Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Researching the Value of Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare

I received a comment to last month's My Sentimental Library blog from Chris Larizza of Stratford, Ct. regarding a book by J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps.   He recently acquired a presentation copy of an 1882 second edition of Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare by J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps at an estate sale and queried me as to its value.

Chris acquired a second copy of this edition as well, but that copy was unsigned; however, it did have a bookplate that I found intriguing:

Here is the verse from the bookplate.  It's from Chaucer:


   For out of olde feldys, as men say
Comeyth all this newe corn fro yere to yere
And out of olde bokes, in good fey
Comeyth al this new science that men lere

I will discuss the monetary value of both copies of this work in this blog post.  But first, I will discuss the literary value.  I can think of no better way to introduce the literary value of this book than refer to the book review by Henry B. Wheatley (1838-1917), which appeared in The Bibliographer: a journal of book-lore,  London, 1882, Vol. 2, Page 147:

Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare By J. O. Halliwell Phillipps, F.R.S., F.S.A.,  etc.   The second edition, London, Longmans, Green & Co, 1882, 8vo,  pp. 703.
   This book is a bibliographical curiosity, for the reason that in 1881 Mr Halliwell Phillipps printed it privately in an octavo volume of 192 pages, and within a year he has produced a second edition nearly four times as big, and now sells it for 7s 6d.  It is certainly one of the cheapest books ever published. 
   We do not propose to review the book as a life of Shakespeare because it is so full of matter, and contains so exhaustive a treatment of the information connected with its subject that we should need a whole number of our journal to do anything like justice to it, and moreover such a review would be more appropriate elsewhere.  We wish however to draw special attention to the mass of bibliographical information which it contains. Mr Halliwell Phillipps has for so many years made a practice of studying the literature of Shakespeare's time for illustrations of the poet's life and works that any book which he produces is sure to be full of bibliographical detail.  At p. 527 we find a series of copyright entries from 1593 (of Venus and Adonis) to 1623 (of the plays for the first folio).  An account of lifetime editions follows these, and then there is a full account of the first folio.
   The volume is completed by the addition of a Documentary Appendix which contains particulars of all those documents that are important as giving us authentic information on the particulars of Shakespeare's life.  These number fifty in all, and range from the conveyance (dated 17th July 1550) by Robert Arden, Shakespeare's maternal grandfather, of a house and land at Snitterfield, in trust for his three daughters (this farm was then occupied by Richard Shakespeare the poet's own grandfather), to some anecdotes respecting Shakespeare written in 1693. 
   We have in this volume all those facts connected with the life of Shakespeare which are certainly known and we can find them kept apart from the conjectures so frequently hazarded in books of a similar character. 

A review in the Sept 16, 1882 issue of The Academy echoed the same sentiments:

"This volumes deserves commendation for its uncommonly moderate price as well for its very valuable contents."

The low price surprised me because many of Halliwell-Phillipps's works were published in pricey limited editions of 150 copies.  In writing his obituary, a writer in The Critic said he once asked Halliwell-Phillipps why only 150 copies were printed of most of his works?  Halliwell-Phillipps replied that some collectors would pay extremely high prices for limited editions, but wouldn't even consider buying unlimited editions.

As for the 1882 edition of  Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare being a bibliographical curiosity because of the vast expansion of its pages, I am reminded of Thomas Frognall Dibdin's book, Bibliomania.  The 1809 edition was a mere 87 pages.  But the 1811 edition was a whopping 782 pages!

Writing the 1881 edition of Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare wasn't the first time Halliwell-Phillipps wrote about the Life of Shakespeare.  In 1848, he published a biography of Shakespeare which contained 336 pages:  The Life of William Shakespeare.  Including Many Particulars Respecting the Poet and His Family Never Before Published.    In 1853, he included a "Life of the Poet" in Vol 1 of the massive sixteen-volume edition of the Works of William Shakespeare, London, 1853-65.  Only 150 copies were printed of each volume.  The first volume alone was priced at 70 guineas.  The 1853 "Life of the Poet" was called by some Shakespeare scholars "an extension" of the 1848 Life, but it contained only 303 pages and that included the Preface and list of plates and woodcuts.   If he wanted to, however, Halliwell-Phillipps could have used the phrase "never before published" for the many editions of Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare.  From 1881 to his death in 1889, he consistently either added to or revised the contents of this work.  Here is a sampling of the record of editions of this work which were published during his lifetime:

            Year                                  Edition                  Number of Pages

         1881                                    First Edition                     192
         1882                                    Second Edition                 703
         1883                                    Third Edition                    736*
         1884                                    Fourth Edition                  480**
         1885                                    Fifth Edition                     640
         1886                                    Sixth Edition                    784 (384 & 400)
         1887                                    Seventh Edition                851 (419 & 432)***
*      Some sources cite 786 pages.
**    COPAC was the source cited here.  I don't know why the size decreased.
***  Some  sources cite 848 as the number of pages.

