[John Evelyn of Wotton House, Surrey, seventeenth-century diarist, writer and gardener.] Autograph ownership inscription of book, with shelfmarks, reading: 'Catalogo Evelyni inscriptus. | Meliora Retinete.'

John Evelyn (1620-1706) of Wotton House, Surrey, diarist, writer and gardener
Publication details: 
Without date or place.
SKU: 21178

On one side of 14 x 2 cm slip of paper, cut from the flyleaf of a book. Aged and with contemporary blotting to one corner. The slip is neatly placed in a paper windowpane mount. Reads: 'Catalogo Evelyni inscriptus. | Meliora Retinete' Two shelfmarks deleted: 'N. 16' and 'J: 231'. A good brief description of Evelyn's book collecting is given in his entry in the Oxford DNB. As there are four catalogues of his books, identifying the work to which the two present shelfmarks are assigned should not present any difficulty. The main dispersal of his collection of almost 4000 books and around 800 pamphlets, was by the London auctioneers Christies in 1977. A large number were uniformly bound in the French taste, bearing the motto (I Thessalonians 5, 21): 'Omnia explorate; meliora retinete'.