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Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Matilda (Langdon) Hayden of New York
Sold at the American Art Association Auction
in New York City on Nov. 20, 1924

American Art Association logo

Summary: Matilda (Langdon) Hayden, daughter of Jane Ann (Duff) Minor and step-daughter of Daniel Minor Jr., and wife of one of Columbus, Ohio's richest and most successful industrialists and financiers in the 19th century, assembled an impressive library of rare books and manuscripts of "esteemed French, English and American authors." Toward the end of her life, in retirement in Catskill, NY, she agreed that her collection should be sold at auction. The event was held in New York City by the American Art Association, Inc., on Nov. 24, 1924. An impressive catalogue, spelling out the details of the 470 sets of items to be auctioned, was published. This page contains some of the highlights of the items placed into the auction, although it is by no means comprehensive.

John J. Audubon, autographed letter, 1829; and Lucy Audubon, autographed letter, 1839.Rev. S. Baring-Gould, autographed copy of “Onward Christian Soldiers,” manuscript of about 150 words.

William Blake and Edward Young, uncut copy of the first issue of Blake illustrations, 1797.

James Boswell, a set of the Temple Bar edition of the Life of Dr. Johnson and a Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, 1922.

The Bronte Sisters, The Works of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte, London, 1893.

Robert Browning, the fine Dulwich edition of The Complete Works of Robert Browning, New York, 1899.

William Cullen Bryant, original autographed manuscript of the poem, “Earth’s Children Cleave to Earth.”

Robert Burns, original Cunningham edition of “The Works of Robert Burns, With His Life,” by Alan Cunningham, London, 1834.

John Burroughs, set of the autographed edition of “The Writings of John Burroughs,” 23 volumes, Boston, 1904-1923.

Lord Byron (George Gordon), uncut copy of the rare large paper issue of “Hours of Idleness,” London, 1807, plus many other Byron works including “Poems, Original and Translated,” 1808; “The Prisoner of Chillon,” London, 1816; “Mazippa,” London, 1819; “Waltz and Apostrophic Hymn,” 1821; “The Works of Lord Byron with His Letters and Journals,” 17 volumes, by Thomas Moore, London, 1833; “The Poetical Works of Lord Byron,” six volumes, London, 1855.

New York Times coverage

Randolph Caldecott, watercolor drawings for William Cowper’s “John Gilpin,” London, 1877.

Thomas Carlyle, set of Memorial Fund edition of “The Writings of Thomas Carlyle,” Boston, no date.

Lewis Carroll, “College Rhymes,” 1861 and “A Bibliography of the Writings of Lewis Carroll,” London, 1924.

Willa Cather, “One of Ours,” 1922; “April Twilights and Other Poems,” 1923; “A Lost Lady,” 1923.

Geoffrey Chaucer, a fine large copy of an early issue of “The Woorkes of Geoffrey Chaucer,” 1561.

Samuel L. Clemens, “The Writings of Mark Twain,” signed by Mark Twain, 1899.

President Grover Cleveland, rare original Thanksgiving proclamation.

Joseph Conrad, magnificent set of the Sun-Dial edition of “The Works of Joseph Conrad,” autographed, 1920.

Stephen Crane, “Stephen Crane: A Study in American Letters,” by Thomas Beer, 1923.

Charles Darwin, autographed leaf, a fragment of “The Origin of Species,” manuscript of about 210 words.

Charles Dickens, first edition of “The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club,” 1836; “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby,” 1838; genuine first issue of the first edition of “A Christmas Carol,” 1843; rare first edition of the earliest issue of “Great Expectations,” three volumes, 1861; fine set of the “Edition de Grande Luxe” of “The Works of Charles Dickens,” edited by Richard Garnett, 1900.

Benjamin Disraeli, handsome set on Japanese vellum paper of “The Works of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield,” 20 volumes, 1904.

Alexandre Dumas, fine set of the International Limited Edition of “Romances of Alexandre Dumas,” 40 volumes, 1893.

George Eliot, the Rose Hill Limited Edition” of “The Writings of George Eliot,” 1898.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, autographed manuscript poem of “Voluntaries” of about 140 words.

Catalogue cover

Gustave Flaubert, large paper issue of “Madame Bovary,” 1885; The Sainte-Beuve Edition on Japanese vellum paper of “The Complete Works of Gustave Flaubert” 10 volumes, 1904.

Edward Gibbon, “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” eight volumes, 1887.

Kahlil Gibran, “20 Drawings,” 1919.

