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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