Thursday, March 10, 2016

All the world, in three volumes

Rebecca Rego Barry reports a complete first edition Encyclopedia Britannica, from 1771, is to come up for auction:
Ah, the beloved Encyclopaedia Britannica. Since it ceased publication in 2012 after 241 years, our nostalgia for these volumes has only increased. (Even my born-digital children have requested a set.) So I find it exciting that a first edition of this most cherished of encyclopedias, published in Edinburgh in 1771, will appear at auction later this month. Addison & Sarova will offer the three-volume set, bound in later half-calf with a little rubbing, but, more importantly, retaining all 160 plates. According to the auctioneer, “The set is scarcely seen containing all of the plates--particularly the child-birthing plates, present in the third volume, which caused an outcry when the book was first published and thus were not included in many issues.” The estimate is $6,000-8,000. 
Britannica ended its storied run of print editions in 2011. For an account of its sad last years under the leadership of Mortimer Adler, click here.

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