Bernard Quaritch - Encyclopedia

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BERNARD QUARITCH (1819-1899), English bookseller and collector, was born at Worbis, Germany, on the 23rd of April 181 9. After being apprenticed to a bookseller, he went to London in 1842, and was employed by Bohn the publisher. In 1847 he started a bookseller's business off Leicester Square, becoming naturalized as a British subject. In 1848 he started to issue a monthly Catalogue of Foreign and English Books. About 1858 he began to purchase rare books, one of the earliest of such purchases being a copy of the Mazarine Bible, and within a period of forty years he possessed six separate copies of this rare and valuable edition. In 1860 he removed to Piccadilly. In 1873 he published the Bibliotheca Xylographica, Typographica et Palaeographica, a remarkable catalogue of early productions of the printing press of all countries. He became a regular buyer at all the principal book-sales of Europe and America, and from time to time published a variety of other catalogues of old books. Amongst these may be mentioned the Supplemental Catalogue (1877), and in 1880 an immense catalogue of considerably over 2000 pages. The last complete catalogue of his stock was published in 1887-88 under the title General Catalogue of Old Books and Manuscripts, in seven volumes, increased with subsequent supplements to twelve. All these catalogues are of considerable bibliographical value. By this time Quaritch had developed the largest trade in old books in the world. Among the books that he published was FitzGerald's. Omar Khayydm, and he was the agent for the publications of the British Mu ' seam and the Society of Antiquaries. He died at Hampstead on the 17th of December 1899, leaving his business to his son.

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