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(Washington, George) | A volume from Washington's library, given by him to Tobias Lear

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Estimate: US$5,000 - US$7,000
Price realised:  n. a.
Lot number 521, Views: 2

(Washington, George)Samuel)Johnson Pratt. Family Secrets … Second Edition; Carefully Revised. Vol. III. London: Printed for T. N. Longman, 1798 Volume 3 (of 5) only, 8vo (173 x 101 mm). Clipped phrase in Washington's holograph ("with the said") mounted on front pastedown. Contemporary speckled sheep, spine gilt-ruled with red morocco spine label, plain endpapers and edges; extremities rubbed, joints cracking. Half red morocco slipcase gilt, chemise. While not signed by George Washington—very possibly because, given its publication date, it might well have arrived at Mount Vernon not long before his death—this volume was almost certainly part of his library. Family Secrets is one of the titles listed in a manuscript by Washington's private secretary, Tobias Lear, "Catalogue of Books received from Washington"; one of the entries is for "Pratts Family Secrets 5v." Both the inventory and the books surfaced at Julia Auctioneers more than a decade ago in a sale of property descended in Tobias Lear's family. The volume also bears the bookplate of Lear's son, Benjamin Lincoln Lear. The author of Family Secrets definitely had another of his works in Washington's library, his popular poem Sympathy; or A Sketch of the Social Passion. Pratt also wrote the first novel set during the American Revolution, Emma Corbett; or, the Miseries of Civil War. Founded on some Recent Circumstances which happened in America (Bath, 1780) in which Washington is portrayed as a noble figure.

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Sotheby's
Title: The Passion of American Collectors: Property of Barbara and Ira Lipman | Highly Important Printed and Manuscript Americana
Date of the auction: 13 Apr 2021
Address: Sotheby's
New York