Huth, Alfred Henry
Biographical dates - Period of existence1850 - 1910
Other InformationEnglish bibliophile. Son of Henry Huth, whose library he inherited in 1878 and whom he followed in his interest in book collecting, he also helped found the Bibliographical Society in London in 1892, acting as its founding treasurer and later president. During these years he lived mostly at Bolney House, Ennismore Gardens, and later moved to Fosbury House, near Hungerford, where the library was certainly based between c.1900 and 1918, when its last remnants were dispersed.
With an ample fortune, Huth devoted himself to study and collecting. After the death of his father in 1878 a fine library passed into his possession, and he saw to completion in 1880 the catalogue which his father had begun to print, under the care of W. Carew Hazlitt and bookseller F.S. Ellis. Book collecting formed one of his chief interests to the end of his life.
By his will Huth directed that on the sale of his collection the trustees of the British Museum should have the right of selecting 50 volumes from it; a catalogue of the books chosen was published in 1912. The Huth autographs and engravings were sold in June and July 1911, the former realising £13,081, the latter £14,840. The first portion of the library (A-B, and Shakespeariana), sold in November 1911, fetched £50,821, exclusive of the Shakespeares bought privately by Alexander Cochrane for presentation to Yale University. The sale of the second portion on 5–7 June 1912 and realised £30,169 15s. 6d. The total in all sales (1911-22) was over £350,000.
The distinctive bookplate 'Ex Musaeo Huthii' ['EX. MVSAEO. HVTHII'], known in at least two different versions (white and black) , was added for the sales. [The label is also known in red and brown. Parks gives no evidence for his statement that the label was added for the sales. It also appears in the manuscripts taken by the British Museum before the sales. Seymour de Ricci, in "English collectors of books & manuscripts (1530-1930), and their marks of ownership", p. 154, states: "Huth books are easily recognized by the oval book-plate pasted inside the upper cover of each volume. A little above this label will be observed in many volumes the trace of another oval ex-libris, Huth having used at first another book-plate, also oval and slightly larger, which he removed and replaced by the one which he finally adopted." Peter Kidd has a different suggestion, namely that Alfred Henry was responsible for the replacement - see https://mssprovenance.blogspot.com/2018/07/ex-muso-huthii.html. In either case, it seems odd that de Ricci would not have known that the leather label was added for the sales, if that were the case. -- John Lancaster]
[Created by Geri Della Rocca de Candal, quoting parts from S. Parks' introduction to his book The Elizabethan Club of Yale University and Its Library][Additional comment on the Huth bookplate by John Lancaster]
MARC Area Codee-uk-en
PlaceFosbury Manor, Hungerford (Geonames Id: 2649166)
Profession / Type of InstitutionBusiness
Last Edit2023-05-06 12:30:17