Baltimore and New York: 1829-1844.
Profusely illustrated with engraved plates. 15 vols. 8vo. Ware-Maclay-Andrews Copy of the American Turf Register. Volume I in full polished calf with gilt tooling on spine; Volumes II-VIII in quarter calf with similar gilt decorated spines; Volumes IX, XI, XII in quarter calf with gilt-lettered spines; Volume X in full brown morocco with gilt sporting vignettes on covers and spine; Volumes XIII-XV in quarter calf with gilt-lettered red morocco labels. A few joints splitting (but all are sound), some foxing as usual to plates and text, but overall an excellent set, from an original owner, Josiah Ware, with his name (apart from volume X) lettered on the spines of each volume. Numerous original printed wrappers have been included. Each volume with the morocco ex-libris of Alfred Barmore Maclay Henderson, p. 40; Andrews, Tally Ho! 87 (this copy, exhibited at the Grolier Club, December 1975); Gee 128. Item #317726
A complete set of this rare sporting magazine, the earliest and most important to appear in America. It was founded in 1829 by John S. Skinner, who writes in his introduction to the first number: “The want of a repository in this country, like the English Sporting Magazine, to serve as an authentic record of the performance and pedigrees of the bred horses will be admitted by all…The longer we remain without such a Register, the more difficult will it be to trace the pedigrees of existing stock and the more prearious will its value become. Sensible for years past of the danger which in this way threatens property of so much value, and persuaded that it is not yet too late to collect and save the many precious materials that would soon otherwise be lost, the Subscriber hopes to supply the long looked for desideratum by the establishment of the American Turf Register.” Skinner sold his magazine to Gideon B. Smith, who carried it on for four years, and then it was taken over by William T. Porter, editor of the “Spirit of the Times”, until 1844, when it came to an end. Besides containing Racing Calendars and Pedigrees, the magazine contains articles on all varieties of American sport, particularly hunting and fishing, and it regularly featured copper-plate (and later, steel) engravings, which greatly contributed to its success.
It is of the utmost importance to the collector of American sporting books, and yet a complete set is almost impossible to obtain. This set is complete, with all engraved title-pages and plates as called for; interestingly, with the single exception of Volume X, the set was bound by the publisher for a single owner — a breeder from Maryland by the name of Josiah Ware, who advertises for stud service on the wrapper of one issue.
Ernest Gee called it “the very cornerstone of American sporting literature, and all writers aon American sport and students of the thoroughbred must refer to its pages. It is the only record we have of the sports of the field in those early years, and gives a faithful account of how they were conducted.”
According to the Maclay’s personal notes on his collection, he completed this set (probably with Volume X) with this astonishing note on its price: “(Gee 1939 $3500)”!!
Price: $16,500.00 Free International Delivery