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7 books from washington's mount vernon library: chastellux, goldsmith
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Seven Signed Books from George Washington's Library at Mount Vernon, evidently the largest number of signed books by the First President to appear in a single auction since since the Bishop John Fletcher Hurst sale in 1904.\nOliver Goldsmith. An History of the Earth, and Animated Nature … In Eight Volumes. The Second Edition.  Vol. III.  London: Printed for J. Nourse, in the Strand, Bookseller to His Majesty, 1779  8vo (8 1/8 x 5 in.; 206 x 127mm).  24 engraved plates of quadrupeds after DeSeve by I. Taylor; some scattered foxing and staining.  Contemporary polished calf, spine gilt in six compartments with green morocco lettering-piece, board edges gilt, plain endpapers, yellow edges; slightest rubbing to extremities. Half brown morocco slipcase, chemise.\nAssociation copy, from the Library of George Washington, signed by him (“Go: Washington”) on the title-page and with his engraved armorial bookplate.\nWashington ordered his set of Goldsmith’s idiosyncratic adaptation of Buffon and Linnaeus from his Headquarters at Newburgh on 20 June 1783, requesting that Lieutenant Colonel William Stephens Smith purchase it on his behalf, together with several other titles “Among the Catalogue of Books advertised in the Gazette you sent me” (Writings of George Washington, ed. Fitzpatrick, 27:24-5). The General further remarked to Smith that “As it will be a pretty considerable purchase I may therefore hope to get them on better terms than a single Book or two would be retailed.” The ultimate terms of purchase are not known, but on 31 August 1783, Washington did write Smith to thank him for procuring the books on his desiderata list.\nWashington’s set of An History of the Earth remained intact through the 1891 auction of the Library of John R. Baker, but the eight volumes had been dispersed at least by 1919, when volume 8 only appeared among the books of Samuel Putnam Avery sold at Anderson’s, 10 November.  The present volume has been sold at auction twice before, and volumes 2, 6, and 7 have appeared in the sales rooms a total of seven times, the most recent being the sale of volume 7 (now part of the present lot) as part of the Americana collection of Mrs. Philip D. Sang in 1985.\nAs an example of a book from the library of Mount Vernon, the present volume of Goldsmith is unusually fresh and bright. It is further distinguished in bearing a fine impression of Washington’s armorial bookplate, which is surprisingly scarce among his books. The vast majority of volumes signed by Washington that have appeared at auction during the last half century have not contained the Washington bookplate. None of the five fine Mount Vernon volumes included in the Victor and Irene Murr Jacobs Collection contained the bookplate (Sotheby’s New York, 29 October 1996).\nReferences: Ford, Inventory of the Contents of Mount Vernon, p. 15; Lane, Inventory of Washington’s Library, p. 548\nProvenance:  George Washington (signature, bookplate) — Bushrod Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington Jr. (bequest) — Lawrence Washington (bequest; his Washingtoniana sale, M. Thomas & Sons, Philadelphia, 28 November 1876) — John Remigius Baker (Henkels, 11 February 1891) — A. R. Turner Jr. (AAA, 22 January 1926, lot 539) — William Randolph Hearst (Parke-Bernet, 16 April 1963, lot 254) — Sale, Sotheby's New York, 19 May 1997, lot 337 (undesignated consignor).\n\nOliver Goldsmith. An History of the Earth, and Animated Nature … In Eight Volumes.  The Second Edition.  Vol. VII.  London:  Printed for J. Nourse, in the Strand, Bookseller to His Majesty, 1779 \n8vo (8 1/8 x 5 in.; 206 x 127mm). Section-titles, 8 engraved plates of shells, amphibians, and insects by Elias Martin; some scattered foxing and staining.  Contemporary polished calf, spine gilt in six compartments with green morocco lettering-piece, plain endpapers, yellow edges; slightest rubbing to extremities. Green morocco pull-off case.\nAssociation copy, from the Library of George Washington, signed by him (“Go: Washington”) on the title-page and with his engraved armorial bookplate.