July 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

"Philobiblon" at Auction

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 10.32.02 AM.pngComing up at Sotheby's London next week is a volume many book collectors covet: Richard de Bury's Philobiblon (1599), an early treatise on bibliophily, i.e. book love. De Bury (1287-1345) was an English bishop and a book collector who chronicled the acquisition, preservation, organization, and lending practices of a library in twenty handy chapters. He intended to found a college at Oxford with his books, but he died too poor to succeed in that endeavor.

This first English edition is bound in contemporary vellum gilt, with a gilt centerpiece decoration of a Tudor Rose and the remnants of blue silk ties extant. The estimate is £5,000-7,000 ($7,710-10,794). 

Image: Via Sotheby's.