1813. London: Leigh & Sotheby, 1813.
8vo., [i-iii], (1), 2-119, (1) pp., 2906 lots. Half red calf and marbled boards, backstrip with gilt rules and title, uncut. Cover is rubbed, edges and corners bumped and chipped, faint foxing, contemporary manuscript annotations in ink throughout, tape repair to p. 115; very good. Presentation bookplate to first pastedown, “From the library of John Jackson... Presented to the Warrington Museum and Library by John Gordon Mc Minnies. Oct. 1875.”
§ First edition. Matches “The William Andrews Clark copy on thick paper, has both” O4 (p. 103) says ‘FINIS’ after lot 2720 (the last book in the sale) and the verso has advertisements, beginning MESSRS. LEIGH AND SOTHEBY; then comes a new title-page for the sale of Willett’s botanical drawings, verso ‘CONDITIONS OF SALE’, followed by a repeat p. 103 without ‘FINIS’ and signed ‘P’; then the text continues from p. 104...” Windle & Pippin, A 22. “On his father's death in 1740 Ralph Willet (1719-1795) succeeded to the family estates in the West Indies which enabled him, for the rest of his life, to gratify his taste for books and pictures. He built Merly in Canford, Dorset, to accommodate his library, but soon had to add two wings to contain his collections. The Merly library was auctioned by Leigh and Sotheby over seventeen days between 6 and 24 December 1813, the 2720 lots of books fetching £13,223 7s. 6d. Many found their way into the Spencer, Grenville, Devonshire, and White Knights collections. Dibdin may have written notes to some of the early books." (Jackson) (who was a strong buyer at the sale). Item #108630