Hoe, Robert (1839 -1909)
Robert Hoe was born 10 March 1839 in New York into a family of printers. In 1886 he assumed management of the family firm, which specialized in graphic arts reproduction. The business provided Hoe with a large fortune, with which he assembled a remarkable collection of books, at a time when several great collections were being broken up in the U.S. and Britain. A series of sixteen catalogues issued between 1903 and 1909, compiled by James Wright and Caroline Shipman document the library in detail . In 1884 Hoe and eight other bibliophiles formed the Grolier Club, of which he was the first president. He was also responsible for financing the Club Bindery. He died in London 22 September 1909. He had made elaborate arrangements for the dispersal of his library, which were carried out in a series of ten sales held at the Anderson Auction Company in New York, between 25 April 1911 and 10 February 1913. The total proceeds from the sales reached almost $2 million and was a record that held until 1966. Among the treasures of Hoe’s collection, described as “the finest the country has ever contained”, were two copies of the Gutenberg Bible, one on vellum, a Shakespeare first folio, , Malory’s Morte d’Arthur printed by Caxton, the Pembroke Book of Hours, and the Book of St. Albans.