Terry–Cohn copy to be sold

A copy of the Chaucer that crops up several times in our Census has resurfaced and is scheduled to sold by Sotheby (New York) on 13 June 2017. The Sotheby catalogue offers this description: “Original linen-backed blue-gray boards, printed spine label. Front inner hinge cracked, inscription in pencil on lower free endpaper, extremities darkened, spine somewhat worn, spine label chipped. Red morocco slipcase, spine gilt.”

The provenance, as we are now able to reconstruct it, is as follows (with Census item numbers in brackets): Rev. Dr. Roderick Terry [3.189]. — Terry sale, Anderson Galleries (New York), 7 November 1934, lot 174 [4.305] (sold for $425). — Saul Cohn. — Cohn sale, Parke-Bernet, 18 October 1955, lot 594 (sold for $500) [4.502]. — Sotheby (New York), 12 December 1995, lot 99 (sold for $22,000) [4.708]. — Sotheby (New York), 13 June 2017, lot 41 (estimate $40,000–$50,000).

The Rev. Dr. Roderick Terry (1849–1933), a graduate of Yale, the Union Theological Seminary, and Princeton, was a Presbyterian minister who retired to Newport, R.I., where he became active in local philanthropic and cultural affairs. Terry’s books and manuscripts were sold after his death in three sales during 1934 and 1935. His son Roderick Terry, Jr., also left an autograph collection of figures prominent in colonial and early United States history to the Redwood Library and Museum in Newport.

Saul Cohn (1886–1954), of East Orange, N.J., was president of the City Stores Mercantile Company. His books, manuscripts, and drawings were dispersed in three sales by Parke-Bernet in 1955, and some of his correspondence is at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. (An obituary of Cohn appeared in the New York Times, 6 June 1954, p. 86.)

[Update, 21 October 2017: This copy sold for $52,500 (including buyer’s premium).]

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