"book-shelf", 1766 et al., antedating 1818

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 2 07:44:21 UTC 2011

In reply to Joel's "book-shelf", plus a couple of notes on "book-case".

First, antedating book-case n.1 1726-->[1720/1?]-->1722
Also see below, bureau 1.a. 1741--> 1732
Also see below, salamander 3.d. 1755-->1732, multiplying 3. 1767-->1732

Note that the first one (1721) is a questionable case, as the author argues
that "Book-Case" does not literally mean a book-case. No such doubt in the
1722 reference. On the other hand, if there were no such thing as a
book-case in 1721, why would Wheatly need an argument?

The School of the Prophets. A Sermon Preached before the University of
Oxford At St. Mary's On Act-Sunday, 1720. By Charles Wheatly. Oxford: 1721
p. 29
> To what end else doth he write to /Timothy/ to bring him /his Book-Case/,
/his Books and his Parchments/ (/u/) ? WHat indeed I render by /Book-Case/,
is in our /English/ Translation call'd a /Cloak/: But the Original Word may
be interpreted a /Book-Case/ or /Scriptore/ (/x/) ; and so it is render'd in
the old /Syriack/ Version (/y/), and so it would agree better with the other
things St. /Paul/ writes for here, vix. /His Books and his Parchments/ : By
first of which we understood a few choice Books which the Apostle had
collected ; by the other he is suppos'd to mean his /Common Place-Book/,
wherein he had noted what he thought might be of Use to him out of the many
Books he had read ; which therefore being the Fruit of some years Study he
charges /Timothy especially/ to bring with him (/z/).

A Journey Through England. In Familiar Letters. From a Gentleman Here, His
Friend Abroad. [By John Macky] Volume I. 2th edition (!). London: 1722
Letter IV. p. 71
> In the House, besides the Family Pictures, are several very good /Italian/
ones ; and a very neat Library, with Bustos above the Book-Cases.

[4th edition is also in GB, 1724]

Also from 1725:

The Dublin Weekly Journal. Numb. 59. May 14, 1726
Advertisement. p. 232/1 [GB p. 132]
> This is to give Notice, that Mrs. Lloyd on Ormond-Key, near Mr. Henry's
Bank, who has for many Years past followed the Japanese Trade, is resolved
to leave it off ; will sell all her Jappaned Goods by Auction: Consisting of
Indian, English, and Irish Cabinets, Screens, Chests, Desks and Book Cases,
Chests of Drawers, Tables of all sorts, Corner Cupboards, Writing Desks,
Sets of Dressing Boxes with Looking Glasses, Indian Boards, with several
other sorts of Jappaned Goods. The Sale to begin on Thursday the 26th. of
May, 1726. at 9 of Clock in the Morning, and continue till all are Sold.

A bit of support for these being "genuine instances":

An Attempt to Illustrate the Great Subject of the Psalms[, In a Letter to a
Friend]. By Shippie Townsend. Boston: 1773
p. 40
> When we behold this title thus given to Christ in such a shout of praise,
what other cause than the intoxication before mentioned, can be assigned for
the fondness of the Clergy of all denominations to compliment one another
therewith ? as may be seen in the enormous bulk of ordination sermons that
are extant ; so that you can scarce cast your eye over any common
_book-shelf_, but you may find more or less of them ; though no scrip of
such a sermon is to be found preserved in the New Testament, at the
ordination of the elders of the first churches.

Bibliotheca Croftsiana. A Catalogue of the Curious and DIstinguished library
Of the late Reverend and Learned Thomas Crofts ... Which will be sold by
Auction By Mr. Paterson, At his Great Room, No 6. King-Street,
Covent-Garden, London, On Monday, April 7. 1783. and the Forty-two following
Days (Good-Friday excepted)
Bookcases, &c. p. 420
>  8 Two nests of mahogany bookshelves and brackets
> 13 A large range of painted bookshelves

[Also note that the above provides a nice interdating for "book-case n.1"
1726, 1742, ^^^ 1849, 1861]

The cabinet-makers London book of prices: and designs of cabinet-work in .
Gentleman's Writing Fire Screen. p. 136
> A two foot 6 inch gentleman's writing fire screen, all solid (see plate
18, fig. 1.) the corners beaded, the back frame'd, bead and flush, one book
shelf in the lower part, doors not clamp'd

[Note that this one does not show up in searches for "book-shelf"--I used

The Edinburgh Magazine, or Literary Miscellany. October 1789
Account of /Cherbourg/, from a Six Day's Tour in /Normandy/. p. 243/2-4/1
> In the evening, however, we got out for a little while by dint of boots,
great-coats, and umbrellas, to look over the houses destroyed on Tuesday,
one of which was a sample more sufficient than satisfactory ; a more
absolute shell of a house could not be seen ; every window was broken, all
the furniture destroyed ; the marble chimnies battered to pieces, as also
the balustrades of the stairs, the rooms stripped of the hangings, the large
library of the book-shelves--and the feathers of the ripped-up beds trodden
under foot.

