The Mirror of Virtue

One of my volunteers, who is working with the Wetmore collection, came up with this sweet little gem. Edith Wetmore likely bought it directly from the Hoe sale in 1911, for $20.00. Here is the sale catalogue entry:

1569. HABERT (PIERRE). Le Miroir de vertu et chemin de bien vivre, contenant plusieurs belles histories & sentences. 8vo, blue levant morocco, gilt tooled inside borders, gilt edges, by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Paris: pour Claude Micard, 1575. *A rare edition of this work written for the use of young people.
Notice (in the second image) the successive bookplates of Robert Hoe and Edith Wetmore.  A great description of the Hoe sale was done by Geoffrey Smith in two parts (vol. 6, no. 1 & 2) of the Newsletter of the Fellowship of American Bibliophile Societies (FABS) in 2002. 
 
Robert Hoe III (1839-1909) was involved in the printing industry, which had been a family business since 1803, and remains one of America’s greatest book collectors. He “acquired manuscripts, incunabula, Books of Hours, Aldines, Elzevirs, fine bindings, early French and English literature, and Americana.” (Donald Dickinson, Dictionary of American Book Collectors, 160).
 
This work was a guide for young people in etiquette and letter-writing. The focus of this type of education in the period was, according to one source, not “mercantile skills, but aptitude for public office.” To become a merchant was not a sufficiently high socio-economic goal.
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