, André's Cow Chace, Horsmanden's Negro Plot, three editions, and Campanius' New Sweden.
Among the more modern, but almost equally rare works, is a series of the books printed by Mr. George Wymberley-Jones, at Wormsloe. A set of Munsell's Historical Series on large paper, the only one ever offered for sale. The collections relative to Burke, Burr, Cobbett, Howe, Burgoyne, Wesley, Whitefield, Dr. Johnson, Paine, Wilkinson, Bancroft, &c., are unusually complete, and of much interest.
Mr. Menzies' predilection for the literature of Scotland will be conspicuously apparent in the editions of Burns. We are acquainted with no other catalogue in which may be found the Kilmarnock, the first Edinburgh, the first London, and the first two American editions; while the set of Scott's. Novels is exceptionally fine, and unique.
The department of Bibliography, though not extensive, is nevertheless replete with the best English, French and American authors. The series of works by Thomas Frognal Dibdin is simply magnificent; in order to make it so, in some instances, not less than three copies of a work have been used in order to complete one without spot or blemish. Fine sets of Watt, Brydges, Beloe, Clarke, Horne, Lowndes, and Brunet, the last three on large paper, and the Bibliotheca Grenvilliana, also on large paper, are embraced in the series of English and French Bibliography. American Bibliography includes, among others, the works of Rich, Stevens, Asher, Ludewig, Faribault, Kennett, Ternaux, Harrisse, and Sabin, the last four of which are on large paper.
The collection of Illustrated Books includes so much that is excellent, that we should exhaust our list of adjectives in any attempt to do it justice. Preëminent and unapproachable, both as to extent and character, is the piece de resistance of the sale-Irving's Life of Washington extended to 10 vols., 4to. It is a set of books worthy of a much more expanded description than it has received in the catalogue, and, like many other works in this library, it must be seen and examined to be appreciated. It is the noblest tribute to the memory of the "father of his country that Bibliomania has ever offered, and no amount of money could now produce its like. In regard to the illustrated books in general, we would call attention to the statement that they contain upward of Ten Thousand Choice Engravings, all, with scarce an exception, fine, strong, and choice impressions, a very large proportion of which are proofs, India proofs, etc., of the finest character, and highest class. The necessary inlaying has been done in the best manner, by Mr. Geo. Trent. In addition to the plates, nearly Three Hundred Autograph Letters are inserted, many of which strictly pertain to the works in which they are inserted, while all of them will be
found to be in the most satisfactory condition. The reader is referred to the following lots viz.: 14 Adams' Works. 104 Bailey's Records of Patriotism. 150 Beloe's Sexagenarian. 190 Boaden's Shakespeare Portraits. 432 Colden's Life of Fulton. 504 Custis' Recollections of Washington. 579, 580, 587, 591, 592 and 593 Dibdin's Works. 623 Drake's History of Boston. 643 and 644 Dunlap's Works. 739 Francis' Old New York. 749 and 750 Franklin's Works. 767 Froissart's Chronicles. 794 Garden's American Anecdotes. 974 Hosack's Life of Clinton, 1942 and 1043 Irving's Works and Life. 1562 Parton's Life of Jackson. 1670 Randall's Life of Jefferson. 1693 Riedesel's Memoirs. 1752 Sanderson's Lives of the Signers. 1759 Sargent's Life of André. 1740 Blennerhassett Papers. 1767 Schroeder's Life of Washington. 1776 Scott's Novels. 1802 Knight's Shakspere. 2030 Walpole's Painters. 2048 Warren's American Revolution.
Of Manuscripts the number is not large, but the importance of lot 2051 can scarcely be over-estimated; it is Washington's Correspondence with General Reed during the American Revolution; and includes Fifty-four original Autograph Letters of Washington, which form the subject of an extended notice in the catalogue to which the reader is referred. We take occasion to remark that the library is unusually rich in works pertaining to General Washington, there being nearly two hundred Eulogies and Orations relative to his memory, all in the finest condition and mostly uncut, all the editions of the Washingtoniana, &c., and a few books from his library. Second only in interest to lot 2051, is lot 2095 General Wayne's MS. Orderly Book. Lot 95 is a Collection of Autograph Letters of the Presidents of the United States. Lot 1573 is Original Autograph Letters written by the Friends and Relatives of Washington, on the Portrait painted by Rembrandt Peale. Lot 1824 is a remarkably fine series of Autograph Letters of the Signers to the Constitution of the U. S. Lot 96 is a series of Autographs of Distinguished Americans. There are also Autograph Chapters from Irving's Washington, Bancroft's History, and Dawson's Battles of the U. S., Major Rogers' Original MS. Diary of the Siege of Detroit, Dr. Franklin's own annotated copy of the Second Protest, Autographs for Freedom, and, though last not least, A Poem by Robert Burns in his own hand-writing. In addition to these, some of the volumes are enriched by inserted autograph letters and signatures; Proud's Pennsylvania, Smith's New Jersey, and Greene's Life of Genl. Greene, are examples. There are also two fine and richly illuminated MSS. written on vellum during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries respectively.
There are three books enumerated in the catalogue, of which one copy only has been printed in the style described, viz., Laurens' Letters, Pouchot's Memoir, and the Poetry of New Netherland.
The attention of the American collector may perhaps be arrested by the
fact, that the most extensive, as well as the most important of the specialities which distinguish this remarkable collection, will be found in the assemblage of the books which relate to America — particularly to the British North American Colonies. We have elsewhere referred to some of the rarer and more curious works in which that department abounds, and would now remark, that there is scarcely an important work in English, claiming a place among the rare Americana, which may not be found in this fine library. Briefly, the collection of Americana has not been excelled in attractiveness or importance, by that of any other collection ever sold.
The condition of the books throughout, is all that the most exacting and tasteful collector can desire; the slightest blemish was always a cause for rejection; and as very nearly all of them are bound by the best English, French and American binders, including the names of Roger Payne, Bedford, Mackenzie, Hayday, Pratt, Lortic, Henderson & Bissett, David, Matthews, Bradstreet, and Smith, their state, internal and external, is unsurpassed by that of any other similar collection which has ever passed under our notice, or, of which we have any knowledge. This is high praise, but we know whereof we speak, and desire to create no impression concerning the books which will not be most amply borne out by the books. themselves. The reader need be under no apprehension as to a too frequent use of the words scarce, rare, and most rare, &c., they have not been lightly considered, but express, according to the best of our knowledge and belief, the exact bibliographical status of the various works which are so described.
We cannot terminate this notice without expressing our acknowledgments to Mr. Menzies for his valuable assistance without which the catalogue would have fallen far short of its present completeness; neither can we forbear to direct attention to its typographical beauty. Mr. Munsell has printed it from entirely new type, and the result, typographically speaking, is a catalogue which in point of taste as to style, and accuracy as to composition, has rarely been excelled by any production of a similar character. As to the other characteristics of the catalogue they must speak for themselves. For reasons which do not concern the public, Mr. Menzies has directed the collection to be sold at auction, at a time and place to be hereafter announced. As nothing short of an actual inspection can convey an adequate idea of its beauty of condition, and general desirability, it will be on view (by cards only), one week previous to the sale.