Oliver Goldsmith, “The Vicar of Wakefield,” eight volumes, 1843.

Thomas Hardy, scarce Mellstock edition, with Hardy’s autograph signature, “The Works of Thomas Hardy,” 37 volumes, London, 1916-1920.

Joel Chandler Harris, "Uncle Remus" manuscript, original typewritten manuscript of “Brother Rabbit, Brother Fox and Two Fat Pullets,” manuscript of about 4,000 words, typewritten on one side of six sheets.

Francis Bret Harte, autograph edition of “The Writings of Bret Harte,” 1911.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, first edition of “Biographical Stories for Children,” 1842, from the collection of Frederick W. French, with his bookplate; and a fine copy of the rare first issue of the first edition of “The Scarlet Letter,” 1850; fine copy of the first issue of the first edition, “The Marble Faun,” 1860; handsome Riverside Press issue of the autograph edition, “The Complete Writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne,” 1905.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The Writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes,” 13 volumes, including a seven-line autograph quotation signed by Dr. Holmes, 1891.

Victor Hugo, one of 10 copies on imperial Japanese vellum paper, “Notre Dame de Paris,” two volumes, 1889-1890; “Novels,” translated by John Chesterfield, 1894.

Thomas L. McKenny and James Hall, scarce first edition of “History of the Indian Tribes of North America,” three volumes, 1836-1844.

Washington Irving, “The Works of Washington Irving,” 1895; “Preface to the Revised Edition of ‘The Alhambra’,” splendid autograph manuscript of about 325 words, signed at the end.

Samuel Johnson, large copy of the first edition of “A Dictionary of the English Language,” two volumes, 1755; “The Works of the English Poets,” complete set in contemporary calf, 1790; “The Works of Samuel Johnson,” 1903.

Rudyard Kipling, “Rudyard Kipling’s Verse,” 1921; original printer’s galley proofs of “Swept and Garnished,” with about 33 words and the autograph of Kipling along with numerous other manuscript proof corrections; “The War in the Mountains,” 1917; “Writings in Prose and Verse,” 1897, noting the Outward Bound edition.

Charles and Mary Lamb, the scarce genuine first edition of “Tales From Shakespear,” London, 1807; Charles Lamb, “Elia,” exceptionally large, fine copy, 1823.

Henry Laurens, president of the Continental Congress, an exceptionally interesting autographed letter signature of “Materials for History,” 1861.

Abraham Lincoln, three original autograph legal documents covering the period of his law practice in Illinois, 1840, 1851, 1856; signed document manuscript of about 200 words signed by Lincoln at the Executive Mansion on March 6, 1865, relative to passing cotton through the blockade; autograph signatures of Lincoln and the members of his War Cabinet, including Seward, Chase, Stanton, Welles, Dennison and Blair; “The Life of Abraham Lincoln,” by Isaac N. Arnold, four volumes, 1885; “The Every Day Life of Abraham Lincoln,” by Francis F. Browne, four volumes, 1913.

Franz Liszt, original manuscript of the title page of “Grandes Variations de Concert sur un Thème des Puritains;” autograph letter signed by Liszt, four pages, April 3, 1840; a series of 10 autograph letters, nine of which are signed by Liszt, 36 pages.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Seaside and the Fireside,” first edition, 1850; the Riverside Press edition deluxe of “The Complete Writings of Henry W. Longfellow,” 1904.

Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, King and Queen of France, original document signed 1786 and original letter signed by Marie Antoinette, 1791.

Lord Thomas Babington Macauley, “Lays of Ancient Rome,” finest edition of this book, 1847; “Complete Works,” the Westminster Edition, 10 volumes, 1898. 

Book listing prices from the sale

[Note: the prices realized from the Hayden collection sale were published in American Book-Prices Current (seen here), A Record of Books, Manuscripts and Autographs Sold at Auction in New York and Elsewhere, From July 1 1925, to July 1, 1926: Being the Season 1925-1926: And of Manuscripts and Autographs of the Season, 1924-1925. Published by E. P. Dutton.]

Guy de Maupassant, “The Life and Work Henri Rene Guy de Maupassant,” 1903.

Herman Melville, “The Works of Herman Melville,” 12 volumes, 1922-1923.

John Milton, “The Poetical Works of John Milton,” 1835.

J.B. Poquelin de Molière, “The Ménage de Moliere,” 1912; “The Works of Moliere,” 12 volumes, no date.

