[Major Book Sales; Libri, etc; Book Trade History] Seven Autograph Letters Signed, five signed William Boone and two signed Thomas Boone, all to the Duke of Newcastle, with additional lists.

William and Thomas Boone, booksellers [Henry Pelham, 5th Duke of Newcastle, statesman and collector]
Publication details: 
29 New Bond Street, [London], 1859 (William) and 1862 (Thomas).
SKU: 25662

Total 18pp., 8vo (letters), 3pp., 4to (lists), and one page 8vo (list). The dealers are giving advice and information to the collector, particularly relating to the Dawson Turner Sale (1859) and the Libri Sale (1859), often illegibly or nearly so. A. William Boone (4 June 1859) advises that a holograph letter of Napoleon will attract interest enough to justify two guineas and would sell for more in Paris. He believes a volume on Scottish affairs would realize fully ?420. (9 June 1859) He has assumed the Duke would be interested in a portrait of an ancestor which Boone has seen at Christie's and will send a copy of the catalogue. He has not done all that he could have wished at Dawson Turner's Sale but lists his purchases for the Duke (12 items, lot numbers, subject/person, prices). He adds information about other lots (Cromwell coming up the following day, Napoleon letter and another item sold to the British Museum for ?215, Newton to Trinity, Cambridge for 89 gns, 2 volumes on Scotland ?280. He comments on the prices (unequal) and will send his purchases the following day. If the Duke wishes to return anything, he would be happy to take them himself. (11 June 1859) He regretfully says that he failed to buy the Cromwell letters. He had let one lot go in the hope of being more competitive on the second but he was competing with someone with an unlimited commission and felt the Duke would not want him to go further. He explains why the Milton MS could not have been autograph (blind in 1652), but identifies them as legal transfers of copyright, giving the price (They sold at 40 gns. for a Commission from America). (6 Aug. 1859) He criticizes the catalogue descriptions of the books at the Libri Sale (condition). He lists the items he has purchased and sent already. All the Books in extraordinary condition sell exceedingly well, and for very many, the prices are considerably enhanced by the attendance of the principal Booksellers from Paris, for instance the Elzevir Cicero. (?61). He gives other examples, explaining why he was not himself confident enough to purchase for a customer [the Duke] who is very desirous of purchasing really good specimens of [for?] his Library. He would welcome further commissions. (7 April 1859) He explains why he did not purchase a particular MS at the Libri Sale but suggests another purchase. His postscript gives information about the fate of another Libri lot. B. Thomas Boone (10 March 1862) He informs the Duke of his actions relating to an archive (The Prince of Wales Collection of Papers) which he has submitted to the British Museum for authentication, giving Frederic Madden's view. He says the separate publication of a medical pamphlet is out of print but he will send another edition on approval. He lists the autographs which he has declined to buy for the Duke because the prices have so far exceeded all precedent. He gives previous and current prices. (17 March [1862]) He encloses a list of autographs purchased by him for the Duke (present, one of the lists, 2pp.) and has marked the catalogue with relevant information (prices of major lots, items purchased by him). He shied away from items he was not sure were genuine or from competing when the prices went too high through unlimited Commissions. In a postscript he points out that he has alternatives in stock for some of the marked items. The additional lists, 4to and 8vo, give information about runs, binding, additions proposed to the library at Clumber, and an Additional Memorandum of Books to be completed. Note: 5th Duke of Newcastle's papers (Clumber Park) held by the University of Nottingham. DNB does not mention his collecting interests.