A Victorian collector makes an incunable

PTT.2864.1476.adnotatio
Adnotatio on back pastedown.
PTT.2864.1476.cover
Binding with the monogram of John Eliot Hodgkin
PTT.2864.1476.leaf.118.recto
[On right] Facsimile leaf made ca. 1860 by John Harris [leaf 118]

❧ The present physical make-up of this 1476 Milan edition of Horace resulted from the fabricating instructions of engineer and book collector John Eliot Hodgkin (1829-1912) of Richmond, Surrey.

To understand this book physically we must reverse-engineer it. Doing so we discover the chronological sequence of its production:

1. About 1860, John Eliot Hodgkin came into possession of an imperfect copy of the 1476 Horace and about that time, he states, he obtained from John Harris a facsimile of leaf 118. [For more on John Harris, see "John Harris the Pen-and-Ink Facsimilist"
by Toshiyuki Takamiya, Keio University (Link)]
2. The assemblage went into the hands of a binder who added margins to damaged leaves thus bringing all leaves to a uniform size of 25.6 cm tall x 15.7 cm wide. The leaves were washed and bleached leaving ghosts of annotations throughout. On the last leaf, faintly appears the name ‘Zanner Amerigoti.’
3. The text block was sewn onto five cords laced into boards covered in brown calf tooled in gilt with the recessed monogram “I E H”. All edges gilt.
4. On the back pastedown, Hodgkin mounted his ‘Adnotatio,’ in effect a memorial tablet detailing the recording of this edition by authoritative bibliographers and cognoscenti collectors.
5. In 1902, JEH published his descriptive notes about this copy in his Rariora.
[Link]

Rariora.1476.page-titlepage.uc2.ark--13960-t8z89hs5s-168

The book was sold at Sotheby (London) at Hodgkin’s sale in May 1914. In November 1914, Robert Patterson, class of 1876, presented it to the Library. Call number: PTT 2865.1476

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