A remarkable collection of autographs of celebrated composers, consisting of 28 autograph letters signed. The collection is bound in a small portfolio volume, enclosed in a blue cloth, chamois lined slip case, including Liszt, Brahms, Wagner, Verdi, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Rossini, Grieg, Berlioz and Strauss.

Napoleon, fine series of five original letters signed on the Egyptian Campaign, 1798; collection of 12 views of Waterloo and a plan of battle, 1815; “History of the French Revolution, and of the War,” magnificent extra-illustrated copy, 1818; “Facts, Illustrative of the Treatment of Napoleon Buonaparte in St Helena,” 1819; “Letters Written on Board His Majesty’s Ship, the Northumberland, and at St. Helena,” by William Warden, 1826; “Napoléon,” by H.L. Lorquet, 1833; “Napoleon ier et Son Temps,” by Roger Peyre, 1888; “Life of Napoleon Bonaparte,” by William M. Sloan, four volumes, 1896; “Napoleon à St. Helene,” by Frédéric Masson, 1912; “Napoleon” by General Comte Philippe de Segeur, Paris, recent.

O. Henry - Sydney W. Porter, “The Complete Works of O. Henry,” Memorial Edition, 1917.

Edgar Allan Poe, “The Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe,” by John H. Ingram, six volumes, 1895.

James Whitcomb Riley, “Armazindy,” first edition, 1894, with a four line signed autographed verse by Riley on the flyleaf, 1895.

Theodore Roosevelt, “The Complete Writings of Theodore Roosevelt,” 22 volumes, one of 26 sets printed, 1903.

John Ruskin, original autographed 400-word manuscript of his poem, “To the Ocean,” and 100-word manuscript of “Sonnet to a Cloud,” written when Ruskin was age 12; 11 autograph letters signed, all written to Marcus B. Herish, 1881-1886; “Works of Ruskin,” the handsome Connoisseur Edition, 26 volumes, 1897; original manuscript of about 6,700 words of “A Night At the Hospice of St. Bernard.”

George Sand, the handsomely printed Astral Edition, of “The Masterpieces of George Sand, Amandine Lucille Aurore Dupin, Baroness Dudevant,” 20 volumes, 1900-1902

Sir Walter Scott, “Poetical Works of Anna Seward,” three volumes, 1810; “Halidon Hill,” 1822; “Waverley Novels,” 48 volumes, 1892-1893.

William Shakespeare, “Poems,” recent facsimile reprint of original edition from 1640; “The New Century Shakespeare,” 26 volumes, 1900-1901. [On a special leaf is printed the following: “This copy has been printed and specially bound for Wm. B. Hayden.”] “Shakespeare’s Sonnet Story,” by Arthur Acheson, 1922.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Prometheus Unbound,” first edition, 1820; “The Masque of Anarchy,” first edition, 1832; “The Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley in Verse and Prose,” by Harry Buxton Forman, eight volumes, scarce Library Edition, 1880; “Epipsychidion,” 1923.

Robert Lewis Stevenson, an almost unparalleled collection of unpublished Stevensonian letters, including from 1863 at the age of 13; letters to his mother dates 1868, 1872 and 1874; letters to his father dated 1877, 1879, 1883 and 1885; and a letter in 1892 including original autograph notes for “David Balfour”; immaculate copy of the rarest issue and the first to be offered at public sale of “The Misadventures of John Nicholson,” 1887; “Vailima Letters,” 1895; the scarce Pentland Edition of “Works of R.L. Stevenson,” by Edmond Gosse, 24 volumes, 1906-1907, 1901, 1899. 

Book referring to the sale

[Note -- seen here, Matilda's auction of Stevensonia is referenced in the Robert Louis Stevenson Treasury, authored by Allanna Knight.]

Harriet Beecher Stowe, the rare first edition of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly” two volumes, Boston, 1852; “The Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” London, 1853; “The Writings of Harriet Beecher Stowe,” edited by Annie Fields, 16 volumes, Cambridge, 1896.

Agnes Strickland, “Lives of the Queens of England from the Norman Conquest,” 16 volumes, 1902-1903.

Algernon C. Swinburne, original autograph poem signed in memory of John William Inchbold, 1889; “Works,” five volumes, 1904-1908.

Jonathan Swift, “The Works of Jonathan Swift,” second edition, 1883.

Booth Tarkington, “The Works of Booth Tarkington,” 16 volumes, 1918-1919.

William Howard Taft, original typewritten manuscript of address before the National Press Club, Washington, Oct. 18, 1914.

