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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. It 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 besides
The alphabetical list of the rare books which follows this notice was prepared for another purpose, but is reprinted for its convenience as to their order in the catalogue.