FIRST SEPARATE LISTING OF ALDINES AND ELZEVIRS
The Hague, Abraham de Hondt, 1720.
FIRST EDITION. 3 parts in 1, pp. (ii) 240 (ii) 200 (ii) 288. Roman with Italic letter, separate t-p to each. Heavy age browning (poor paper), the odd ink spot. An acceptable copy in C18 sprinkled calf, marbled eps, lightly rubbed, edges speckled red. Spine in six compartments, gilt fleurons and cornerpieces to each, raised bands, later repairs to spine and corners. Casemark ‘H V 38’ to first and ‘H iv 29’ to third ep, ‘XXX-I’ at rear.
A very good, clean copy of the ‘Bibliotheca hohendorfiana’, a catalogue of the monumental library of Georg Wilhelm von Hohendorff (1670-1719). After serving the Princes of Brandenburg and Pfalz-Neuburg as officer and diplomat, he was at the court of Prince Eugene of Savoy, with whom he shared a passion for book collecting. He encouraged Eugene to take in his service Luc-Antoine Boyet as bookbinder, secretary, and literary agent to increase his collection. Upon Hohendorff’s death, his library included more than 6500 books and c. 250 mss, all listed in the ‘Bibliotheca hohendorfiana’ with their bindings. The first part is devoted to in-folio books, the second to quartos and the third to octavos, 12mos and mss. Whilst it preserved the traditional subdivision by subject (e.g., theology, law, philosophy and geography) or genre (e.g., poetry and oratory), it also listed separate categories for books from the French ‘imprimerie royale’ and books with extensive ms annotations (sometimes attributed to specific authors, e.g., Scaliger). Most importantly, it was the first printed catalogue to categorise Aldine editions of classical and Italian authors and Elzevirs editions as separately by reference to their printer – publisher rather than in general author / title or subject listing. No auction was ever held as the collection was purchased in its entirety by the Emperor Charles VI and is now preserved at the National Library in Vienna.
Blogie, Répertoire IV, col. 9; Pollard & Ehrman, Distribution of Books, p. 330.