Alfred Lord Tennyson, “The Works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson,” 12 volumes, the edition de luxe, 1892-1898.

William M. Thackeray, “The Four Georges,” two volumes, 1861; “The Complete Works of Thackeray,” 52 volumes, 1879. On the front cover of each volume appears W.B. Hayden’s interlaced monogram, in gilt.

Henry David Thoreau, “The Writings of Henry David Thoreau,” 20 volumes, 1906.

Lyof N. Tolstoi, “The Novels and Other Writings of Lyof N. Tolstoi,” 24 volumes, 1903.

J.F.M. Arouet de Voltaire, “Ouvres Complètes de Voltaire,” 70 volumes, 1785-1789, considered to be one of the finest sets of Voltaire’s works in existence, previously owned by Sir John C. Hobhouse, Baron Broughton; “Galerie Historique des Portraits des Comediens de la Troupe de Voltaire,” 1861.

George Washington, “The Writings of George Washington,” edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford, 14 volumes, 1889.

Oscar Wilde, “The Spirit Lamp,” 1892; “Salome,” 1893; “The Chameleon,” 1894; “Salome,” first edition in English, 1894; “Oscar Wilde,” by Frank Harris, two volumes, 1916; “The Writings of Oscar Wilde,” 14 volumes, 1908.

Williams Wordsworth, “Poems in Two Volumes,” 1807; “A Letter to a Friend of Robert Burns,” 1816; “Poems, Chiefly of Early and Late Years,” 1842; “The Complete Poetical Works of William Wordsworth,” 1910.

Auctioneers were Otto Bernet and Hiram H. Parke. Arthur Swann was the Director of the Department of Books and Prints at the American Art Association.

~ Notes and Questions ~

Provenance - Previous owners of some of Matilda's sets included the following:

  • John Quinn

    Samuel P. Avery, William F. Gable, Edward Henry Hill,  H.W. Poor, Sir Alexander Ramsay and J. Barton Townsend. None of these men is mentioned in Rosenbach, the definitive biography of Dr. Abraham Simon Wolf Rosenbach of Philadelphia, one of the most prominent booksellers in the nation in the early 20th century; or in This Book Collecting Game, by Edward Newton, also of Philadelphia, one of the leading private collectors in the United States in the early 1900s.

  • Herschel V. Jones -- a famed Minneapolis newspaper publisher who bought and sold several collections of rare books in his eccentric lifetime and who is frequently mentioned in Rosenbach.

  • R.R. Booth - we are looking in to whether he was connected with Ezra Booth, who was the business partner of Matilda's step-father Daniel Minor Jr. in Columbus.

  • John Quinn, whose bookplate appeared in  “The Works of Matthew Arnold.” Quinn was a New York City attorney, as well as an art patron and collector, who was the subject of the 1969 Pulitzer Prize winning biography, The Man from New York. Quinn was a major patron, supporter and/or legal counsel for Joseph Conrad (manuscript purchases), William Butler Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and James Joyce (for whom he represented a journal under legal attack for publishing early installments of Ulysses). Matthew Arnold is only mentioned once in The Man from New York, and the Haydens not at all, so we do not know how or why Matilda possessed the volume. In 1923-1924, Quinn authorized his collection of books and manuscripts to be auctioned by the American Art Association.

New York attorney/collector John Quinn, right, with author friends, l-r: James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Ford Madox Ford. Quinn previously owned one of Matilda's volumes.

Bookplates and Mongrams - The Alexandre Dumas volume, “Celebrated Crimes,” was “Printed for Mrs. Wm. B. Hayden” with the monogram “W.B.H.” in gilt appears in the center of each front cover. The book by Richard Garnett, “The Universal Anthology,” was signed as follows: “Mrs. William B. Hayden. With the compliments of Richard Garnett, April 1900.” The book by William Hogarth, “The Works of William Hogarth,” was a limited edition of 1,000 with copy number 30 printed for Mrs. William B. Hayden. The monogram “W.B.H” in gilt appears on the front cover. In “The Works of John Heneage Jesse,” was limited to 150 copies, with number 53 inscribed, “This copy has been printed and specially bound for Wm. B. Hayden,” 10 volumes. The Lord Macauley book, “Complete Works,” was limited to 107 sets, with number 56 “Printed and specially bound for Wm.  B. Hayden.”

Special Press Editions - The collection includes numerous books published by Riverside Press and the Grolier Club.]

Copyright © 2009, 2015 Mark A. Miner