The "not-so-genuine" instance is a "Full reprint of the 1762 style
book"--i.e., the same Chippendale's volume, but from an earlier edition.
This one should be easy to verify--the reprint is published by Dover.
Unfortunately, that also means that GB only has a snippet:


The visible text is /exactly/ the same as in the 1766 edition, so if the
original date is accurate, it's not only an ante-dating, but also, by a
happy coincidence, still in print.

Of course, all of this becomes irrelevant should 1671 citation be accepted
(certainly looks good to me). In case you need to find it again--it shows up
under "plough", entry for "plough press".

Some nice interdating of Book-case n.2 (case found in law books):

The Annals of King James and King Charles the First: 1612 - 1642. By Thomas
Anno 1626. p. 181/2
> ... and that one only President of the Bishop of /Winchester/ in the
Book-Case, in the Third year of /Edw. 3/. which was here urged, cannot be
proved to be in Parliament time ; ...
Anno 1637. p. 518/2
> 8 /E/. 4. /fo/. 23. Book Case. A Subject hath power to make a Bulwark in
another mans Ground. The King hath as much power over all the Kingdom as any
particular subject to make Defence.
p. 548/2
> For the Book Case, 13 /E/. 4. where it is said, That the King can lay a
charge ; that Book is with reference to Toll, and such things are nothing to
our main Case: For the main Case in that Book will prove strongest against
the King.
p. 583/1
> So it appeareth by the Book Case, 23 /H/. 4. /fo/. 24 that the grant of
the King which tendeth to the charge and prejudice of his people in general,
is not good, unless it be by Parliament.
p. 592/2
> This appeareth by the Book-Case in 40 /E/. 3. /fo/. 6. where the Case is
expresly, That if a man do covenant to do a thing that is impossible, this
Covenant is void, and the Deed is void in that respect:

More interdating for book-case n.1 (1729-1743), non-exhaustive (included for
a number of different reasons, some of which will be made clear below):

A catalogue of the particulars of the dwelling house of Sir Joseph Eyles,
Deceased. 1740
p. 18
> 15 A grenoble wallnuttree desk and book case 5 5 0

[This volume is not well scanned, missing many pages.]

Answers to Some Critical Strictures: Relative to the Controversy on the
Authenticity of the Parian Chronicle. By John Hewlett. London: 1739
p. 18
> But be so good, Sir, as to inform us, now we are on the subject, whose
sentiments you adopted, or who told you that the Parian Chronicle could not
be concealed in a private library, a book-case, or a chest, as you assert,
(p. 148.)

Appendix to the Scots Magazine. 1743
Poetical Essays. p. 603
> Voracious Learning, often overfed,
> Digests not into sense her motley meal.
> This book-case, with dark booty almost burst,
> This forager on others wisdom, leaves
> Her naive farm, her reason quite untill'd.

[Before anyone jumps on this as a possible case of generic "she/her", the
reference here is to Learning--as a character, of sorts, so possibly
pre-assigned gender--vs. Genius. However, Genius is "it", not "he". Wisdom
is also a "she".]

Six Dissertations. By William Whiston. London: 1734
Dissertation II. p. 128
> N. B. If we could suppose that /Josephus/ meant all the 22 volumes of the
/Jews Hebrew/ Bible, by that /Law of the Jews/ which he assures us was
carried in Triumph at /Rome/ by /Titus/, we might suppose that the Box, or
somewhat like it, now supporting the Candlestick upon /Titus/'s Triumphal
Arch either was or included the very Receptacle of those 22 Volumes ; and
that this Receptacle was the very Book-Case of /Nehemiah/'s /Library/, then
taken out of the /Jewish/ Temple.

Dr. Burnet's Appendix to the Ninth Chapter of the State of the Dead.
Published from the Author's Latin Original. By Francis Wilkinson, Esq;
Translated by Mr. Foxton. London: 1729
To Mr. Foxton. Nov. 25. 1728. p. 4
> Mr. Wilkinson has left all his Books relating to /Physic/, /Husbandry/ and
/Gardening/, to one Mr. /Milbank/. All his Books on /Devotion/ to his Wife
in a Walnut-Tree Case, with Liberty to take any other Books out of his
Library, she shall like, to fill up the Shelves of the said Book-Case.

The Gardeners Dictionary: Containing the Methods of Cultivating and
Improving the Kitchen, Fruit and Flower Garden. By Philip Miller. Volume 2.
MA p. ?
> [Manḉanilla/The Manchineel] They grow to be very large Trees, equal to the
Size of an Oak, and are much esteemed for their Wood, which is sawn out into
Planks, and brought over to /England :/ It is used for Cabinets, Book-Cases,
&c. and will polish very well ; is of a beautiful Grain, and will last a
long Time.

