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A Literary Register and Monthly Catalogue of Old and New Books,
and Repository of Notes and Queries.
New York, AUG. AND Sept., 1870.
Nos. 8 & 9.
ADFERTISING: $13 per page ; $7, half page; and $4, quarter. SUBSCRIPTION : $1 per year, Postage free
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Baldwin, Wm. & Co., .
266 | Hilton, W. E., , .
264 | Luyster, A. L., . .
Sabin & Sons, J., .
Widdleton, W. J. . 267 Woodruff Bros., :
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MISCELLANEOUS LITERARY ITEMS
The Sale Of The Dickens Pictures, &c. - | as so many rival “plungers.” The bids were The sale of pictures, drawings, and objects of sometimes an advance of 50 guineas at a time, art belonging to the late Mr. Charles Dick- and after the applause which followed Mr. ens proved to be one of the most remark- Agnew's last bid of 1,000 guineas, it sounded able on record. The salesroom was filled to like a piece of satire to hear a feeble voice overlowing, a very large proportion of the cry out “A thousand and one.” When the spectators being from the provinces, and the laughter which followed this offer had subprices paid for the majority of the articles sided, Mr. Agnew disputed the right of the sold were so extravagantly high that nothing auctioneer to accept a bidding of less than 5 in the history of Messrs. Christie's rooms has per cent. ; the spectators supported Mr. ever equalled them. The desire to secure Agnew; and as there was no further advance mementoes of the great novelist led purchasers the picture was knocked down to him. A to give twenty, thirty, and, in one or two companion work, painted by the same artist cases, even a hundred times the intrinsic or for the same amount of money—“ Kate marketable value of what, under ordinary Nickleby at Madame Mantilini's "-realized circumstances, would be deemed a common 200 guineas. Maclise's well-known portrait place article. Below we specify a few of the of Mr. Dickens, painted in 1839, and prelots and prices realized :
sented by the publishers of “ Nicholas Nickle
by," on the completion of that work, was Drawings.-“The Britannia,” the vessel
bought by the Rev. Sir E. R. Joudrell, Bart., in which Mr. Dickens first went to America,
for 600 guineas, a much smaller sum than was bought by Lord Darnley for 105 gui
| the picture was generally valued at. neas. “Little Nell and her Grandfather
The most spirited competition dur ng the making bouquets,” by Topham, 275 guineas.
sale was for Mr. Dickens' favorite raven, the “ Little Nell's Home,” by Cattermole, 160
“Grip” of “ Barnaby Rudge.” The first guineas. “Little Nell's Grave,” the com
bid of 25 guineas for an indifferently stuffed panion, 180 guineas.
black crow, in a common glazed case, was Pictures.--"What are the Wild Waves thought a bold offer, but in less than half a . Saying ?" by James Hamilton, an American minute a dozen or more competitors had run artist, by whom it was presented to Mr. the figure up to 60 guineas. The price, Dickens, 45 guineas. “Le Garde Cham however, continued to advance, and first one petre,” by Zamacois, a pupil of Messonier, opponent and then another were shaken off, bought for $700 on the occasion of Mr. till at 75 guineas there were only two comDickens' last visit to America, 240 guineas. petitors in the field. “Eighty, and knock it “An Autumnal Scene,” by Cropsey, an Am down,” cried the bolder of them, thinking so erican artist, by whom the picture was pre large an advance would not be challenged, sented to Mr. Dickens, 26 guineas. Webster's but “ eighty-one" speedily followed, and for well-known work, “Dotheboys Hall,” the full five minutes the spectators watched the brimstone and treacle scene, 510 guineas. | duel. One of the spectators bid by two, “ Pickwick and Mrs. Bardell," a small work three or five guineas at a time, the other by Leslie, in grisaille, and with which all quickly followed, tortoise fashion, with his England is familiar, 131 guineas. The prin single guinea, but in the end he succumbed cipal picture in the collection was Frith's to 