TOOVEY, James. Bibliotheca Aldina

London, James Toovey, 1880


FIRST EDITION. 8vo, 46 unnumbered ll., [A]2, B-F8, E4. Very good, clean, wide-margined copy on thick, uncut paper. Woodcut Aldine device on title page, ornate, decorative headpiece, decorative initials throughout, and Chiswick Press device at end. Contemporary quarter morocco, marbled boards, corners worn, gilt lettering on spine. Armorial bookplates of politician and antiquary Evelyn Philip Shirley (1812-1882) and celebrated bibliographer Anthony Hobson inside front cover. MICHALLET watermark on rear free endpaper.

A very good copy of a catalogue of the Aldines contained in the third Earl of Gosford’s collection, sold by private contract in 1878 to the London bookseller James Toovey. The Gosford Aldines number 469 and include copies from the Renouard, Sykes, Heber, Hibbert, Libri and Solar sales, as well as the best items from Bishop Butler’s collection. To prevent the dispersal of this magnificent collection, Toovey’s catalogue offered it as whole for £4000. It was eventually sold to J. P. Morgan in 1899 by Toovey’s son Charles, and formed the basis for the 1995 Pierpont Morgan Library exhibition, ‘In Praise of Aldus Manutius’. Michallet paper, used for the flyleaves, was the favourite medium for the drawings of Georges Seurat (1859-91).

‘Toovey printed a special catalogue of the Aldines, probably the finest set that had come on the market since the Renouard sale of 1828.’ De Ricci 1960, 156