Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2011 Issue

Booking It in Europe - Volume II!

Lello1

The Lello Bookstore in Porto.

Hello again.  When last I wrote, we were zipping off to France.  For the second part of our trip, we didn’t spend a whole lot of time in bookstores as our time was short and we did have so much else to see!  I know there are many, many more bookstores we missed, but we only had six weeks!  However, we did see one exceptional bookstore in Portugal, and a few other places that were fascinating.  I’ll try not to make this a long boring “my summer vacation” travelogue.

           

Our next stop was St. Malo where we visited a walled city that just oozed history.  It was originally built during the Middle Ages and quickly became a haven for privateers, corsairs, and pirates as it was a fortified island at the mouth of the Rance River.  It was very badly damaged during World War II by German bombers, but has been tastefully restored blending the antiquarian with the new so that you feel the history but have all the conveniences.  We wandered the city all afternoon bumping elbows with ghosts and other gawky tourists, and then took the ferry to Jersey Island.

 

We have a gilder friend who lives on Jersey Island, which is part of the Channel Islands off France.  They belong to the U.K., but during World War II, the Channel Islands were the only part of Great Britain that was occupied by the Germans.  The Germans planned to use them as a stair-step to occupy England and also to keep an eye on the French coast.  Instead, they just made the inhabitants and a lot of Russian prisoners, who were brought in as slave labor, miserable.  I had just read a wonderful book before we left home about Jersey’s next door neighbor, Guernsey IslandIt is called The Guernsey Island Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Shafer and Barrows.  I highly recommend it.

 

Perhaps our favorite place on Jersey Island was the Parish Church of St. Brelade and the Fisherman’s Chapel.  We’re not religious, au contraire, but we love beautiful architecture.  The church was small and very ancient, being “Shrouded in the mists of time and the legends of the 5th and 6th centuries wandering Celtic saints.”  The church began developing in the 12th century, added onto in the early 13th, more in the 14th, 15th, and mid-16th, which is pretty much where it is now, though it's been restored many times.  Some of the intricate drawings that are in the archways are absolutely beautiful.  They were fading away, but were redone during World War II and then again in the 1980s.

 

We found only one bookstore on Jersey Island, The Printed Word, (jerseybookshop.co.uk.)  They specialize in new, local Jersey books, Channel Island books, general books about the U.K., and gifts.  They are happy to ship worldwide.  We didn’t have a great deal of time to spend book shopping there as we were being chauffeured by our hostess and didn’t want to make her wait for us.  It was my first time driving on the wrong side of the road and I must admit it was hair-raising for the first half hour or so.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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