GOETHE, Johann Wolfgang von (1749-1832). Autographa. [Weimar: privately printed by Carl Bertuch at the Landes-Industrie-Comptoir for the collector, December 1811].
Extremely rare first edition, in fine condition, of Goethe's catalogue of his own collection of literary, scientific, musical, artistic and historical autographs. It was published in about 300 copies and distributed by the collector himself among his friends and acquaintances, with a request for contributions. This wish to enlarge the collection was the real purpose of the catalogue. Goethe lists 495 writers, mostly contemporaries of his, including Adelung, d'Alembert, Arnim, Bernoulli, Beethoven, Blumenbach, Boerhaave, Carpzov, Cramer, Denon, Ebert, Fichte, Friedrich II, Gellert, Hamilton, Herder, Humboldt, Kleist, Leibniz, Lichtenberg, Mendelssohn, Musschenbroeck, Niebuhr, Schelling, Schiller, Schlegel, Mme de Staël, Tischbein, Uffenbach, Winckelmann, etc. Historical figures include Budé, Calvin, Cellarius, Colbert, Melanchthon, Oporinus, Ricci, Wetstein, and others. Goethe was one of the first modern systematic collectors of European autograph letters and manuscripts, and this summary catalogue well reflects the universal interests of Germany's greatest poet.
Quarter royal broadsheet (252 x 196 mm), printed on both sides. Laid paper, watermarked. Drophead-title in cursive type, request for contributions in smaller italic, catalogue printed in four columns in roman type. Contained in a modern cloth portfolio. Provenance: dated and signed by Goethe from Weimar 20th December 1811 – Dr Bernard Breslauer (booklabel; Bibliotheca Bibliographica Breslaueriana, The First Portion, Christie's New York, 21 March 2005, lot 80).