Sep 27, 2018 - Sale 2486

Sale 2486 - Lot 342

Price Realized: $ 5,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(NEW YORK--BROOKLYN.) Archive of wholesale bookseller William C. Hall. Several hundred items (0.6 linear feet) in one box; condition generally strong, with some wear and water damage to a few items. Vp, circa 1837-64, bulk 1850s

Additional Details

William Chauncy Hall (1783-1863) was a Brooklyn-based wholesale book importer and dealer of the early 19th century. His obituary in the American Publisher's Circular of 1 May 1863 describes him as "a gentleman who had imported more foreign books into the United States and British Provinces of America than any other person. . . . His custom was to buy books in London—sometimes almost by whole ship-loads, four hundred or five hundred cases—in the summer season, and bring them over, and close off each shipment during the winter and spring, returning for a fresh supply. In this way he had crossed the Atlantic about two hundred times, and . . . had imported over three million volumes of books. The firm of D. Appleton & Co. owes its connection with books to Mr. Hall, their first introduction to the business being by the sale of his consignments."
Included are files of invoices and correspondence with dealers Charles A. Brown of Philadelphia and Tunison & Reeve of New York. His invoices from British booksellers Bangs, Brother & Co. from one May 1858 expedition run in excess of 50 folio pages. The collection includes correspondence, shipping documents, consignment inventory lists, auction notices, a priced 1851 Lyman & Rawdon book auction catalog, and other documents relating to his business, as well as a smaller quantity of personal papers such as his bills from the Pierrepont House hotel in Brooklyn Heights. If you have an interest in the history of the book trade--and many of us do--this archive offers much to contemplate.