120 guineas, at which enormous figure the “Dolly Varden,” the most “roguish, comely, historic bird was bought by Mr. Nottage of bright-eyed, enticing, bewitching, captiva Tulse Hill. ting, maddening little puss in the world.” "The last set of articles offered for sale was The past history of this picture is curious, the Pickwick ladles, half a dozen small silver and another singular episode was added to it toddy spoons, each having a gilt figure handle on Saturday. It originarlly cost Mr. Dick- representing some character in “ Pickwick.” ens £20; on Saturday it was bought by Mr. The ladles were presented to Mr. Dickens Agnew for 1000 guineas. If a sporting term by Messrs. Chapman & Hall on the commay be applied to picture-buying, one can ! pletion of that work. Four of the six were only describe the competitors for the works i bought by Mr. Agnew, and the prices may be
taken as some criterion of the relative popu brilliant friend into the club, discovered the larity of Mr. Dickens' subjects. While Sam hidden enemy by marking the balls. SheriWeller fetched £64, Mr. Winkle only realiz dan then arranged a pleasant plot. The next ed £23, and Mr. Jingle was sold for £30. ballot-evening Sheridan and the Prince of But the highest price for these small ladles Wales, “the first gentleman of Europe,” was given by Mr. A. Halliday, for the figure arrived at Brookes's arm in arm, and going of Pickwick, £69. The last of the lot was into the strangers' room sent a waiter up for bought by Mr. Dickens' son for £34 guineas. Selwyn. When Selwyn came Sheridan began Though it was not in the catalogue, the auc a long rambling political story, which lasted tioneer then discovered that the morocco case nearly half an hour. Presently a waiter enfor the ladles was for sale. After a spirited
tered the room on some pretext, and stroked bidding, it was bought by Mr. Permain for his chin as a signal that Sheridan was elected. three guineas. The sale realized £9,410. Sheridan then got up, and made some natural London Times,
excuse for a few minutes' absence, and left
the Prince to finish the story, “the catasOUT OF THE DIN OF BATTLE who would trophe of which,” as he told Selwyn on think of gathering a French tribute to Charles | leaving, "he would find very remarkable.” Dickens! Yet we read that when the 3rd Sheridan ran up stairs, and was received at the Regiment of Voltiguers of the Imperial Guard club-room door by Fox, who formally intromarched out of Paris they were followed by duced him to the members. The Prince their dog “ Piquevuique.”
went on with the story for a time, then broke
down, and, laughing at the figure he cut, askIN A VERY SCARCE BOOK—Hall's Parochial
ed Selwyn, as Sherry did not seem to comeHistory of Cornwell, published at Exeter in
back, to go up stairs and let Fox finish the in 1750, mention is made of Killigrew, the
recital. On entering the club-room Sheridan celebrated Master of the Revels, temp. Charles
rose, thanked Selwyn for his suffrage, and ofII., though he never was formally installed
fered to finish the story. “Your story! it's Court Jester. The following anecdote will
all a lie from beginning to end!” screamed show, at all events, that he deserved the ap
ed the ap- | Selwyn sitting down to whist gloomily, amidst pointment, even though he did not get it :
shouts of laughter. When Louis XIV. showed him his pictures at Paris the King pointed out to him a pic
Obituary.- We regret to record the death mure of the Crucifixion between two portraits. I of Mr. Andrew Merwin, the active auctioneer " That on the right,” added his Majesty, of the firm of Bangs, Merwin & Co. Mr. “is the Pope, and that on the left is my- Merwin had been a book auctioneer for selfs "I humbly thank your Majesty," twenty years. His long experience, added replied the wit, “ for the information ; for to a natural ability and aptness for the busithough I have often heard that our Lord was ness, rendered him the most acute and cruciñed between two thieves, I never knew
accomplished expert of the New York book
auctions. We shall speak further of Mr. who they were till now.”
