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There is no one right way to catalog a rare book for sale. Different booksellers use different methodologies although certain standards, terms and abbreviations are widely observed throughout the trade.
Here is a specimen entry from one of our catalogs.
(INCUNABULA). Politianus, Angelus [=Angelus
Ambrogini]. [1454-94]. (Sartius, Alexander - ed.). Opera Omnia. Aldus Manutius,
Rome, July 1498. Editio princeps of the collected works. Occasional side and
other notes in a variety of hands, fifteenth to eighteenth century, generally
carefully and attractively notated. Small folio, bound in late nineteenth
century white vellum, hand-lettered on the spine (binding probably Italian in
origin). 452ff., including Register. Collates a-p8, q-r10, s-t8, A-I8, K4 [K4
blank], L-P8, Q-R10, S8, T10, V6, X-Y10, Z8, &10, aa10, iterus aa-bb8,
bb-hh8, ii6, kk10; 452ff., including blank and 2ff. register at end, complete
thus. There is some cracking to hinges, but binding is firm. Internally an
uncommonly crisp, clean and unwashed copy.
Below is the same description with explanatory commentary.
|(INCUNABULA)||Subject category. Very often,a book could be placed in several possible categories, so make sure you do not overlook an item of interest.|
|Politianus, Angelus [=Angelo Ambrogini] [1454-94] (Sartius, Alexander - ed.).||Name of author as given in the book, usually from the title-leaf. Information in curved brackets is supplied from internal sources i.e. it is stated in the book itself. Information in square brackets (e.g. life dates, pseudonym) is supplied from external references.|
|Opera Omnia.||Title as given in the book. This may be supplied in full or in partially abbreviated form. It may also be supplied in translation in square brackets.|
|Aldus Manutius, Rome, July 1498.||Publishing information, generally drawn from title or colophon leaf. Again, this may be assigned from external sources, or may be unknown. N.p.=no place of publication, n.d. or s.d.=no date.|
|Editio princeps of the collected works.||Most of our descriptions state the edition of the work in question. When a book is published in a limited edition, edition size is stated here.|
|Occasional side and other notes in a variety of hands, fifteenth to eighteenth century, generally carefully and attractively notated.||Where a book is inscribed or annotated, authorially or otherwise, this fact is generally mentioned after the edition statement.|
|Small folio, bound in late nineteenth century white vellum, hand-lettered on the spine (binding probably Italian in origin).||Size of book, number of volumes, binding locale and binder, materials and decoration.|
|452 ff., including Register. Collates a-p8, q-r10, s-t8, A-I8, K4 [K4 blank], L-P8, Q-R10, S8, T10, V6, X-Y10, Z8, &10, aa10, iterus aa-bb8, bb-hh8, ii6, kk10; 452ff., including blank and 2ff. register at end, complete thus.||Pagination or foliation. For early printed books, we usually additionally provide a collation by signatures. This information is potentially useful to the specialist but is not essential to the lay person. pp=pages ff=folios.|
|There is some cracking to hinges, but binding is firm. Internally an uncommonly crisp, clean and unwashed copy.||Condition of binding and text.|
|A fine early Aldine imprint, set in a handsome Roman font with characteristically superb quality of materials and typography (note, for instance, the typographic vase arrangement on L2 verso). Substantial portions of the book make use of Aldus's fine Greek type (7:114), as well as on H8r a brief use of Hebrew type (the first in an Aldine imprint)?||The physical description of the book is generally followed by some general description, historical information and comments.|
|HC13218*, BMC V 559, Polain (B) 3233, Pr 5567, Goff P 886.||Bibliographical citations referring to the standard references for the type of book.|
|$7750.00||Last & not least, the price.|