The library of the late John, Duke of Roxburghe … which will be sold by auction ….
Robert H. Evans
The sale of the library of John Ker, Duke of Roxburghe (1740–1804) inaugurated the English golden age of book collecting. The Grolier Club copy of the auction catalogue, from the library of John Roland Abbey, is priced in a contemporary hand, and annotated throughout with buyers’ names; laid-in is a manuscript leaf in the same hand giving a blow-by-blow account of the bidding on lot 6292, the fabled Valdarfer Decameron. The first meeting of the Roxburghe Club was held that evening when, at the suggestion of Thomas Frognall Dibdin, eighteen gentlemen gathered for dinner at the St. Alban’s Tavern to celebrate the day’s events.