Merly Library. A Catalogue of the Well Known and Celebrated Library of the late Ralph Willett...which will be sold by Auction, by Leigh and Sotheby on Monday, December 6, 1813, and 16 following Days…. AUCTION CATALOGUE: WILLETT.

Merly Library. A Catalogue of the Well Known and Celebrated Library of the late Ralph Willett...which will be sold by Auction, by Leigh and Sotheby on Monday, December 6, 1813, and 16 following Days…

2 p.l., 119 pp. 8vo, cont. half-calf & marbled boards (upper joint partly cracked but strong), spine gilt, uncut. London: 1813.

A fine copy of this uncommon catalogue, ruled in red with prices and buyers’ names in a contemporary hand. Willett (1719-95), after inheriting the family’s West Indian estates, devoted his life to scholarship, botany, and the collecting of books and pictures. He formed a very rich library, strong in incunabula, travel, botany, topography, and architecture. His collections of incunabula and Caxtons, as well as four block books, were amongst the finest of the time. Willett published a splendid folio catalogue of his library in 1790 and it is possible that Dibdin had a hand in cataloguing some of the books for this sale catalogue. He certainly offered to look over the proofs of the early printed book descriptions and some of the notes look like his. For an account of Willett and his library, see Alan G. Thomas in The Book Collector (Winter: 1963), pp. 439-48.

Fine uncut copy. Name cut away from foot of title without loss of text. 2906 lots with some illuminated MSS.

❧ De Ricci, p. 88. Jackson 33.

Price: $1,950.00

Item ID: 2854

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