The First Copy to Be Offered at Auction in Nearly Sixty Years

    William Pynchon. The Meritorious Price of Mans Redemption, or Christs Satisfaction discussed and explained. London: Printed by R. I. for Thom. Newberry, 1655.

    First edition of this scarce work (this is not a second edition of Pynchon's Meritorious Price of Our Redemption, as has been stated by Stevens and others, but an entirely different work). Small quarto. [lii], 439, [1, errata] pages.

    Contemporary full calf, covers ruled in blind. Spine and corners worn, hinges cracked and tender, first two blank leaves loose and missing large pieces, text toned and dampstained, tear on page 77 (about four inches, affecting text), tear on page 201 (about one inch not affecting text), neat ink marginal notes throughout. Bookplate of Sir William Pepperell. Overall, a very good copy of an incredible rarity (no copy has been to auction in nearly sixty years).

    This work was a response to John Norton's Discussion of that Great Point in Divinity (1653), which was one of the few books to be printed by authority of the General Court of Massachusetts, which, in turn, was a response to Pynchon's previous work, The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption (1650, an entirely different work), which had been ordered burned by the Massachusetts Council. Although it is unlikely the present title suffered the same fate as Pynchon's previous title, auction records indicate it just as scarce as the 1650 work, both being virtually unobtainable. Furthermore this copy was left by Salem Witch Trial Judge Samuel Sewall (1652-1730) to his granddaughter, Lady Mary Pepperell, and bears the bookplate of her husband, Sir William Pepperell (1696-1759), the Hero of Louisbourg.

    Sabin 16, No. 66871, Stevens, Nuggets, 2, No. 2270, Winsor, Memorial History of Boston, 1: 405.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
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