The earliest is dated 1789, the most recent 1875, and from internal evidence we can date the second one to about 1816. Folios (ranging from 370 x 250 mm. to 335 x 210 mm.), various contemporary bindings including half-vellum and yellow boards, boards, and cloth. Schloss Arenfels: 1789, ca. 1816, & 1875.
An important discovery. Schloss Arenfels, which traces its foundations to 1258, was the ancestral home of the Grafen von Isenburg, a family which traces its origins to 983. It produced several notable members of the church, including Diether von Isenburg (1412-82), Archbishop and Elector of Mainz who founded the University of Mainz; Johann V. von Isenburg (ca. 1507-56), Archbishop and Elector of Trier; and Salentin von Isenburg (ca. 1532-1610), Archbishop and Elector of Cologne. Another member, Ernst von Isenburg-Grenzau (d. 1664), was the governor general of The Netherlands.
The castle and its contents later passed by marriage to the Grafen von der Leyen. In 1848 the property was inherited by Reichsgraf Ludolf Friedrich von Westerholt (1804-69) and his wife Johanna (1804-74). The library remained intact until 1951 when a large portion (about 2500 titles in 6500 volumes) went to the Stadtarchiv Bottrop, and the remainder (1167 lots) was sold at auction by Nethe & Venator of Cologne, 13-15 Sept. 1951. Many of the auctioned books were purchased by the University of Cologne. This was one of the most important auctions of books in Germany during the years immediately following World War II.
The first catalogue (1 p.l., 212 pp.), dated 1789, describes the 907 titles already in the library. The library traces its origins to Bernhard von Westerholt zu Westerholt und Wilbrink (d. 1639) and Hermann Hector von Westerholt (b. 1592). The library experienced its greatest growth in the late-18th century when Ludolf Friedrich Adolf Freiherr von Boenen (1747-1828) and his wife Gräfin Wilhelmine Friederike von Westerholt-Gysenberg (1757-1820) contributed their books to the castle library. A highly cultured couple (he was president of the newly founded theatervereins in Münster), they were intensely interested in collecting books concerned with French and German literature, theater, travel, gardening and the household, and current politics.
Further contributions of books dealing with law, government, and history were made by Reichsgraf Carl Casper von der Leyen (1655-1739), the cathedral provost Damian Friedrich von der Leyen (1738-1817), and his nephew Philipp Franz von der Leyen (1766-1829). The last two collected many works concerning the French Revolution and the natural sciences.
The second catalogue (1 p.l., 73 leaves) was prepared no earlier than 1816 (the most recent book we can find in the catalogue was published in that year). The library has become much more numerous.
The final catalogue (5 p.l., 329 pp.) reflects the state of the library in 1875. The grandson of Ludolf Friedrich and Wilhelmine, Ludolf Friedrich von Westerholt had inherited the castle and its library. He and his wife Johanna were serious collectors of books and it was during their tenancy that many of the finest early printed books entered the library.
In fine condition.
Item ID: 1082