JEFFERSON, THOMAS. 1743-1826.
Autograph Letter Signed ("Th. Jefferson"), 1 p, 4to, Monticello, April 11, 1819, to Mr Laval, laid down, light uniform toning overall. Matted and framed with portrait to 21 1/2 by 22 1/2 inches.
"BOOKS AS WELL AS OTHER THINGS HAVE LIMITS TO THEIR VALUE BEYOND WHICH WE WOULD NOT GO": Jefferson writes to his bookseller, musing on book collecting.
John Laval took over the Universal Book-Store in Philadelphia from his friend, the French-born Nicolas Gouin Dufief, some time after 1819. Dufief, America's first antiquarian bookseller, had handled the sale of Franklin's library, and the company issued catalogues, one of which Jefferson has just received: "I mark in pa. 13 a copy of Scapula's Lexicon printed at Coll. Allobr. 1616 called 8vo but I presume it is small 4to as I believe there has never been an edition so small as 8vo printed. Be pleased to send me this copy. If well wrapped in paper it may come by mail." He asks for the prices of two further items, and gripes "It is a pity the prices of the books had not been printed. We are afraid to call for a book on seeing it's title only."
- Please note, the letter is unframed. The lot includes a facsimile of the letter, matted and framed with a portrait.