Toledo: Irving Squire, 1908. Hardcover. 9-volume set (out of 12). Small 4to. Red cloth with gilt spine lettering. 511pp, 509pp, 364pp, 261pp, 257pp, 341pp, 326pp, 356pp, 358pp. Top edges gilt. Color captioned tissue-guarded frontispieces, captioned tissue-guarded plates. Very good. Faint edgewear only, some endpapers a bit age toned and smudged and some darkened page edges, else internally tight and nice. Item #8394
First edition. Tight, attractive group of this broad-based set whose associate editors included noted composer Arthur Foote and whose "Special Contributors" include famed composer/pianist Emil Liebling, music critic H.E. Krehbiel, conductors Frederick Stock and Frank Damrosch (Walter's brother), and author Frederick Starr. This special copy bears a choice autograph addition: Tipped to front flyleaf of the first volume ("Musical Biographies") is an Autograph Letter Signed from contributor Frederick Starr, 1p, 5¼" X 8¼", Chicago, IL, 4 March 1922. Addressed to Mary Bostwick Day, librarian of the Museum of Science and Industry. Very good. Some chipping to left edge. On "The University of Chicago" letterhead, Starr boldly pens in brown ink a semi-cordial, semi-testy note to a fellow bookplate enthusiast: "I am notoriously unkind in the matter of bookplates, rarely giving or exchanging. However to an old student for her personal collection, I gladly send. I suppose it is the J.W. Spenceley plate you want and so send it. If you have a bookplate (or bookplates) of your own you may send in return...." Boldly signed in full. Tipped to lower left of this page (presumably by Day) is an oval (3¼" X 2½"0 sepia-tone magazine head-and-shoulders portrait of Starr. First two volumes cover "Musical Biographies," then come "Oratorios and Masses," "History of Foreign Music," "Musical Instruments," "Operas" (two volumes", "History of American Music" and "Theory of Music." Starr (1858-1933) was a popular anthropologist and educator who began at the University of Chicago in 1891 and taught there for 31 years.