[COMBE, William]. ~ The Auction: a Town Eclogue. By the Honourable Mr. ——... London: Printed for J. Bew... 1778.
4to (235 × 195 mm) in half-sheets, pp. , iv, 12; a few spots and dust-marks to the title; creased where previously folded; disbound.
First edition, scarce, dedicated to Lady Villiers. ‘No greater proof of modern extravagance need be required, than the frequent Auctions of the property of living persons. Do we not daily see those ancient Seats which have been considered as almost sacred by former possessors, dismantled by the rude hand of their extravagant Owners, and every thing that had given splendor to hospitality, borne away to the Auction Room... I am sorry to say it, but these Auctions are so many genteel, Honourable, and Right Honourable Bankruptcies... The Gentlemen of the Wooden Hammer seem to thrive most by modern dissipation. Indeed, I have not a doubt, but the Heirs of Mr. Christie and Mr. Tattersall [both founded 1766] will look down upon many an impoverished Lord, &c. whose Father’s extravagance, or perhaps his own, has helped towards the increase of their ample possessions...’ (Preface). Jackson, p. 60.