A True, Exact, and Particular Inventory Of All and Singular The Lands,
Tenements, and Hereditaments, Goods, Chattels, Debts, and Personal Estate
whatsoever, Which Richard Woolley Was Seized or Possessed of, or Intituled
unto in his own Right and which any other Person or Persons was of were
Seized of or in Trust for him, or to or for his Use or Benefit, upon the
First Day of January, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and
Thirty, or at any Time since, &c. London: 1732
p. 11
> A Desk and 2 Chairs, 2 Book-cases, a Stool and Footstool, a Press Bed and
Bedding, Stove and Fender, Wire Rod with Curtains

Also antedating "bureau"--unclear which meaning, but, likely, a chest of
drawers with writing board. Also adds new spelling alternative.
bureau 1.a. 1741--> 1732 (actually January 1730, following the text)

In the Yellow Room. p. 10
> 1 Half headed Bedstead, Bedding, a Buroe, a Table, 2 matted Chairs, a
Grate, a Looking-glass, a Close Stool, a Lock on the Door.
In the Chamber backwards. p. 10
> A feather-bed and Bolster, 1 Blanket, a Buroe, a Dressing Table.

Also, in the same inventory, "fender" appears multiple times (it's capital
F, so no long-s confusion). There is no plausible corresponding definition
in the OED--some are just "Fender", some are "Brass Fender". Also,
"Bolster", which is common, going back to OE, appears multiple times--lots
of OED cites pre 1688, then gap to 1838.

Another inventory printing similarly dated 1732 following the initial
inventory of January 1730, for one Denis Bond of Grange in the County of


One antedating: salamander 3.d 1755 --> 1732 (I might have posted on another
antedating earlier)
Also antedating "multiplying wheel" for multiplying 3. 1767-->1732

In the Kitchen, Scullery and Cellar. p. 19
> A Range compleat, a Jack with a Multiplying Wheel, Weights and Pullies,
three Spits, two Trivets, a Pig Iron, Grid Iron, Hanging Iron, _Sallemander_
and a Pan Iron, two Stove Irons, a Beef Fork, and none Iron Skewers, a Pair
of Stilliards, four Iron Candlesticks, a Frying Pan, two flat Brass
Cnadlesticks, two standing ditto, a Brass Skimmer, Pepper Box and Drugger, a
Brass Plate Warmer, two Copper Tea Kettles, a Chaffing Dish and Lamp ditto,
a Copper Drinking Pot, a Basting Ladle, two Chocolate Pots and a Coffee Pot,
a Fish Kettle and Plate, a Copper Pail and Skuttle, three Stew Pans, a
Bell-mettle Skillet, two Boiling Pots and Covers, a large Brass Kettle, a
Dish Kettle, three Dozen and nine Pewter Plates, Seventeen Dishes, a Water
Plate, three Pewter Dish Covers and a Cullender ditto, a Fire Skreen lined
with Tin, a Deal Table and two Forms, some Tin, Earthen and Wooden Ware, a
Leaden Cistern and Brass Cock, a Beer Stand and Bottle Rack.

Also note previously unlisted spelling of "cullender"; good interdating of
"coffee pot"; second (postdating) cite for "chocolate pot"; "basting ladle"
predates 1822 cite and interdates for basting n.2 1. (between 1550 and
1822). I am sure there is more there, but I just didn't have the time to go
through the whole thing. I'll print it and check more later (but feel free
to beat me to it). Bell-mettle is mentioned under "pan-metal" for pan n.1,
but there is no definition for "bell-mettle" (or bell-mettle skillet, for
that matter)--if it's just "bell-metal", then this is an antedating for
bell-metal 2. 1780-->1732

This also mentions "book-case". Also mentions "Fender", this time "Stove
Fender". Also a number of "Looking Glasses", "Pier Glasses" and "Dressing
Glasses", a "Hanging Glass", etc.--all apparently representing mirrors. Not
sure what "Chimney Glass" is. All the others are somewhat unremarkable
interdating. In general, these two publications are useful for a nice
historical account of contents of a large home (or several homes) typical of
1730. Most of the items are remarkably similar.


On Sun, May 1, 2011 at 2:19 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

> ...
> I assume the following are genuine instances.  All from EAN.
> 2)  1766 --
> The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director: being
> a large Collection of the most elegant & useful
> Designs of Household Furniture ... including a
> great Variety of ...  China Cases, China Shelves, & Book Shelves ...
> Boston Evening-Post; Date: 10-13-1766; Issue: 1622; Page: [4]; col. 2.
> 3)  1778 --
> Advertisement Extraordinary,
> STRAYED from a Book Shelf in Worcester, four
> Vols. of Peregrine Pick[l]e, and two Vo[l]s : of
> a novel intitled the adventures of John L[e] B[r]u[n], all in octavo.
> Massachusetts Spy [Worcester}; Date: 01-22-1778;
> Volume: VII; Issue: 351; Page: [4]; col. 2.

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