As far as literary value goes, the 1887 edition contains the most pages, but the early editions are nothing to sneeze at.  I would want to compare the 1887 edition to the 1882 edition, and see how much the extended quantity of pages contributed towards an increase of literary value.

There were even editions published after Halliwell-Phillipps's death: an eighth edition in 1889, a ninth edition in 1890, and a tenth edition in 1898.  These editions were simply reprints of the 1887 seventh edition because the number of pages remained the same.  The year 1898 marks the end of Halliwell-Phillips's dominance  because that is the year that Sidney Lee published his biography of Shakespeare.  For over forty years, Halliwell-Phillipps researched and wrote about Shakespeare, leaving Sidney Lee and the many Shakespearian authors to follow a  mountain of Shakespeariana to borrow from.

As far as monetary value goes, there is no mountain of information to research in order to determine the monetary value of the Larizza copies of the 1882 edition of Outlines....  There is only one copy of the 1882 edition listed for sale on the web.  There are no listings of a presentation copy of the 1882 edition for sale on the web.  Charles Parkhurst Rare Books in Prescott, Az.  has a copy of the 1882 edition listed for $400, but the Parkhurst copy is in much better condition than either of the Larizza copies.  Charles Parkhurst also has an 1883 edition of this work, acquiring both copies when he bought the Shakespeare collection of the late Los Angeles book collector, Jerry D. Melton.  The 1883 copy is listed for $250.

In order to increase their monetary value, both Larizza copies are in need of minor repair by a professional bookbinder.  The cloth of the presentation copy is split on the top right side. Additionally, a previous owner's label needs to be removed from the top of the spine:

The cloth is frayed on the top of the spine of the second copy and is splitting along both sides of the spine.

The color of both bindings is still bright and no other faults are evident.  I've already provided Chris with the name and number of a professional bookbinder in Connecticut.

After these copies are repaired, how much will the  Larizza copies be worth?  Exactly how much a buyer is willing to pay for them.  The monetary value of a presentation copy depends upon the scarcity of the work, the collectibility of the author, and the prominence of the person the book was presented to.  Obviously, the Larizza presentation copy is scarce because no other presentation copy of that edition is listed on the web.  There is an 1887 seventh edition listed by a UK bookseller for $193 that could be a presentation copy.

But how collectible is Outlines...?   And how collectible are presentation copies of other works by Halliwell-Phillipps?

There are only two copies of Outlines... listed on ILAB, the two Parkhurst copies mentioned above.  There are eighteen copies of Outlines... listed on Abebooks, ten of which are exlibrary and in poor condition.  The Parkhurst copies are listed on Abebooks as are two copies of the 1887 edition.

KHP Books in Vernon Hills, Il. has their 1887 copy listed for $350 with the only fault being that the spine of Volume 1 is weakened.  Several pieces of Shakespearian ephemera belonging to a former owner are included with the set.  The other 1887 edition is listed by Staniland Booksellers in Rutland, U.K.  This set was bound in richly decorated contemporary green morocco with raised bands and marbled boards by Henry Sotheran & Co., probably shortly after its first owner purchased it.  What is interesting is that in the listing it says that this copy is "inscribed by author on half-title," which makes me wonder if it is a presentation copy.  If so, I believe it is underpriced at a mere $192.  The only drawback would be the postage from the U.K. to the U.S.

I found five presentation copies of works written and inscribed by Halliwell-Phillipps.  And the Staniland copy of Outlines... was the most expensive.  One of them, Memoranda on the Tragedy of Hamlet, London, 1879 was only listed for $56.  That copy was presented to Sir Arthur Hodgson, an Australian politician.  I have a presentation copy of this work in my own library, but I believe the provenance of my copy increases its value. My copy was presented to  the author James Russell Lowell.  When I bought my copy six years ago, it was listed for $100.  Today I believe it would be closer to $150.

