The Garricks were formidable collectors of art and objects, and had an extraordinary private library. The Folger owns the original printing plate for Garrick's bookplate, designed by John Wood. The quotation is from volume four of Menagiana by Gilles Ménagé (1613–1692), encouraging the borrower of books to read and return as soon as possible.
The auction catalog seen here is one of three in the Folger Library documenting the sale of their collection, sold after Eva Maria’s death by the firm known today as Christie’s London. Mrs. Garrick’s cultivated tastes shaped their collection of art and furnishings, prints and paintings. Among the latter, offered in this sale catalogue, were works by Watteau, Hals, Poussin, Gainsborough and Hogarth. Garrick’s library of dramatic literature (bequeathed to the British Library) was unrivaled, perhaps the largest private collection in 18th-century England. His acquisition of play texts served to enhance the repertory at Drury Lane and satisfy his bibliomania. The Folger owns 40 titles from Garrick’s library, including his copies of Donne, Dante, Marvell, Nicholas Rowe’s edition of Shakespeare (1709) and a splendid copy of the second Folio (1632) he bequeathed to his wife.
Maurice Morgann’s famous essay on Falstaff was never reprinted in his lifetime, but his appreciation of Falstaff greatly influenced literary criticism into the 20th century. Garrick never played Falstaff, and we know little about Morgann’s relationship with the actor, but the presentation copy from the author shown here is from the sale of Garrick’s library in 1823.