Very Rare First Edition, First Issue of John Donne's Sermons, Volume III
DONNE, John. XXVI Sermons. London: Printed by T.[homas] N.[ewcomb] for James Magnes , 1660.
First edition, first issue. Small folio. (11 x 7 inches; 280 x 180 mm.). [xii], 120, 129-183, [1, blank], 177-232, 241-243, 236-237, 246-296, 285-392, 397-411, [1, blank] pp. "This volume was very carelessly edited and printed. It actually contains only twenty-three instead of twenty-six sermons; sermon 9 is left out altogether, but two of the sermons are printed twice over, nos. 16 and 17 being merely repetitions of nos. 5 and 3. The collation...will be seen to be very erratic;...The pagination is very faulty, although the right number of pages, 411, is finally arrived at....There are in addition several minor misprints in the pagination. There are also variable irregularities in some of the signatures....a large number of corrections were made while the book was passing through the press....also note a change in the type after sheet Aa,...[indicating] that the two parts of the book were printed simultaneously at two different presses....The book was printed by Thomas Newcomb (1649-1681), and was twice reissued with new title-pages in 1661 (see [Keynes] nos. 32 and 32a)". Of the three volumes of John Donne's sermons published, volume III is the rarest (Keynes, p. 53-54).

Contemporary tree calf, ruled in blind, spine decoratively tooled in gilt with a red morocco spine label, lettered in gilt. Spine expertly and handsomely rebacked with original spine laid down. A few tears and minor abrasions to covers, expertly repaired. All edges speckled. Two prior owners' bookplates on front pastedown and free endpaper (Goyder copy). Title page reattached. Minor discoloration to margin of top edges, not affecting text. A few margin and corner paper flaws, not affecting the text. Early manuscript notes on rear pastedown and free endpaper. Only 1 copy (other than this copy) of the first edition (any issue) has been offered at auction in over 75 years. An excellent copy of this very rare and bibliographically complex work.

Keynes, Donne, 31; Wing, 1872.

HBS # 66986 $11,000