But how much are the Larizza copies worth?

The Larizza presentation copy of Outlines... was presented to F. H. Pryor, Mayor, Alderman, and Burgesses of the City of Gloucester.  Both Halliwell-Phillipps and Pryor were members of the British Archaeological Association.  I don't believe this provenance affects its monetary value.  I do believe either a university librarian or a Shakespeare collector will buy this presentation copy.  Once the copy is repaired, I believe it could fetch upwards of $500.

And now for the second copy with the bookplate and verse from Chaucer.  The book belonged to Caleb Thomas Winchester (1847-1920).  He was the librarian of Wesleyan University  at Middletown, Ct. from 1869 to 1885, and  Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature from 1873 to 1920.  He was the author of a biography of John Wesley as well as a number of articles and books on literature.

As for how much this copy will fetch, I will leave that up to Chris Larizza.  But I believe that provenance will play its part in determining monetary value.  Here is where I hope the Caleb T. Winchester copy goes:

The Olin Library, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Ct.

What is the name of the library catalog at Wesleyan University?  Why Caleb, of course! The library has three of Winchester's books already.  Why not add a fourth?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Corrections to the 1810 Catalogue of Greek & Latin Classics in the Auchinleck Library

When James Boswell died in 1795, he left the affairs of his estate in sad order.  It wasn't until almost fifteen years later that Sir Alexander Boswell received the final decreet arbitral concerning his ownership of the Auchinleck Library.  In 1810, Alexander catalogued the Greek and Latin Classics in the library.  With his Auchinleck Press, he printed copies of the Catalogue of Greek & Latin Classics in the Auchinleck Library, and sent his brother Jamie a copy.  He also told his brother that he was working on a general catalogue of the entire Auchinleck Library.  There was no date or imprint on the nine-page catalogue of the classics, but John Martin recorded it in his book, A Bibliographical Catalogue of Books Privately Printed; Including those of the Bannatyne, Maitland and Roxburghe Clubs, And of the Private Presses at Darlington, Auchinleck, Lee Priory, Newcastle, Middle Hill, and Strawberry Hill, London, 1834.  Martin also reported that Alexander Boswell printed a general catalogue of the Auchinleck Library, containing 111 pages, but most of the copies were destroyed because Alexander Boswell never completed the catalogue.

In February 2010, James Caudle, Associate Editor of the Yale Editions of the Private Papers of James Boswell, contacted me after reading my note in the September 2009 issue of the Johnsonian News Letter.  I had informed Johnsonians and Boswellians that we were cataloguing the libraries of Samuel Johnson and James Boswell on Library Thing.  James Caudle made our work more expansive, providing me with several catalogues and lists of books formerly owned by the Boswells.  One of them was a copy of the Catalogue of Greek & Latin Classics in the Auchinleck Library.  

I recently completed the cataloguing of the 279 290* works listed in this catalogue. The listings can be viewed on Library Thing.  I invite Boswell lovers, and especially the people who catalogue books for a living to review my work, and inform me of any errors in my research so I can correct them.  I have yet to  modernize the latin place names or standardize the spelling of the names of the authors.

 Of the 279 290* works listed in the 1810 Catalogue, at least 75 of the them were sold during the 1893 Auchinleck Sale.  Another five works were sold during the 1916 Sotheby Catalogue.  Auction lot numbers are annotated in the right-hand column, with "A" denoting the works sold in the 1893 Auchinleck Sale, and "S" denoting the works sold in the 1916 Sotheby Sale.

I am providing an annotated copy below of the 1810 Catalogue of Greek & Latin Classics in the Auchinleck Library for your research purposes.  The official sources for this document are:

Marion S. Pottle, Claude Colleer Abbott and Frederick A. Pottle, eds. Catalogue
of the Papers of James Boswell at Yale University, 3 Vols. (Edinburgh:
Edinburgh University Press; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993).

Boswell Collection.  General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, MSS89,  Box 60, Folder 1271, Catalogue of Greek and Latin Classics...(p15) 1810

The 1810 Catalogue is nowhere near perfect.  Hardly any of the titles are provided. And some of the dates and places of publication are inaccurate–or at least they appear to be inaccurate.  Some of them could be, as James Caudle cautioned, "ghost editions." I've annotated my corrections in the catalogue below.  Please contact me if you believe any of my corrections are flawed.

