London: Ellis and White, 1880. First Edition. Together 6 vols. 4to. COMPLETE SET. vii, , 1830 pp. In vol. I the etched portrait of Huth by C.W. Sherborn (tissue guard a bit crinkled), 2 double-page folding illustrations in vol. 5. PRINTED ON THICK PAPER, the textblock remarkably crisp and white. Catalogue of the Woodcuts and Engravings: x, , 96 pp. With 12 illustrations on 8 plates with titles on tissue guards. Original half roan over brick-red pebbled cloth, top edges gilt, others untrimmed (spines and extremities worn as is always the case; a portion of vol. 3 upper cover sunned). Internally without any blemish whatsoever. Unsophisticated, unmarked, and *NOT* ex-library. Very good. Item #3241
ORIGINAL EDITION, limited to just 130 copies, of the Huth Library Catalogue, "a corner-stone of British bibliography" (De Ricci) consisting of more than 1,9800 pages. Huth's gigantic, dazzling, and varied collection was "especially rich in voyages, Shakespearean and early English literature and in early Spanish and German works. The Bibles included nearly every edition especially prized by collectors, and the manuscripts and prints were among the most beautiful of their kind." (DNB). Our copy is preserved in the original bindings; is completely unsophisticated; and the text is unmarked and free from all blemishes. Truly one of the most epic of all private library catalogues, the present example of it merits continued reference and bibliographic admiration.
It can be stated without exaggeration that Henry Huth (1815-1878) was one of the greatest English bibliophiles of all time. "With the assistance of Ellis and Hazlitt, Huth had started printing a magnificent catalogue of his library, with the full titles of every item and exact collations, both entirely novel features in a library catalogue. The work was completed in five volumes two years after his death and has remained a corner-stone of British bibliography" (De Ricci, English Collectors, pp. 149-153).
Since 1970, the number of copies of the original 1880 Huth catalogues sold at auction that were *NOT* ex-library is exactly two in number:
1. Sotheby's London, 7 October 1971 lot 791 (spine of vol. 1 defective, others worn);
2. Bloomsbury's London, 2 March 2006 lot 140, offered again on 24 August 2006 lot 562 (spines cracked and rubbed, corners worn).
The importance and obvious rarity of the 1880 Huth Library Catalogue is attested by the fact that in 2003 the first five volumes were reprinted in facsimile.
TOGETHER WITH: "Catalogue of the Woodcuts and Engravings" (Chiswick Press, 1910), which was limited to 150 copies. A 32-page list of the Huth woodcuts and engravings appeared in vol. 5 and featured 2 double-page plates of early xylography. The present volume is no mere list, but a catalogue in its own right and features 12 illustrations of high quality on 9 plates.
MUST BE SEEN TO BE FULLY APPRECIATED.
Not in the Bibliotheca Bibliographica Breslaueriana.