London: Printed by W. Bulmer and Co. Cleveland-Row, St. James's, 1812.
First edition. 17, , iv, 284 (i.e. 283); iv, 21; 73 pp. 1 vols. 8vo. Roxburghe's godson's copy. Modern boards Dibdin, Biblioliographical Decameron, III, pp. 49-69. Item #306697
On the first two blanks is a 2 1/4 page manuscript note by Roxburghe's godson George N. Hamilton copying from the General Evening Post an article about the bidding war over a Boccacio between Earl Spencer and the Marquis of Blandford, which the latter won at a price of £2,260, and ending with: "N.B. The Duke of Roxburghe left my Father by will half of all his personal property, in which was included his celebrated library. His house in St. James Square which contained this library formed part of the personal property. The Duke was my godfather." Hamilton includes a few prices and notes within the catalogue as well.
"A new era in British book-collecting may be said to start with the Roxburghe sale (1812). For the first time in the history of bibliophily, the four- figure limit was reached in an auction sale for a single printed book. From being the hobby of a scholar or the whim of an eccentric commoner, the collecting of rare books became, once more, as in Harley's and Sunderland's days, the favourite pastime of the wealthy nobleman...John, third Duke of Roxburghe (1740-1804), had found in the family library a certain number of valuable books...Round this nucleus he built a handsome and extensive library... mainly devoted to incuunabula, French chivalry- romances, early English and Italian literature, Shakespeare and the drama. The sale was a most sensational affair and the total of £23,341 was an extraordinary one for the time. Dibdin has scribbled reams of enthusiastic literature on the smallest incident of each daily session." De Ricci, English Collectors of Books & Manuscripts 1530-1930, pp 71-72.
Price: $1,500.00 Free International Delivery