Merwin in a future number of the BIBLIOPOBook-MAKING.— The Abbé de Marolles LIST. was so fond of book-making, that he published
THE AMERICAN Chemist.-We invite the the names of all his friends, and all their ac
attention of such of our subscribers who are quaintances in a catalogue at his own expense.
interested in scientific matters, and especially This gentlemen said to one of his companions,
manufacturers and others kikely to profit “My verses cost me very little.” “They
by a record of the latest revelations and discost you as much as they are worth,” replied
coveries, to an advertisement of the Amerihis friend.
can Chemist in the present number of the SHERIDAN HAD A HARD MATTER to get in to Bibliopolist. As the ouly journal of its kind Brookes's Club, owing to the aristocratic pre- | in the country, and conducted by capable judices of old Selwyn, the gambler, who black men, who desire that its instruction may reballed him at every ballot. Selwyn was not sult in the most economical utilization of going to be elbowed by the son of an actor material, it should command the subscription and the grandson of a schoolmaster. Charles of every manufacturer to whom chemical James Fox, who was bent on getting his knowledge may be an aid
HE adornment and decoration of ancient books was not exclusively confined to their bindings proper. Rich and costly volumes were frequently protected by an extra case or covering, frequently of a character scarcely less sumptuous than that of the cover which it was to protect. The Book of Hours of Charlemagne, now in the Louvre, was found originally encased
in a little silver gilt box, upon which was engraved, in relief, a representation of the Mysteries of the passion. Some valuable books were enveloped in a sort of pocket or “chemise.” The “ Heures de St. Louis,” now in the Musée des Souverains, still exists. protected by its “chemise ” of red sandal wood.
The “Catenati,” or books which were chained in churches and libraries, were generally Bibles and Missals, in wooden binding and heavily ornamented with metallic corners. The bindings, embellished by the goldsmith's and lapidary's arts, were not so chained; they were of a private character, and not so exposed to the depredations of the joint disciples of Biblio and cleptomania. Nevertheless the books were of sufficient value to make this safeguard of iron very desirable. This would seem a reflection upon the pious of the middle ages, but it may be that some other purpose was subserved in keeping such bulky volumes in fixed positions. Volumes frequently turn up, indeed we have possessed several, which still retained the of chain attached to the ring, which was formerly slipped over an iron rod running along the top of a desk. Up to the seventeenth century the books in the University of Leyden were so chained, the shelf and reading desk being combined. Owing to the ponderous properties of an ancient folio it was a matter of greater convenience to change position than to have the book conveyed to the reader. The corners, plates, clasps and nails rendered the volumes so heavy that in order to enable the reader to turn the leaves of more than one, with facility, the books were occasionally placed upon revolving desks, having space for many open folios at the same time; probably some locomotive turn-table arrangement, or monitor's turret, out of which volleyed and thundered ye ancient fathers.
Richly ornamented books were generally the property of a monassic institution or some titled or wealthy individual, and the church being the centre and chief influence of literary productions, we find that, with the occasional exception of classical subjects, the ornamentation of bindings of early books took a decidedly religious caste of character. The crucifix frequently occurred, relieved upon the sides of the volume, and representations of the Virgin, the infant Christ, adoration of the Magi, and images of like character formed the prevailing subjects of ornamentation. Occasionally, inside a thick binding of boards, next to the leaves, there was an excavation or sort of cupboard containing a silver crucifix, guarded by a metal door, *
*It is not often that there is occasion to quote that slippery and fallacious writer, ycleped S. Palmer, alias G. Psalmanazar; but herein we may disport ourselves with six of his lines as applicable to the subject in question. “I shall here mention something (says Palmer) concerning their [that is, the ancient,] way of bookbinding, an account of which we find in Scaliger, (Scaligeriana, p. 173, Hag. edit.) who tells us that his grandmother had a printed Psalter, the cover of which was two inches thick; in the inside was a kind of cupboard, wherein was a small silver crucifix, and behind it the name of Berenica Cordronia de la Scala. General Hist, of Printing. p. 96. The reader may consult another anecdote or two about Scaliger's knowledge of early printed books, in vol. 1, p. 351, 353 (of the Bib. Decameron). Of these ancient bibliopegistical specimens of cupboard preserved crucifixes, I do not remember to have seen more than one specimen.-Dibdin.