Page:Notes by the Way.djvu/330

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��1907, Sept. 28.

Hodgson &

Sons, 1807-


��File of catalogues.

��The First

Folio: large

advance in


��Saunders's rooms.



HODGSON & SONS (1807-1907).

No more interesting celebration has been held in the commercial book-world than that which took place on September 27th, 1907, at the house of the Hodgsons, the well-known book-auctioneers in Chancery Lane, when friends met to commemorate the centenary of the founding of the business. The Hodgson firm has been entirely a family one since 1828, a fact almost unique in the history of the book-trade.

In the little budget of history presented to each guest at the celebration dinner a short history of the firm and its founders is given. With the exception of Robert Saunders, who began the busi- ness, the members of the firm have been Hodgsons ; and among the valuable records possessed by them is a complete file of cata- logues (with the exception of a single year) of all the sales they have held, priced throughout. How interesting it would be to make a selection from the entries, say, of the first fifty years, and place against the amounts then obtained the prices realized in the present day ! As readers of ' N. & Q.' know well, there has been a large advance almost all round. Especially has this been the case with the First Folio Shakespeare. In the booklet is quoted Dibdin's remark as to the sum obtained (1211. 16s.) in 1812 : " The highest price ever given, or likely to be given, for the book"; yet, as will be remembered, 3,600?. has recently been paid for a copy, and Messrs. Hodgson rightly remark that " he would be a bold man who w r ould say, even now, that the highest limit has been reached."

How different were the prices obtained when Lilly, of King Street, Covent Garden, was wont to pride himself on having the largest collection of early Shakespeares of any bookseller !

Saunders's first rooms were at 14, Old Compton Street ; but in May, 1808, he moved to 39, Fleet Street, formerly the site of " The Mitre Tavern," and exactly opposite the old church of St.

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