'T ORANJE GESLAGT.
Groningen: H. Spoormaker, 1749. (48)pp. This is the smallest of all the 18th century books known to us, printed in 5-point black-letter type across the spread, with pages pasted together and set into the binding. A collection of poems on the kings of the House of Orange, this book was printed during the reign of William IV, Prince of Orange and Nassau-Dietz, the first hereditary stadtholder of the Netherlands. It was virtually unknown until 1952 when, according to an article in The Miniature Book Collector, several copies mysteriously came up for sale. The article goes on to say that a Dutch antique dealer had found a box full of these minute books in a collection of antiques he had bought. He sold the whole group of books, but "later regretted having done so as the sight of the tiny volumes in his window had brought him many curious customers" (6). The books described in the article and in Houghton were bound in red calf with decorated in gilt, but this copy is bound in contemporary brown calf with gilt ornamentation. Slight bowing to boards, else fine. Housed in a red leather clamshell box lined in felt. Altogether a fine copy of an extremely rare book with an interesting story. A.e.g. (Welsh 5402; Houghton 259; Miniature Book Collector June 1960, p.5). (11/16 by 3/8; 17x9mm). (Item ID: 22631)