[Joseph Sams of Darlington, Quaker bookseller and traveller.] Autograph Letter Signed ('J. Sams.'), explaining his practice with regard to the return of items, and including a list of 'fine & curious coloured prints' and drawings.

Joseph Sams (1784-1860) of Darlington, Quaker bookseller, dealer in antiquities, traveller in Egypt and Palestine
Publication details: 
'Darlington 21/7mo (July) 1853'.
SKU: 22255

See Sams's entry in the Oxford DNB. 4pp, 12mo. On a bifolium, the second leaf of which has had a rectangle, almost amounting to half, cut away from the bottom. The text of the letter is complete, but the priced list of the prints and drawings on the last page, lacks the lower half. A long letter, closely written. Signed 'J. Sams.' Aged, worn and lightly stained, but nevertheless in passable condition. The recipient, saluted as 'Esteemed Friend', is not named. In the first paragraph Sams is at pains to explain his bookselling practice as founded on plain dealing: 'I have been from home to York, & other places, & this is the first day I have had here, since thine came. I regret the circumstance, fearing it may cause to suppose I have been inattentive ot the request sent. As a rule, the wish is, to put all as cheap as may be, & not take back. One great difficulty as to return, is, (especially of a fine work likely to be noticed, as this) people have remarked [last word underlined] the book, not seeing it as usual, suppose it sold & gone, even if they are not so informed. Consequently to see it come back again, they suppose somethg. [sic] is the matter, & the sale of the work afterwards; is probably much injured.* [* Sometimes also some injury arises in carriage two ways.'] But to a much respected customer, I will look carefully among my plates, & try to accommodate – tho' the risk, at which I have made free to hint, is very considerable.' He continues at equal length, in the same idiosyncratic tone, regarding his plan to 'forward a collection of fine & curious coloured prints, all of which have their original marks (but I should have said a number are coloured drawings)'. After sending respects to 'thyself, & daughter', he signs '(in haste) | J. Sams.' The reverse of the second leaf carries a list of fourteen of the prints and drawings, with prices, most marked with pencil crosses to indicate that they are desired. A fifteenth entry ends abruptly, indicating that the bottom part of the list has been cut away.