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Book Details

GRENVILLE (Thomas). Bibliotheca Grenvilliana; or Bibliographical Notices of Rare and Curious Books, Forming Part of the Library of the Right Hon. Thomas Grenville: by John Thomas Payne and Henry Foss.1842

London: Printed by William Nicol, Shakspeare Press [and] Chiswick Press, 3 Parts in 4 vols., 4to (295 x 200mm), one of only 30 large paper copies, [iv],6,[2],xxxiii,[i],388; [iv],[389]-846; [ii],4,[2],472,xlii[2]; 6,[2],219,[1]pp., with half-titles, photographic frontispiece in part three, all four volumes are from the library at Woburn Abbey, vols. 1-3 have the bookplate or label of the Duke of Bedford, some light foxing, as usual, uniformly bound by Clarke and Bedford in cont. quarter green goatskin, purple boards (lightly rubbed), small nick to head on vol. one, the fourth vol. has been expertly bound to match the others, smooth spines lettered in gilt, purpose made felt-lined marbled slip-cases. A fine set of the extremely rare large paper edition of this important catalogue. "The Hon. Thomas Grenville (1755-1846), after a brilliant parliamentary career, retired from public life in 1818 and devoted himself entirely to his books. He was a true bibliophile, in the highest sense of the word... When he died he left his books to the British Museum... His 20,000 volumes form the greatest gift of books that any private individual has ever made to the Museum. He had fine books of every description, but he seems to have specialised in early Americana (he was the first collector to buy Columbus and Vespucci letters), Aldines, early Spanish and Italian books (Dante, Petrarch and Ariosto), classics (especially Aesop and Homer), books on Ireland and lastly incunables on vellum, including the Mazarin Bible, the 1457 Psalter and the 1469 Livy, this catalogue, by Payne and Foss, is a lasting monument to his enlightened efforts as a collector." - De Ricci, p.114.

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