P1 Aesop  Latin  R. Stephanus Lutet. 1550       Should be 1546.

P1 Aristophanes Plant. Lugd. Bat. 15                 Should be 1600.

P1 Aristophanes Maire 1524                                 Should be 1624.

P2 Ausonius Scaligeri Heidelb 1688                     Should be 1588.

P3 Claudianus  Heinsius Elzevir  Lugd. P.  1665          Should be Amsterdam.

P3 Dion Cassius Oporinus Basil 1557                             Should be 1558.

All bibliographical records on Page 4 appear to be correct.

P5 Lucanus Elzevir Lugd B. 1658              Should be Hackium.
P5 Lucanus             Amst.  1658                   Should be Elzevir.

P6 Pindar H. Steph. Antw. 1560                         Could be Paris.
P6 Plinius Senior Froben. Fol. Basil 1534        Could be 1530.

All bibliographical records on P7 appear to be correct.

P8 Statius Ed. Prin. Fol. Romae 1475                   Could be Venice 1483.
P8 Suetonius Jansson Amstel. 1531                      Could be 1631.
P8 Suetonius R. Steph. 1533                                    Could be Paris 1543.
P8 Terentius R. Steph. 4to Paris 1531                   Could be 1541.
P8 Terentius R. Steph. Paris 1740                           Could be 1540.
P8 Theocrites  8 vo Oxon.                                         Could be 1699.

P9 Virgilius  12mo Gryphius Lugd. 1572                 Could be 1592.
P9 Virgilius H. Steph. 8vo no date                           Could be Geneva 1576.

Thanks again to James Caudle and Yale University for enabling us to catalogue another portion of the Boswell Library for viewing on Library Thing.

Jul 31, 2011:
My friend, Per Ralåmb,  Proprietor of Rosenlund Rare Books & Manuscripts in New Jersey, and a collector of early printed books reviewed my corrections, using three bibliographies I was unfamiliar with:  Schweiger, Renouard, and Brueggeman.  His research recorded below is already included in the respective Library Thing listings.

P1 Aesop  Latin R. Stephanus 1550. This is should be, as you indicated, the 1546 edition in 4to though it was printed in Greek and not Latin. The only 1550 Latin edition was printed in Basel.

P1 Aristophanes Plant. Lugd. Bat. 15 . This is, as you mentioned, the 1600 Plantin edition.

P1 Arsitophanes Maire 1524. This is the Scaliger edition of 1624. By the way, in order for this edition to be complete, it must contain the 56p of the Fragments which is sometimes missing.

P2 Ausonius Scaligeri Heidelb 1688. This is correct. Should be the 1588 Heidelberg edition.

P3 Claudianus  Heinsius Elzevir  Lugd. P.  1665. Should be Amsterdam. 

P3 Dion Cassius Oporinus Basil 1557. The preface is dated November 1557, but the printed title page is dated 1558.

P5 Lucanus Elzevir Lugd B. 1658  The Hackius edition was printed in Leyden and the Elzevier in Amsterdam.

P5 Lucanus             Amst.  1658                Should be Elzevir Correct

P6 Pindar H. Steph. Antw. 1560. Printed in Paris by the Estienne Press. 

P6 Plinius Senior Froben. Fol. Basil 1534 . Froben printed one edition in 1530 and another 1535.

P8 Statius Ed. Prin. Fol. Romae 1475. Schweiger mentions a 1475 edition printed in Rome. 

P8 Suetonius Jansson Amstel. 1531. This is tricky because there are a few choices, but no 1631 Amsterdam edition by Jansson in Schweiger. There is by Jansson a 1621 Amsterdam edition listed.

P8 Suetonius R. Steph. 1533. Agree. Should be 1543 by Estienne.

P8 Terentius R. Steph. 4to Paris 1531. A bit tricky as well. There is an 8vo edition printed in Paris 1531 and a 12mo as well as a 4to edition printed in Paris 1541.  My guess, this is the 4to edition.

P8 Terentius R. Steph. Paris 1740. There is no Estienne Paris edition of 1540 according to Renouard. So, this should be the Estienne 12mo edition of 1541. Schweiger is a bit unclear, but seems to follow the same flow of editions.

