Sir Thomas Phillipps – Illustrations of his distinguishing marks of ownership in books and manuscripts from the Phillipps Library
Princeton University Blog » Notabilia
by Stephen Ferguson
3M ago
Supplementing examples posted by Peter Kidd on his website ‘Manuscripts/Provenance,’ in the entry for Sir Thomas Phillipps http://www.manuscripts.org.uk/manuscripts/provenance/collectors/phillipps.htm A. N. L. Munby writes in Phillipps Studies No. 4 (Cambridge, 1956), p. 165 In the 1820s Phillipps commissioned an armorial bookplate, which was however inserted very sparingly in books and manuscripts (fig. 1). Many of the early acquisitions bear a stencilled stamp of his crest, a lion rampant, applied rather crudely to the front paste-down or to the first leaf (fig. 2), and, on the paste-down ..read more
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Proofs of Pine’s Horace (1731-1733)
Princeton University Blog » Notabilia
by Stephen Ferguson
8M ago
Princeton is fortunate to own what are the only recorded marked-up proof pages from one of the most famous illustrated engraved books of eighteenth-century England, commonly known as Pine’s Horace published in London, 1733-1737.   [For full details about Pine’s Horace see “Engraved Throughout: Pine’s Horace (1733) as a Bibliographical Object,” the 2015 Lyell lecture given by Prof. Michael Suarez https://rarebookschool.org/first-lyell-lecture-available-to-view/] The proofs are bound in early 20th century brown polished goatskin and consist of the first 67 pages of volume one.&nb ..read more
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Charles Lamb’s books at Princeton
Princeton University Blog » Notabilia
by Stephen Ferguson
1y ago
Bartlett & Welford’s sale catalogue of 60 lots consisting of volumes from Charles Lamb’s library (February, 1848) [ExL 0513.557.55] The Princeton copy includes a hand written table giving the buyers for each lot and the amount paid.  The catalogue and the mss. table have been digitized. The story begins in 1848, an annus mirabilis in the tale of Charles Lamb’s library.  This was the year in which 60 lots of Lamb’s books came up for sale in New York. (The 60 lots comprised more than 136 titles in total.)  The lots appeared in a  private sale on the premises of the ..read more
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What is the language of the text on this page?
Princeton University Blog » Notabilia
by Stephen Ferguson
1y ago
Quiz: What is the language of the text on this page? A) German B) Latin C) Chinese D) Turkish This rare book was brought to our attention by Professor Matthew Grenby of the University of Newcastle, who conducted research at Special Collections in preparation for his presentation at “Books for Children: Transnational Encounters 1750-1850,” a symposium hosted by the Cotsen Children’s Library in 2019. The ‘unintelligible’ scripts prompted some sleuthing by the Cotsen staff. The backstory of this book (Rare Books 2014-0211Q, accessioned in 1904!) is shared at the Cotsen Curatorial Blog, in an ess ..read more
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Bookplate of John Rutherfurd (1760-1840)
Princeton University » Notabilia
by Stephen Ferguson
1y ago
Bookplate of John Rutherfurd (1761-1840) on front pastedown of Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments (London, 1759) (Ex 6305.863.11). Rutherfurd has numbered this book as ‘No. 1.’ The ‘Library, College of New Jersey’ booklabel and adjacent markings in ink indicate that this book first came into the Library of Princeton University in the middle of the 19th cent. Book number 141 in John Rutherfurd’s library: Timothy Dwight, The Conquest of Canaan (Hartford, 1765). (Ex) Alma-34685 John Rutherfurd (1760-1840) graduated Princeton with the Class of 1776. A lawyer by profession, he served as Sen ..read more
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A Magnificent Manuscript of 1458, Signed by its Scribe — and by its Illuminator?
Princeton University Blog » Notabilia
by Eric White
1y ago
Giovanni Balbi, Catholicon. Scheide Library (M 163), f. 2r An immense folio manuscript of Giovanni Balbi’s Catholicon, the essential Latin dictionary of the later Middle Ages, is one of the most spectacular illuminated manuscripts in the Scheide Library. Bound in 15th-century tooled calfskin over wooden boards, it consists of 326 vellum leaves measuring 534 x 355 mm, and is estimated to weigh as much as a well-nourished toddler. The book was first recorded in 1783, in the library of the Augustinian Canons of Heilig Kreuz (Holy Cross) in Augsburg, Germany.1  The completed manuscript, one ..read more
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Mystery Solved: A Long-Lost Spanish Vocabulario (ca. 1492-93) Comes to Light at Princeton
Princeton University Blog » Notabilia
by Eric White
1y ago
Alfonso de Palencia, Universal vocabulario (Seville, 1490), EXI Oversize 2530.693q Many of the most important discoveries in the study of rare books are the results of fruitful collaborations. In this case, we were confronted by an anomaly: Princeton’s copy of the first printed Latin-Spanish dictionary, Alfonso Fernández de Palencia’s Universal vocabulario en latín y en romance, vol. I (Seville: Paulus de Colonia, 1490), which lacks its title page and introductory ‘argumentum’, begins and ends with single printed leaves from an entirely different book – a Spanish-Latin dictionary printed wit ..read more
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Teaching the SLAVE SHIP
Princeton University » Notabilia
by Eric White
1y ago
Like many, I first saw this image in my childhood, and I have never forgotten it. However, in retrospect, I do not believe that I was taught the history behind the image correctly – at least, not the whole history. In a blog entry originally posted in 2017 and recently recirculated widely, Corinne Shutack advocated 75 specific constructive actions in support of racial justice. Among them was the recommendation that parents, teachers, and concerned citizens should encourage their schools to ensure that the topic of slavery in American history is taught correctly.1 Noting that a correct history ..read more
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WHAT COULD BE BETTER? Pairing and Comparing the Scheide and Kane Copies of Fifteenth-Century Books
Princeton University » Notabilia
by Eric White
1y ago
Question: What could be better for the study of early printed books than examining a copy of a rare 15th-century edition? Answer: Examining two copies of a rare 15th-century edition.        Thanks to several formerly independent channels of 20th-century collecting, now united, Princeton University Library’s Special Collections owns multiple copies of more than thirty 15th-century editions. We do not consider them ‘duplicates’, as that would imply that they are absolutely identical, and that nothing is to be learned from the ‘second’ copy. Nothing could be further from the t ..read more
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Non finito: Unfinished Initials in Princeton’s 1469 Apuleius
Princeton University » Notabilia
by Eric White
1y ago
Unfinished initial and border in Princeton’s Apuleius (Rome: Sweynheym & Pannartz, 1469). The first edition of the works of Lucius Apuleius of Madauros (ca. 124–ca. 170 CE), a North African philosopher and rhetorician, was published in Rome by Conrad Sweynheym and Arnold Pannartz in 1469. Printed in an edition of 275 copies, it includes the ‘The Golden Ass’, a bawdy proto-novel in which the protagonist, Lucius, experiments with magic and thereby inadvertently transforms himself into a donkey, a circumstance that allows him to observe human behavior, undetected, from a new vantage point ..read more
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