Item #4058 [SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache. Moritz Grafen von Görtz-Wrisberg.
[SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache
[SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache
[SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache
[SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache
[SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache
[SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache
[SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache
[SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache
[SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache
[SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache
[SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache
[SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache
Bound for Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, by J.-J. Selencka of Braunschweig (signed with his ticket)

[SELENCKA BINDING FOR PRINCE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK DUKE OF SUSSEX, 1835]. Wörterbuch über die Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache

Quedlinburg und Leipzig: Druck und Verlag von Gottfr. Basse, 1835. 8vo (217 x 131 mm). xxii, [4], 362 pp. Gorgeously bound by Johann Jacob Selencka, signed with his ticket: "Gebunden bei J.J. Selencka Braunschweig" affixed inside front cover. Smooth red calf, richly gilt, covers with "gothick" heart-shaped cornerpieces containing volutes, quatrefoils and acanthus leaves; in centers a crowned shield framed by acanthus leaves and emblazoned with the monogram "A" (Augustus Frederick), spine richly gilt, all edges gilt, green endpapers. Unobtrusive expert repairs to front joint and corner tips, very minor shelfwear to binding extremities. Suitable for exhibition. Very good. Item #4058

ANGLO-GERMAN BIBLIOPHILY AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL.

"Difficulties of the German Language" bound by Brunswick Hofbuchbinder Johann Jacob Selencka for Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex (1773-1843). At Kensington Palace the Duke created one of the finest private libraries in Britain, consisting of over 50,000 volumes (including about 1,000 editions of the Bible) and many early manuscripts. The Bibliotheca Sussexiana was dispersed by Messrs. Evans through multiple sales in 1844 and 1845. Our volume bears the Duke's armorial library stamp on the title-page: "A.F." surrounded by a garter with the motto "Honi soit qui mal y pense."

Johan Jacob Selencka (1801-1871) is regarded as one of the finest German binders of the time. He joined the Brunswick Guild of Bookbinders in 1824 and in 1839 was made court bookbinder to Wilhelm, Duke of Brunswick (1806-1884). The Duke, like Augustus Frederick, the recipient of the present volume, was a celebrated bibliophile, amassing a huge collection of books, many of which were of course very finely bound by Selencka, as here.

A nearly identical Selencka binding, likewise in fine red calf gilt with the same cornerpieces and the same central amorial (but with the initial "E" for Ernst August, King of Hannover) was in the A. Bradley Martin collection (most recently sold at Doyle's New York, 2022, lot 123); interestingly, it was also a textbook (C.G.H. Lentz, "Bucher der Geschichten der Lande Braunschweig und Hannover," Brunswick, 1837).

It is quite possible that the present volume was given to Augustus Frederick around the time of the marriage of his niece Victoria, Queen of England, to his cousin (and her cousin!) Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in 1843. If Duke William believed that this union would necessitate a secure grounding in the "difficulties of the German language," he would not have been mistaken.

It is a remarkable fact that the present publication includes a 2-page list of at least 150 misprints in the text (!)

On Selencka, see Josef Daum, "Der Braunschweiger Buchbindemeister Johannes Jacob Selenka (1801-1871)" in: Gebunden in der Dampfbuchbinderei Buchbinden im Wandel des 19. Jahrhunderts (ed. Dag E. Petersen), pp. 55-60, with further references.

Price: $2,500.00