Saturday, April 29, 2017

Feeling Good: Dr. Samuel Purple Makes a House Call with Henry C. Murphy

Dr. Purple has made a house call and intends to stay awhile.  It is my house specifically, third shelf to my right, the newest delivery to the library.  Dr. Samuel S. Purple (1822-1900) did not author the work that just arrived, he owned it.  The book is a tribute to his friend and legendary Americana collector, Henry C. Murphy (1810-1882).  Once finely bound in half morocco and marbled boards with an elaborate, gilt spine, the book’s binding has been battered and rubbed over its long journey, apparently un-appreciated by some previous handlers, but protecting the contents within.   There is the faint scent of cigar smoke.  I plucked it from the flotsam and jetsam for pennies, restoring the appreciation if not the binding.