P8 Theocrites  8 vo Oxon. Tricky. There are in Brueggeman three 8vo editions from Oxford, 1676, 1699 and 1760. There is even a fourth but 4to edition printed in 1770. 

P9 Virgilius  12mo Gryphius Lugd. 1572 . I agree. 1592. Schweiger lists it as a 16mo.          

P9 Virgilius H. Steph. 8vo no date. There are  two by Henri Estienne in 1576, 1583

*Update: June 2013 After reviewing Terry Seymour's article in the March 2013 issue of the Johnsonian News Letter, I discovered that I hadn't cataloged all the entries listed in the 1810 Catalogue. Moreover, where there were duplicate copies of a work, only one work was counted by Library Thing toward the total count of the works. I listed all duplicate works separately and identified and catalogued the entries I had missed in 2011.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Statius Check

When it comes to researching Greek and Latin classics, the phrase "that's Greek to me,"  accentuates its own meaning.  The names of the authors, printers, and publishers are often spelled three different ways.  And there are sometimes three different versions of the same title, whether it be in Greek or Latin.  But I've been getting quite a bit of practice while cataloguing the Boswell Library on Library Thing.  It took us 13 months to catalogue the 1825 Auction Catalogue, and another 13 months to catalogue the 1893 Auchinleck Sale.  But we didn't stop there.  Dave Larkin and Anna Ritchie started on the 1916  James Boswell Talbot Sale, while I concentrated on the 1810 Catalogue of Greek & Latin Classics in the Auchinleck Library:

I was going along fine––until I came to Statius.  The two 1475 Romae editions confused me.  And then it did a whole lot more than that!

Alexander Boswell wrote this catalogue in 1810.  I just wish he was a bit more descriptive in his identification of the titles of the two 1475 Statius editions. Was the same title published in two different sizes in 1475?  Or were these two works two entirely different books?  Some explanations:  "Ed. Princ." stands for "Editio Princeps" which means "First Edition."  "Pannaru" is a different spelling of the name of Pannartz the publisher. Don't ask me what the "E.S." after "Silvae" stands for because I'd only be guessing (See Addendum 07/18/11).  "Silvae" is the title of one of Statius's works.

I did a COPAC search using the following criteria:  Author: Statius  Date of Publication: 1475  Place of Publication: Romea

I got three results:
 First Result 
Second Result
Third Result

All three books were identified as 4to editions (quartos). And although the first one was identified as an "Editio Princeps" (First Edition), it was not a folio as called for in the 1810 Catalogue.

I then performed a search on Overcat, a special Library Thing search engine to find the exact editions of titles of books to catalogue for "Statius 1475."  I got two hits.  One was an edition of Silvae, but the listing said the book was published in (Venice after 1475).  The brackets meant that the place and date of publication were not identified in the work).  The other hit was for a book which included the Silvae of Statius, but Catullus was listed as the author.  Next, I searched the Library Thing link to the GBV, a German network of European libraries.  I got a hit on a title and edition that was already catalogued from the 1893 Auchinleck Sale, lot 752:

Looking for additional information, I searched COPAC by that title and got this unexpected hit:  A folio edition that was a reprint of the 1475 edition Pannartz published in Rome.  Again, the brackets meant the place and date of publication were not listed in the work.  What's more, this work sounded suspiciously like the first result from the Overcat search (Venice after 1475).

I had noticed several references to a Statius 1475 folio edition on the web, but found no library listings of  a 1475 folio edition of Statius published in Rome.  So I rashly concluded that the circa 1482 Venice edition was actually the work identified in the 1810 Catalogue as "Statius Ed. Prin. Fol. Romae 1475."  My thinking was that the Venice edition, in which the date and place of publication were not identified on the title page, may have had the title page of the 1475 edition inserted behind it.  I further deduced that the work catalogued in lot number 752 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale was the Silvae 4to edition listed in the 1810 Catalogue.  In a "Correct Me if I'm Wrong" email, I announced my findings to the esteemed members of our Boswell Advisory Group to Library Thing:  James Caudle, the Associate Editor of the Yale Editions of the Papers of James Boswell,  Paul T. Ruxin, the Boswell collector, and Terry Seymour, the Boswell cataloguer.

Terry was the first to jump all over my s___.  He insisted that the work listed in lot number 752 of the Auchinleck Sale was a folio edition.  His reasoning was that Sotheby listed the work in the Folio section (works are separated by size: octavo et infra, quarto and folio)... I had to admit.  He had a point there!

