NY Elizabeth
NY Elizabeth
Live Auction

2405 | Rare Bibles, Books, & Manuscripts

Sun, Jan 14, 2024 12:00PM EST
Lot 288


Estimate: $263 - $300

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$50 $50
$1,000 $250
$10,000 $500
$25,000 $1,000

Year/Century: 19th century
Language: English
Subject: Illustrated
Binding: Fine Binding
Description: Medicis Edition Alexandre Dumas's book CELEBRATED CRIMESTwo (of 3) volumes Dana Estes & Company, Boston; no date (c. 1900) numbered version. Edition limited to one thousand pieces. Number of copy 197 291 and 287 pages in a fine autographed binder published by Stikeman & Co., N.Y. Detailed gilded binder with uncut outer borders and a gilded top edge. Endpapers made of cloth. Dimensions: 6 by 9". Excellent inside condition, slight binding wear, dry spines with few leather chips. Written in English Origin: Albert Henry Wiggin (1868–1951)'s ex-libris for each volume has the family crest and motto "Suae Fidei Semper Fidelis." He was a prominent figure on Wall Street, mostly serving as Chase National Bank's chairman and president. A set of bookplates indicates that Lynde Selden, Mr. Wiggin's son-in-law, received this book from him. These plates demonstrate the owner's time spent learning about his ancestry. One of the phrases on the combined family crest is "Liberty above all things." This brings to mind the 8,000 volumes that English scholar and legal historian John Seldon (1584–1654) donated to the Bodleian Library (Oxford) in the sixteenth century. Overlaying the more conventional bookplate is a circular Ex Libris that has his complete name and what appears to be a Danish phrase, "Ik Mak Sikker." It would be easy to interpret this as a nod to the old Selden maxim "To suffer is best" (Optimum pati). Similar to his father-in-law, Lynde Selden (1892–1972) was a financier who held directorships in multiple other businesses in addition to serving as vice chairman of the American Express Company. Maybe this book was then given to Lynde's son, who was given the name Albert Wiggin Selden (1922–1987), the original recipient. This Yale alumnus made substantial contributions as an American theatrical producer and composer, although not working in finance. American financier Albert Henry Wiggin lived from 1868 until 1951. He was reportedly referred to as "the most colorful and attractive figure in the commercial banking world" by Owen D. Young of General Electric. Wiggin oversaw the privately held Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 1932 until 1933. Additionally, Wiggin was the only Federal Reserve Bank member to have the "Wiggin Provision," a statute specifically designed to penalize him for his behavior, passed after Albert was forced to "resign in disgrace after it was revealed that he had been short-selling his own bank's stock."


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