"A RARE EDITION": FDR'S COPY, WITH HIS BOOKPLATE AND OWNERSHIP SIGNATURE—THE SANG COPY
(ROOSEVELT, Franklin D.) ROBERTSON, William. Storia di America. Venezia: Giovanni Gatti, 1778. Two volumes bound in one. Octavo, contemporary half calf gilt, raised bands, red morocco spine label, patterned boards. $5200.
Fine presidential association copy of the first Italian edition of Robertson's important history of America—"the standard history of the discovery of the New World"—President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's personal copy, with his bookplate and penciled ownership signature, dated 1907, and with his manuscript annotation: "A Rare Edition." From the renowned Americana collection of Mrs. Philip D. Sang.
Roosevelt was an ardent bibliophile. He was a member of such book collectors' organizations as the Club of Odd Volumes and the Grolier Club. At his death, his personal library numbered more than 21,000 volumes. Roosevelt willed a small portion of his personal book collection to his children who sold their bequest; the vast majority of FDR's personal library and papers remain intact in the FDR library. Books from the personal libraries of presidents are scarce and desirable and volumes from the libraries of 20th century presidents' personal libraries are extremely scarce as all such volumes are typically given to their presidential libraries. Robertson's history of the discovery of America and the conquest of Mexico and Peru was the "most highly regarded secondary source of its time" (Howes, 493). From its publication until the 1840s it "held its place as the standard history of the discovery of the New World" (Honour). With engraved frontispiece portraits and two folding maps, of Central and South America. In addition to being in President Roosevelt's library, this copy was later in the renowned Americana collection of Mrs. Philip D. Sang until 1985.
Interior quite clean; each folding map with a single short marginal tear at stub. Joints and corners lightly rubbed. A handsome copy, with distinguished Presidential provenance.