Bernard Quaritch, full name Bernard Alexander Christian Quaritch, (April 23, 1819 – December 17, 1899) was a German-born British bookseller and collector.
He was born at Worbis, Germany. After being apprenticed to a bookseller, he went to London in 1842, and was employed by Henry Bohn, the publisher. In 1847 he started a bookseller's business off Leicester Square, becoming naturalized as a British subject. In 1848 he started to issue a monthly Catalogue of Foreign and English Books. About 1858 he began to purchase rare books, one of the earliest of such purchases being a copy of the Mazarin Bible, and within a period of forty years he possessed six separate copies of this rare and valuable edition.
In 1860 he moved to Piccadilly. In 1873 he published the Bibliotheca Xylographica, Typographica et Palaeographica, a remarkable catalogue of early productions of the printing press of all countries. He became a regular buyer at all the principal book-sales of Europe and America, and from time to time published a variety of other catalogues of old books. Amongst these may be mentioned the Supplemental Catalogue (1877), and in 1880 an immense catalogue of considerably over 2,000 pages. The last complete catalogue of his stock was published in 1887-88 under the title General Catalogue of Old Books and Manuscripts, in seven volumes, increased with subsequent supplements to twelve. All these catalogues are of considerable bibliographical value. By this time Quaritch had developed the largest trade in old books in the world.
Among the books that he published was Edward Fitzgerald's translation of Omar Khayyám. He was also the agent for the publications of the British Museum and the Society of Antiquaries. He died at Hampstead, London, leaving his business to his son Bernard Alfred Quaritch (died 1913). The business survives to this day.
- Arthur Freeman, ‘Quaritch, Bernard Alexander Christian (1819–1899)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2009
- "London". Hodson's Booksellers, Publishers and Stationers' Directory. London: W.H. Hodson. 1855.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Works and Publications
- Quaritch, Bernard (1878). Catalogue of Works on European Philology and the Minor European Languages. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- Official web site of Bernard Quaritch, Ltd.
- Works by or about Bernard Quaritch in libraries (WorldCat catalog)