Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2004 Issue

One Hundred Plus One<br>Rare Books from Charles Wood


Dubois de Chemant’s teeth form an almost Picasso style face.

By Michael Stillman

From Charles Wood Bookseller comes his latest catalogue, and we can already see that, years from now, people will be collecting variants of this item. On the cover it is called “One Hundred Rare Books,” but on the title page, it is “101 Rare Books.” This is an instant collectible. Those who order the catalogue based on the cover will be pleased to discover they have received a bonus, for there are 101 listings in all.

Among the topics covered in the catalogue are art, architecture, trade catalogues, printing and coloring, as well as numerous other subjects. The greatest concentration of works is from the 19th century.

Among the unusual trade catalogues is one from the Paris firm A. Biloret & C. Mora. It is filled with various electronic and manual gadgets, some with hand-colored illustrations. Among the items sold are batteries, magnets, electric clocks, electric powered model water pumps and locomotives, ear trumpets and more. All of this in 1880. Item 5. Priced at $4,000. Item 5 is a catalogue from the Atchison Furniture Company of Atchison, Kansas. It includes styles of furniture that were popular in 1880. $1,100. Item 76 is a catalogue of druggists labels. For those druggists who prepared their own potions, rather than relying on branded medicines, they could order up a bunch of professional looking labels that could compete in stature with Lydia Pinkham. $1,400. If you had a horse, and who didn’t in 1895, you would have appreciated Moseman’s illustrated guide for purchasers of horse furnishing goods, novelties and stable appointments, imported and domestic. It had saddles, muzzles, halters, boots, bits, whips, even polo goods. Everything necessary for the well-furnished horse. Item 59. $1,350.

Item 26 is A dissertation on artificial teeth in general, exposing the defects and injurious consequences of all teeth made of animal substances… This catalogue was published by Nicolas Dubois de Chemant, a French dentist who had moved to London to promote his process for producing porcelain artificial teeth. Charles Wood describes the appliances as “very sophisticated, if terrifying.” This was 1797, so it’s hard to imagine the dentistry being anything but terrifying. However, while Dubois de Chemant’s false teeth are not remembered, he ought to get credit for his artistry. If you look at the image from his catalogue to the left, you will see he was the inventor of the artistic style adopted over a century later by Pablo Picasso. $2,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions