[ Bangs & Co., New York auctioneers. ] The three parts of the 'Catalogue of the Large and Valuable Library of the late Henry F. Sewall of this City'. [ Including the first four Shakespeare folios. Each of the lots priced in manuscript. ]

Henry F. Sewall (1816-1896), New York merchant and print and book collector [ Bangs & Co., New York auctioneers; William Shakespear, First Folio, 1623 ]
Publication details: 
New York: Bangs & Co., 91 & 93 Fifth Avenue. Dates of sale: 9-13 November 1896 (Part I), 30 November and 1 and 2 December 1896 (Part II), and 18 to 22 January 1897.
SKU: 16792

376pp., 8vo. Uniformly printed and continuously paginated. Part I: [3] + 1-124. Part II; [2] + 125-251. Part II: 253-376. All three parts in fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with rusted staples. in remains of printed wraps. A total of 4240 lots, priced throughout in the margins. The full title gives a good indication of the nature of the collection: 'Catalogue of the Large and Valuable Library of the late Henry F. Sewall of this City comprising A Very Rich Collection of the Old English Literature, Rare Editions of the Works of the Famous Dramatists, Poets, Essayists; Illuminated Manuscripts and Books Printed on Vellum; Specimens from the Presses of the Early Italian, German, French and English Printers; Many Editions of the Holy Bible, the Common Prayer and the Psalter; Books of Emblems and other Works Illustrated by Well-known Artists, Ancient and Modern; Books Notable for their Good Bindings; also a Number of Works Extra-Illustrated with Numerous Engravings from Mr. Sewall's own Large Collection.' A long introductory emphasizes the 'department of Old English Literature' (with a list of named authors from John Gower to Izaak Walton), and the fact that, as far as Shakespeare is concerned, 'the library contains the first Four Folios and several separate plays'. The folios were lots 3422-3425, and fetched $500, $115 (defective), $375 and $65. George Stevens's copy of 'King John', 1611 (lot 3430) fetched $230, and a 1634 'Richard the Second' (lot 3433) fetched $210. A copy of 'The Rape of Lucrece' (lot 3437), having belonged to 'Dr. Farmer, E. V. Utterson and Hazlitt', fetched $165. Seven copies on OCLC WorldCat but now scarce: no copy in the British Library or on COPAC.