”To know what books are valuable and what are worthless; their intrinsic and extrinsic merits; their rarity, beauty, and particularities of various kinds; and the estimation in which they are consequently held by knowing men—these things add a zest to the gratification we feel in even looking at and handling certain volumes...” -Bibliomania
Exquisite deluxe limited edition (one of 483 copies) from the Boston Bibliophile Society of Dibdin’s Bibliomania, generally regarded as the most famous and influential book on book collecting. Complete with frontispiece etchings by Bicknell after Howard Pyle (in two states) in each volume.
Dibdin’s “most famous book is Bibliomania, or, Book-madness, containing some account of the history, symptoms and cure of this fatal disease (1809); it included biographical sketches of the collectors of his day. It successfully caught the taste of the time among the aristocracy, and the second edition of 1811 had considerable influence in exciting interest in rare books and early editions, which peaked at the duke of Roxburghe sale of May and June 1812... Dibdin popularized the word ‘bibliomania’, a term evocative of that era's antiquarian interests; his main contributions seem to have been his zealous enthusiasm in promoting book collecting generally among the aristocracy, as well as putting forth the principle of first-hand examination of books in the compilation of bibliographies” (Dictionary of National Biography).
Boston: The Bibliophile Society, 1903. Quarto, original vellum-style paper over boards; original boxes. Four volumes (complete). Bookplates on front pastedowns. Pages uncut and largely unopened. Boxes (which are usually lacking) with general wear and missing label on volume 3. Books and text in pristine, fine condition. An elegant production, rare in such fine condition.