 Okay.  Back to square one!

I remembered that Quaritch had bought lot 752, and that the Quaritch Rough List No. 135, Sept. 1893, was online:

Here's a more readable copy:

941 STATIUS. Page blank. Page 2: eirwiriluv Hoc Yolvmine Domitivs
Inservit Syluarum Statii Papinii libroa quinqj a se emendatos: Com- 
mentaries: quos in Syluas composuit Commentariolos in Sappho 
Ouidii quos edidit Propertii loca obscuriora a se elucubrata Particulam 
ex tertio libro suarum obseruationum . . . small folio, red morocco 
extra, gilt edges Romae ad aedes Maximorum. Arnoldus Pannartz . . 
                          MCOOCLXXV . . (1475) 10 0 0 
   The text is in a larger, the commentary in a smaller type, the latter being Pannartz's 
new fount, the former apparently (with some additions) the old and well-known type 
of Sweynheym and Pannartz. 
942 STATIUS. Page blank. Page 2: iirtairiluv HOC Voujmine Domitivs In
SErvIT. Syluarum Statii papinii libros quinque a se emendatos. Commen- 
taries: quos in Syluas composuit Commentariolos in Sappho Ouidii quos 
edidit. propertii loca obscura a se elucubrata particulam ex tertio libro 
 . . Page 3: Domitii Calderini Veronen. . . Page 6: Domitius hortatur 
Statium . . Page 7: Domitivs Calderinvs Avgvstino Mafeo . . Page 
164: .. . Syluarii quinto libro finis . . . MCCCCLXXV. Page 165: 
Domitii Calderini Veronensis secretarii apostolici . . MCCCCLXXV. 
Papinii Vita . . Pp. 166-7-8 blank. Page 169: Ad Franciscvm 
Aragonivm . . Page 201: . . Domitius ad lectorem . . Finis. Pp. 
202-3-4 blank. Small folio, fine copy in old calf gilt 
                                                 (Venice about 1476) 2 10 0 
    This edition is alluded to by Brunet in doubtful terms as being probably supposititious. 
Its great rarity accounts for the ignorance of the bibliographers. It is not an edition 
of the Works of Statins, but contains exactly the same matter as Pannartz' edition of 
the Sylvae above described. The volume consists of 102 leaves with signatures a-m, 
A-C, of which d, g, h, k, 1, m, B, are in six leaves each, C in four, and the rest in 

The key words in 941 of Quaritch's Rough List No. 135 are the words "small folio."  This is the work listed in lot number 752 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale.   Remember the edition published in Venice after 1475?  That sounds awfully similar to the edition identified in 942 of Quaritch's Rough List No. 135.  Surprisingly, this book was not listed in the 1893 Auchinleck Sale.

But what about the other listing in the 1810 Catalogue?  Time to do more research, but this time I hit some of the books in my own library.  And I'm looking for an Editio Princeps of one of Statius's works that was published in Rome in 1475.   There are four works to choose from, but only two works are possibilities: Statii Opera and the Silvae.  The other two works, Thebais  and Achilleis, were published before 1475.

Brunet's bibliography was first published in 1810, the same year Alexander Boswell created the 1810 Catalogue.  In fact, there was a copy of the 1810 edition of Brunet's work listed in lot number 73 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale.  Which Boswell was the first to take it down from a shelf and refer to it?  Was it Alexander Boswell?  Did he read French?  Could be!  The Auchinleck Library also contained a seven-volume set of Bibliographie instructive: ou, Traité de la connoissance des lvres et singuliers  by Guiillaume Francoois Debure, published from 1763 to 1768 (see lot number 262 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale).  Also in lot 262 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale was a set of Adam Clarke's Bibliographical Dictionary... published in six volumes in 1803 with two supplements added on.

 If you can read French, take a look at the Statius listings below, and have at it.  It's Greek to me, although Brunet appears to be referring to a premiere edition (first edition) of a Statii Opera published in Rome in 1475.  The Statii Opera contained all of the works of Statius.

Notice the  Pannartz edition of Sylvarum published in Rome in 1475 "in 4-" below?  That would be a 4to edition.  I've seen several listings of this 4to 1475 edition on COPAC.

