Book Auction Catalogues
A COLLECTION OF WORKS, INCLUDING EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY AUCTION CATALOGUES, IN THREE VOLUMES:
Beauclerk, Topham. Bibliotheca Beauclerkiana. A Catalogue of the Large and Valuable Library... Paterson, 9 April 1781, two parts in one, preliminaries and title bound after the first part--Letter from the Earl of Buchan to his brother...on the subject of Education... Edinburgh, 1782, author's presentation copy--Catalogue of the Extensive, Genuine, and Highly Valuable Collection of Pictures, late the property of The Hon. John Clerk of Eldin... Edinburgh, 14 March 1833--Catalogue of the intire Cabinet of Capital Drawings collected by the late Greffier Francois Fagel...which will be sold by auction, under the direction of Mr. Thomas Philipe...the 20th of May, 1799, ad five following days... 1799; and many other catalogues (including the collection of drawings, books, coins etc assembled by John McGouan of Edinburgh, sold in January 1804) all annotated with prices realised, and others, including accounts of trials and histories of the church; 8vo, various bindings (spines numbered 232, 379, one unnumbered) (3)
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The Forbes Baronetcy was created in 1626 for Sir William Forbes (d. circa 1650) by James VI in the Barontage of Nova Scotia. The majority of the works offered here were acquired by the sixth Baronet, also William (1739-1806), who added Pitsligo to his title in 1781. He was an eminent Scottish banker and benefactor, good friend of James Boswell and Samuel Johnson (see lots 45-46), and finally succeeded in recovering the Pitsligo estates forfeited after the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. His son William, the seventh baronet, beat Sir Walter Scott to the hand of the renowned beauty Williamina Belsches Stuart (1776-1810), and it was with their marriage that the family moved to her family seat, Fettercairn House in Kincardineshire, Aberdeenshire.
One of the sixth baronet’s acquisitions for his library at Pitsligo were numerous highly important miscellanies and tract volumes, many of which were purchased as a set from Edinburgh bookseller Elphinstone Balfour in October 1786. These were subsequently supplemented by further contemporary tracts and other works from the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century. Most of these miscellanies bear a nineteenth century Forbes family bookplate.