\nReferences: Ford, Inventory of the Contents of Mount Vernon, p. 15; Lane, Inventory of Washington’s Library, p. 548\nProvenance:  George Washington (signature, bookplate) — Bushrod Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington Jr. (bequest) — Lawrence Washington (bequest; his Washingtoniana sale, M. Thomas & Sons, Philadelphia, 28 November 1876) — John Remigius Baker (Henkels, 11 February 1891) — Dix (Parke-Bernet, 1 March 1955, lot 471) —Mrs. Philip D. Sang (Sotheby’s New York, 27 March 1985, lot 113)\n\nJonathan Swift. The Beauties of Swift: or, the Favorite Offspring of Wit & Genius. London: Printed for G. Kearsley, 1782\nIn 6s (6 3/4 x 4 in.; 174 x 102 mm). Engraved title-page with roundel portrait of Swift; some scattered staining. Contemporary sheep, plain endpapers, early yellow edges; rebacked, preserving original maroon morocco label. Half red morocco slipcase, chemise.\nA rare literary association copy from the library of George Washington, signed by him ("Go: Washington") on the title-page and with his engraved armorial bookplate. This is one of the few volumes of contemporary literature in Washington's library. His Mount Vernon library also included a copy of Gulliver's Travels, as well as a single volume described in the inventory of his estate as "Swift's Works." A companion to the present book, Beauties of Sterne, was in Washington's library as well; for some reason it was valued by the estate appraisal at 75 cents while Beauties of Swift was accounted for at just 50 cents. A publisher's advertisement at the back of this volume indicates that Kearsley also published similar selections of Johnson, Goldsmith, Watts, Fielding, Pope, and Hume.\nThe very few examples of Washington's books still in private collections tend to appear at auction at regular generational intervals, but until the present collector’s acquisition of the Beauties of Swift at the sale of the James S. Copley Library, this book had evidently not been offered in the auction rooms since 1891. This volume was also signed "George Washington" on the rear free endpaper, possibly by Washington's nephew, George Augustine Washington, who acted as his uncle's estate manager and lived at Mount Vernon. George Augustine Washington died in 1793.\nProvenance: George Washington (signature and bookplate) — Bushrod Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington Jr. (bequest) — Lawrence Washington (bequest; his Washingtoniana sale, M. Thomas & Sons, Philadelphia, 28 November 1876, lot 8) — John Remigius Baker (Henkels, Philadelphia, 11 February 1891, lot 3) — William Augustus White — A. S. W. Rosenbach (private purchase from White; presumably included among the groups of Washington's books offered in his catalogues 7, 24, or 49) — James S. Copley (Sotheby’s New York, 15 October 2010, lot 672)\nReferences: Ford, Inventory of the Contents of Mount Vernon, p. 28; Lane, Inventory of Washington's Library, p. 488\n\nAlain-René Le Sage. The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane [by]. A New Translation by the Author of Roderick Random. ... In Four Volumes. The Sixth Edition. Volume III. London: Printed for W. Strahan, J. Rivington, T. Davies, W. Johnston, T. Longman, W. Nicoll, Richardson & Urquahart, G. Robinson, T. Cadell, and R. Baldwin, [1785]\n12mo (6 7/8 x 4 in.; 175 x 102 mm). Engraved frontispiece, 3 engraved plates; light foxing throughout, small loss to fore-edge of D9. Contemporary speckled sheep, spine gilt in six compartments with red and green morocco labels, plain endpapers, red-sprinkled edges; rebacked with most of the original spine laid down, corners restored, extremities rubbed, front free endpaper replaced, bookplate removed. Calf folding-case gilt.\nAssociation copy, from the library of George Washington and signed by him ("Go: Washington") on the title-page.\nGil Blas was one of the few works of contemporary fiction in the Mount Vernon library. Le Sage's picaresque romance captivated a large English readership, including President Washington, through the translation of Tobias Smollett. He was familiar enough with the novel to refer to one of its comic episodes—which appears in the present third volume—as justification for retiring without seeking a third term as chief executive. In the novel, Gil Blas takes the position of personal secretary to the Archbishop of Grenada and is promised a reward if he alerts the Archbishop when his 'pen smack[s] of old age" and his "genius flag[s]" (p. 23); but when Gil Blas carries out this charge, the Archbishop angrily dismisses him.\nHenrietta Liston, wife of the British Minister to the United States, recorded her impressions of Washington in a private journal, and she remembered that after questioning his intention to retire from the presidency, "he smiling asked if I remembered Gil Blas's story of the Archbishop of Grenada? 'I feared," he said, 'the same thing might happen to me'" ("Journal of Washington's Resignation, Retirement, and Death," ed. Nicholls, in Pennsylvania Magazine 96:511–20).