Newcastle, England: J.G. Foster, 1860. Hardcover. Scarce. Thomas Bell (1785-1860) was a prominent land valuer and surveyor who also served as a commissioner and arbitrator for lands in districts of northern England. He is best remembered, however, as an extraordinary book collector, "bringing together one of the largest and most valuable collections of books, papers, and engravings ever formed in the North of England particularly in matters of local interest"(from obituary reprinted in catalogue). The auction sale lasted fifteen days. On the front free endpaper, there is an interesting later handwritten transcript of notes originally written by John Gray Bell, son of Thomas, about his father's library. He described a good-sized library that was shelved round with filled bookcases buried by other bookcases, also filled and then buried as well. The door of the room would only open slightly ajar and one had to sidle in one at a time along a narrow round pathway. A woman wearing a crinoline could not enter at all. The catalog was published in paper wrappers. This copy has been rebound with covers in blue cloth with a black and gilt spine label. Original wrappers bound in. Some bumping and fading. Browning to wrapper cover and browning to to untrimmed edges and to some page margins, not affecting text. Very good condition. 276 pages. BOB/042415. Very Good.
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London: J. Dodsley, 1785. Quite scarce. This is a dense and comprehensive listing of the men holding each of the peerages of England, Scotland, and Ireland at the time of publication, along with a history of their lineage. In addition to detailed information about the peers and their families, there are 86 pages showing the coats of arms for each peerage. Supplemented with an index and directory. Bound in later burgundy three quarter leather with red cloth covers and gilt title reading simply "Heraldry" to spine. Signs of handling but nice. Interior pages have occasional foxing, spoting, and offsetting but generally clean and legible. Page edges are untrimmed. Library stamp for Frederick College on title page but no other signs of ex-library. Very good condition. Measures 6 x 10 inches. 428 pages. ENGHIS/030821.
London: Cassell and Company, 1890-1892, 1894. Hardcover. Volume one only of a five volume series. This volume contains 36 black and white portraits accompanied by a brief, adulatory biographical piece. Subjects are drawn from many spheres of British society and culture, with an emphasis on royalty, the aristocracy, the stage, and the arts. Among those included are the Duke and Duchess of Fife, Sarah Bernhardt, Archbishop of Canterbury, Price of Wales, Frederick Leighton, and Mrs. Humphrey Ward. This is an ex-library volume with the bookplate of the City of York Public Library affixed to the front pastedown. In what was probably an effort to discourage readers from taking photographs, the library applied an unobtrusive but visible embossed stamp to the margins of the photos, not affecting the portrait itself. Despite these factors the photographs are still interesting and attractive. Bound in brown cloth with floral borders to front boards and titles in gilt to front and to spines. Some bumping and rubbing, remains of small white stickers at foot of spine, but otherwise in quite good condition. Save for the small embossed stamps, the photographs are in very good condition. 96 pages plus photographs. PHOTO/081017. Very Good.