29 APRIL 1899, Page 12

Memories of an Old Collector. By Count Michael Tyskiewicz. Translated

by Mrs. Andrew Lang. (Longmans and Co. 6s.)— This is one of the books which one can but recommend in general to the reader, with the proviso that the reader should be, if not a collector, one who knows about collecting. Count Tyskiewicz has had to do with many "curios," genuine and fictitious, and he has known various famous collectors. He has some very interesting stories to tell about the men and the things. We hear, for instance, about Alessandro Castellani, who brought to the business nothing less than genius. One of the anecdotes about him we will reproduce as briefly as possible. Castellani had a very fine enamelled ewer and dish to sell, and he discerned a customer in one of the Rothschilds. The first thing he did was to separate ewer and dish. The dish was produced, admired, and sold, with a number of other articles, which Castellani declared must go with it,—one rare specimen must not be separated from the rest of the group, though, as a matter of fact, it did not belong to the group at all. The buyer asked whether the corresponding ewer could not be found; the seller thought it very unlikely. A few days after- wards Mr. Rothschild left for Florence. There he had a message from a lady who had some fine majolica to sell. He went to see it ; it was good, but not good enough. Before leaving he caught sight of a ewer under a glass shade on which was a wreath of immorte/les. The look of it struck him, and he asked permission to examine it. It was an absolute match for the dish ! Would the lady sell it? Impossible; it was the dearest relic she had of her deceased husband. M. Rothschild's offers grew so magnifi- cent that the widow's piety yielded, and ewer and dish were again united. Curios seem to be as demoralising as horses.— With this volume may be mentioned The Bibliotaph, by Leon H. Viucent (Houghton, Mifflin, and Co.), though it is only that part of the volume which gives "a portrait not wholly imaginary" of a book-collector that is really akin to it. The other papers are a miscellany of various literary essays.