\nWashington's four-volume set of Gil Blas remained together until sometime after the sale of Barton Currie's library in 1963. The fourth volume last appeared at public auction at Sotheby's, 29 October 1986 and is now part of the present lot; the first and second volumes were sold here on 5 June 2001 as part of the Library of Marshall B. Coyne.\nReferences: Ford, Inventory of the Contents of Mount Vernon, p. 29; Lane, Inventory of Washington's Library, p. 486\nProvenance: George Washington (signature) — Bushrod Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington Jr. (bequest) — Lawrence Washington (bequest; his sale of Washingtoniana, M. Thomas & Sons, Philadelphia, 28 November 1876, lot 6) — George Taylor Bentley (Freeman's, 15 June 1927) — Barton W. Currie (Parke-Bernet, 8 May 1963, lot 476) — Sotheby's, 24 November 1980, lot 61 (undesignated consignor) — Victor and Irene Murr Jacobs (Sotheby's New York, 29 October 1996, lot 4)\n\nAlain-René Le Sage. The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane [by]. A New Translation by the Author of Roderick Random. ... In Four Volumes. The Sixth Edition. Volume IV. London: Printed for W. Strahan, J. Rivington, T. Davies, W. Johnston, T. Longman, W. Nicoll, Richardson & Urquahart, G. Robinson, T. Cadell, and R. Baldwin, [1785]\n12mo (6 7/8 x 4 in.; 175 x 102 mm). Engraved frontispiece, 4 engraved plates; light foxing throughout. Contemporary speckled sheep, spine gilt in six compartments with red and green morocco labels, plain endpapers, red-sprinkled edges; rebacked with most of the original spine laid down, corners restored, extremities lightly rubbed. Half brown calf slipcase, chemise.\nAssociation copy, from the library of George Washington and signed by him ("Go: Washington") on the title-page.\nReferences: Ford, Inventory of the Contents of Mount Vernon, p. 29; Lane, Inventory of Washington's Library, p. 486\nProvenance: George Washington (signature) — Bushrod Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington Jr. (bequest) — Lawrence Washington (bequest; his sale of Washingtoniana, M. Thomas & Sons, Philadelphia, 28 November 1876, lot 6) — George Taylor Bentley (Freeman's, 15 June 1927) — Barton W. Currie (Parke-Bernet, 8 May 1963, lot 476) — Sotheby's new York, 24 November 1980, lot 61 (undesignated consignor) — Sotheby’s New York, 29 October 1986, lot 22 (undesignated consignor)\n\nFrançois Jean Chastellux, Marquis de.  Voyages de M. le Marquis de Chastellux dans l’Amérique septentrionale dans les années 1780, 1781 &1782.  Paris: Chez Prault, Imprimeur du Roi, 1786\n 2 volumes, 8vo (7 1/2 x 4 7/8 in.; 190 x 124mm).  Folding engraved frontispiece map, 3 engraved plates, and errata leaf in volume 2; lacking title-page and large portion of frontispiece map from volume 1 (both removed prior to 1876), some foxing and staining, tiny ink-burn hole to the ligature between the eighth and ninth letters of Washington’s last name. Contemporary French calf gilt, spines with black morocco lettering-pieces, red-sprinkled edges; extremities worn, both volumes rebacked with nineteenth-century marbled endpapers and with the original spines laid down, inner hinges reinforced.\nAssociation copy, from the Library of George Washington and signed by him (“Go: Washington”) on the title-page of the second volume.\nThe Marquis de Chastellux arrived in America in July 1780 as a major general in the French expeditionary army commanded by the Comte de Rochambeau.  Chastellux’s published travel journal covers his movement with three companies of French soldiers through Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Massachusetts.  In addition to detailed battle and reconnaissance reports, Chastellux provides brief portraits of the many colonial military and civil leaders he met, including William Heath, Henry Knox, Samuel Adams, Jonathan Trumbull, Benjamin Lincoln, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson. Washington himself is mentioned with frquency and at substantial length throughout the text.