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Town - Library Auction Pamphlets

Town - Library Auction Pamphlets

Town accumulated the largest private library in the United States, ‘…11,000 volumes – supplemented by thousands of loose engravings, Medieval manuscripts, incunabula, objets d’art, and 170 pictures.’, a collection that he made available to the public, in hopes of nurturing an independent American art and architecture. In an interview with the Hartford poet, Lydia Sigourney, he professes, ‘…I have a great attachment to curious and uncommon books’: an admission that appears to refer to numerous esoteric titles in the auction pamphlets of his library.

Town also traveled to Europe for an extended stay in 1829, greatly expanding his collection during the trip. Works by the English Platonist Thomas Taylor were circulating in his library. A brief sample of the architects other ‘curious and uncommon’ titles include:

 524. Barrett, Francis, Magus or Celestial Intelligencer, system of Occult Philosophy, Natural Magic, Alchemy, Talismanic Magic, Magnetism, & c., with lives of the most eminent Magi, portrait and 21 Plates. 4to, Lon. 1801, a very curious work.
 587. Tracts, Philosopher’s Stone exposed to public sight, & c. Alexiacus or Spirit of Salt, and Subterranean Treasure, & c. 4to. Cf. Lon. 1664, & c.
 962. The Golden Fleece, or relics and monuments of the kings and sages of the Egyptians, Chaldaeans, Arabians, and Assyrians. Containing The Mirror of Alchymy, The Philosopher’s Stone, & c. German, with curious cuts, some of which are colored, 4to Oak boards, Hamburg 1708. Sacred Harmony. Half roan.

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