The first edition of Fournier's bibliography was published in 1805 and the second edition in 1809.

Fournier also presented information about a premiere edition of Silvae in 1475, but the edition he identified is a folio edition!

Have no fear, the next classical bibliography was published in English. Thank God!  It was first published in 1825.

Moss's words about the Statii Opera are enlightening to say the least; but don't help much in identifying an Editio Princeps of a work by Statius that was published in Rome in folio in 1475.

Moss also lists the 1475 Rome edition of Silvae in folio.  Could Pannartz have published the work in both folio and 4to at the same place in the same year?

Dibdin's bibliography of Greek and Latin Classics was first published in 1802.

Note Dibdin's words about the Statii Opera.

Here Dibdin says that the 1475 Rome edition published by Pannartz is a 4to edition, and that it is not an Editio Princeps.

And then there is the Bibliotheca Spenceriana catalogued by Dibdin.  I have yet to acquire a copy of this work for my own library.  But there was a copy of this work in the Auchinleck Library (lot number 73 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale); however, the work wasn't published until 1814. What is striking  in the Bibliotheca Spenceriana is that Dibdin identifies a 1475 folio edition of Silvae.  In his bibliography previously presented, he identified a 4to edition of the same work by the same publisher in 1475, increasing the likelihood that Pannartz published both a folio and 4to edition of the work in 1475. The first paragraph of the Statius listings in the Spencer Library provides a summary of sorts for you, but doesn't help in identifying the 1475 Editio Princeps if one ever existed at all:

Statius. Thebais et Achilleis. Without Name of Printer, Place, or Date. Folio.
Editio Princeps. There are few points in bibliography more difficult to settle with satisfaction, than that of the exact chronological order of the publications of the several pieces of Statius. De Bure is exceedingly brief and superficial; and Ernesti and Panzer are not only a little confused, but incorrect. Brunet is somewhat methodical and satisfactory. The present impression of the Thebais and Achillas is called by Count Rericzky, in his usual style of designation, Editio PrimariPrinceps.The Count considered it to be more ancient than  an apparently similar impression in the Cat. de la Valliere, vol. ii. n°. 2544; and which impression Brunet introduces as the first genuine one, in the order observed by him in the Manuel du Libraire, vol. ii. 505. Whether the Valliere copy be the same as the present edition, is rather doubtful; but if we may judge from extrinsic evidence, there seems to be little or no doubt that the impression under description is more ancient than the Sylvte or Achilleis, each with the express date of 1472....

And then there is George Wolfgang Panzer's Annales Typographici, a massive eleven-volume bibliography published from 1793 to 1803. Its English title is Annals of Typography From the Origin of Printing to 1536."  As if there wasn't enough bibliographical references already available in the Auchinleck Library, this set was on the shelves as well (see lot number 449 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale).

In his Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books William Beloe was kind enough to translate the portion pertaining to Statius from Panzer's books:

In the accounts given by various Bibliographers of the editions of Statius, there is great confusion. That which is here offered is as accurate as an examination of several of them, and a diligent investigation of the different notices which are given of the others by various authors, has enabled me to draw up.  There is only one edition of the 15th century, containing the entire works of this poet, which can be considered as valuable, and I suspect that to be of a much later date than has usually been assigned to it The others contain only separate pieces. Whether this has arisen from the manuscripts, which were in the hands of the editors, comprising no more than what they have published, or that were at the time the more admired and popular parts of the author, is not possible at this day to be determined.
The complete edition is thus described by Panzer
Stati I Opera, i. e. Thebais, cum interpretatione Placidii Lactantii. Achilleis cum recollectis traditis a Domino Francisco Maturantio Perusino; Sylvarum Libri V. cum commentar. Domitii Calderini.
Sine nomine typographi, et cum alia praefatione ab ea quae est typis Arnoldi Pannartz Romae Calendis Sextilibus Mcccclxxv. Folio.
This book was in the Crevenna Collection, the learned possessor of which has given a very particular account of it, vol. iii. 234, by which it appears, that the date of the year, which is subjoined to the Sylvae, and to the Commentary of Calderinus, is not to be taken for the year in which the book was printed, but for that in which the Commentary was composed at Rome. That it was not printed in that city is clear, not only from the silence of Audiffredi concerning it, but because the types do not resemble those of any Roman printer. Nor was it so early as the year 1475, as the book has signatures, and every other appearance of having come out much nearer the end of the century. Crevenna himself, with some reason, supposes it to be no other than the edition set forth at Venice in 1490, by Jac. de Paganinis, as the contents are the same, and the characters exactly resemble those of that printer.
There is indeed another edition of the whole works of Statius, said to be printed at Rome, 1476, which is cited by Panzer ii. 467j 250, on the authority of Maittaire, but this is probably the same with that which has been just described, as Audiffredi gives no other account of it than what is derived from the Annales.
The Sylvae, which are to be first mentioned, are to be found with that most rare edition of Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius, which has already been noticed as printed (probably by Vindelinus Spira) at Venice, in 1472. They are also subjoined to another edition of the same author's, Ven. J. de Colonia, 1475, and to the edition of Catullus, Parmae apud Corallum, 1473.
An edition of the Sylvae, circa annum 1473, is mentioned by Panzer iv. 196. 1169, with reference to the Crevenna Sale Catalogue. Having never seen the book, I am unable to ascertain whether the antiquity of it is so great as is presumed.
With more certainty can I speak of a very rare and valuable edition of the Sylvae, with the comment of Calderinus, which was printed at Rome by Pannartz, in 1475, The text is in the same character with that which he used when he printed with Sweynheym; but the commentary is in a smaller and more elegant type, which he began to use after the death of his partner. This book is in Lord Spencer's and in the Bishop of Rochester's Collections.
The Sylvz were also printed at Florence in 1480, apud Sanctum Jacobum de Ripoli. All the books which came from this monastery are valuable. I have seen no copy of this edition.
Achilleis. • . Ferraria e per Andream Gallum, 1472, 4to.
This edition certainly exists, (though no copy is known in this kingdom,) as it is mentioned and particularly described by the accurate Audiffredi. Specim, 230.
c c 3 Venetiis,
Venetiis, 1472, 4to. In fine, Uteris qu&dratis, Papinii Statu Sursuli Achilleidos finis M.ccccixxii. Nicolao Trono principe Venetiis.
The character is that of J. de Colonia, and the book has 24 leaves, and 34 lines in each page.
In Lord Spencer's Library, and in that of the Bishop of Rochester.
Parm.e, 1473- 4to.
The Colophon subjoined to this edition is very curious, and contains a severe censure on the editors of one or both the forementionod editions. "Si quas optime lector hoc in. opeie lituras inveneris nasum ponito, nam Stephaqus Corallus Lugdunensis invidorum quorundam malevolentia lacessitus, qui idem imprimere tcntarunt citius quam asparagi coquantur id absolvit ac summo studio emendatum literarum studiosis legendum tradidit Parmae. wcccc wsxi i1. x CaL April.
This most rare book is at Blenheim, as is also the edition of the Sylvae cum Catqllo, 1473.
Thebais. Panzer 2. QJ). 613, C. Pap. Stati I Thebaidos Libb. xii.

Praescedunt versus 32 Bonini Mombritii ad Barth. Calcum. In fine. Disticha g. Ejusdem ad eundem.
Thirty-four lines in a page with signatures, about the year 1478. Folio.
The curious reader will find some beautiful Latin verses by this Boninus Mombritius ad Borsium Ducem Mutinueet liegii prefixed to the Hesiod, printed at Ferrara, by Andreas Qallus.
Thebais Et Achilleis. Panzer 4. 1
This edition is in the Royal Library, at Lord Spencer's, and at Blenheim. It is exceedingly rare.

So what was that bolt of lightning which appeared directly above?  Was this the  mysterious Statii Opera cited by a number of bibliographers?  Could this be the Editio Princeps Alexander Boswell was referring to in the 1810 Catalogue?  Good question.


 07/18/11.  My friend Asta just informed me that "E.S." stands for "Editio Secundum."  That would be correct because the 1475 edition was the second edition of Silvae.

 07/20/11.  As far as cataloguing Statius's editio princeps on Library Thing, I'm going to go with the 1483 edition of the Statii Opera that was published by Octavianus Scotus in Venice in 1483.  Panzer's argument concerning the 1490 edition sounds good too, but the 1490 edition was already listed in the 1810 Catalogue and was catalogued as lot 753 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale.

10/09/13  There have been over 100 page views of this blog post in the past two months. Has someone recommended it?  Just curious.