\nThis set of the first complete and authorized edition of the Voyages (which had previously circulated in a corrupt and heavily abridged pirated edition) was presented by the author to Washington, who acknowledged its arrival in a warm letter of 18 August 1786: “I cannot omit to seize the earliest occasion … to thank you for the present of your Travels in America. … Colo. Humphreys … has also put into my hands the translation of that part in which you say such, & so many Handsome things of me; that (altho’ no sceptic on ordinary occasions) I may perhaps be allowed to doubt whether your friendship and partiality have not, in this instance, acquired an ascendancy over your cooler judgment.” Washington continues to explain to Chastellux, that "Having been thus unwarily, and I may be permitted to add, almost unaviodably betrayed into a kind of necessity to speak of myself, and not wishing to resume that subject, I chuse to close it forever by observing; that as, on the one hand, I consider it as an indubitable mark of mean-spiritedness & pitiful vanity to court applause from the pen or tongue of man; so on the other, I believe it to be a proof of false modesty or an unworthy affectation of humility to appear altogether insensible to the commendations of the virtuous & enlightened part of our species" (The Papers of George Washington, Confederation Series, ed. Abbot, 4: 218–220).\nReferences: Ford, Inventory of the Contents of Mount Vernon, p. 35; Lane, Inventory of Washington’s Library, p. 504; Clark Old South 212.2; Howes C324; Sabin 12227\nProvenance: George Washington (signature) — Bushrod Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington Jr. (bequest) — Lawrence Washington (bequest; his Washingtoniana sale, M. Thomas & Sons, Philadelphia, 28 November 1876, lot 130) — Senator Joseph R. Hawley, Connecticut, and his descendants — Victor and Irene Murr Jacobs (sale, Sotheby’s New York, 29 October 1996, lot 2)\n\nJoseph Priestley.  Discourses Relating to the Evidences of Revealed Religion, Delivered in the Church of the Universalists, at Philadelphia, 1796.  Philadelphia: John Thompson, 1796\n8vo (8 1/16 x 4 7/8 in.; 205 x 124mm).  Some browning and staining, occasional spotting, scattered paper flaws on S4 slightly affecting text.  Contemporary tree calf, flat spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece; upper joint neatly repaired, lower joint cracked, light wear to corners.  Half brown morocco slipcase, chemise.\nAssociation copy, from the Library of George Washington and signed by him (“G°: Washington”) on the title-page.\nIn 1794, already famous as a scientist, educator, and dissident Unitarian minister, Priestley emigrated to the United States in search of political and religious freedom. While best remembered as a pioneer in the physics of electricity and the chemistry of gasses, Priestley concentrated on writing theological works and promoting the Unitarian movement in America, establishing churches in Philadelphia and his adopted hometown of Northumberland, Pennsylvania. He became friends with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams who shared his views on religion.\nPriestley, in his dedication to Vice President Adams, signals the scarcity of rational, religious politicians — a select cadre in which a man of Washington’s demeanor would have been found: “Statesmen who have the firmness of mind to profess themselves Christians, and who have a just sense of the importance of christianity, are not numerous; and those of them who adopt a rational christianity, the evidences and doctrines of which will bear … the test of reason, in this age, in which, while many are carried away by the prevailing tide of infidelity, others oppose it by an enthusiasm which disclaims the aid of reason, are still fewer; and are therefore entitled to the greater esteem of those who entertain the same sentiments.”\nWhile no zealot, Washington belonged to, attended, and served as warden of the Anglican church.  However, he did not participate in communion nor did he subscribe to any sectarian creed.  He dutifully applied religious principles to his personal life and political career, distinguishing both with honesty, forthrightness, and quiet dignity.  In his farewell address, Washington counseled that national morality could not “prevail in exclusion of religious principle” and that “religion and morality were indispensable to private and public felicity.”\nReferences: Evans 31050; Ford Inventory of the Contents of Mount Vernon, p. 22; Lane, Inventory of Washington’s Library, p. 196\nProvenance: George Washington (signature) — Bushrod Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington (bequest) — John A. Washington Jr. (bequest) — Lawrence Washington (bequest; his Washingtoniana sale, M. Thomas & Sons, Philadelphia, 28 November 1876, lot 30) — Laird U. Park Jr. (Sotheby's New York, 29 November 2000, lot 374)
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*Merci de noter que le prix n'est pas recalculé à la valeur actuelle, mais se rapporte au prix final réel au moment où l'objet a été vendu.

*Merci de noter que le prix n'est pas recalculé à la valeur actuelle, mais se rapporte au prix final réel au moment où l'objet a été vendu.


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