Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2012 Issue

ALDE: A Book Auction Sale at Rossini’s in Paris

Alde02

- La Fontaine, Fables Choisies... (Paris, 1755-59). 4 thick in-folio volumes, in their original boards. Appraisal : 5,000 / 6,000 euros.

When the young and charming assistant from Alde dropped the four heavy volumes in front of me, I felt at once disheartened by the deteriorated binding. In fact, there was no binding. And that is the unusual specificity of this copy, it has remained in its original state : with the printer’s boards and its full margins. “The engravings, preserved from the press, have kept all their relief ”, reads the catalogue. “ This is the first unbound and uncut copy our expert has come across in more than forty years !” boasted Mr. Delcamp during the sale. The books were sold for 7,500 euros (before the commission), quite a good score though Mr. Delcamp was disappointed : “Unlike the French, the English are fond of that type of copies, and we expected more of them to manifest.”

- Herrera, Histoire Générale des voyages et conquestes des Castillan... (Paris 1660 – 1671). 3 in-4° volumes. Appraisal : 3,000 / 4,000 euros.

Quite a high estimation to me, according to the very poor condition of the bindings. This Americana set of books is one of the most sought-after and is quite rare indeed. The author deeply inspired himself from the famous secret manuscript of Las Casas and published a masterpiece that remains a trustworthy historical source. Several people had asked to be called on the telephone and the item went for 4,600 euros. “Well, says Mr. Delcamp, it is a book about America. Any time you have something about the Indes Occidentales (West-Indies), it sells very well.”

- Tortorel et Perrissini. Quarante tableaux (...) touchant les guerres, massacres et troubles advenus en France ces dernières années (1570). 1 in-folio volume, full contemporary vellum. Appraisal : 10,000 / 12,000 euros.

“I’m not very old,” smiles Mr. Delcamp, “but that was the first time I could set my eyes on this legendary collection of engravings.” Published right in the middle of the French religious wars of the 16th century, it brings us back to terrible times. The bibliographer for the sale, Jean Lequoy, introduced it to me, and I could feel his emotion as he was speaking : “At the time, the use of copper plates was very new. They used wood plates instead. Some of these were printed from copper plates and as they were less common, they tend to be more valued - though the result is sometimes a little blurry.” One of these engravings graced the cover of the catalogue. “They are like pictures,” says Mr. Lequoy. “On this one, Anne du Bourg directly talks to Henri II in the Parliament, to blame his attitude towards the Protestants ! The people drawn here were present during this historical day.” The young assistant pulled a wry face in front of the next plate : “These beheaded corpses are so... gloomy !” Indeed, the engravings have a disturbing strength, re-enforced by the fact that they came out just before the Saint Barthelemy, one of the darkest nights in French history. The binding was a little bit worn but still fresh. It went for 14,500 euros.

- Van Noort, Description du pénible voyage... (Amsterdam, 1602). 1 in-folio volume, modern vellum binding (by Dechauvelle). Appraisal : 15,000 / 20,000 euros.

First was Magellan, then came Francis Drake... then Van Noort. This Dutch seaman became, in 1598, the third man in the history of mankind to circumnavigate the globe. A very “pénible” (difficult, as the title reads) voyage, indeed, full of mutinies, epidemics and pirates ! This first French edition is almost nowhere to be bought and is illustrated with 26 engravings (views, maps and portraits). A buyer from America could not be reached on the phone before the sale but Mr. Delcamp seems to be satisfied with the 15,700 euros collected for this item. “A respected bookseller from Paris did not go over 15,500 euros for this book. So I guess we had reached the actual price for this copy in a modern full vellum binding.” 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>The Chap Book</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>Troupe de Mlle Églantine</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Philippe Henri Noyer, <br><i>Limonade Brault</i>, 1938. <br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br><i>The Great Men of the World</i>,<br>designer unknown, circa 1945-46. <br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>James Montgomery Flagg,<br><i>Wake Up, America!</i>, 1917.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Alfred F. Burke, <i>Share / Jewish <br>Relief Campaign</i>, circa 1915.<br>$3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Ludwig Hohlwein, <i>Marke Pkz / <br>Burger - Kehl & Co.</i>, circa 1911. <br>$8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br>Gian Emilio Malerba,<i> E.A. Mele / Modo e Novita per Signora</i>, circa 1900. $7,000 to $10,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies,</i> 1632.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.
  • 20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Full scale vintage <i>Sputnik-1</i> EMC/EMI Lab Model, with live transmitter. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown SOYUZ-3 space navigation indicator with unflown on-ground transformer. <br>US$ 30,000-40,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown on SOYUZ 9<br>An exhaustive manuscript on life in space. [Trans: On-Board Flight Journal for Spacecraft Soyuz-9, 1970]. US$ 6,000-9,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> SOYUZ 18? Flown Navigation Celestial Globe. Soyuz 18 lasted from May 24-July 26, 1975. US$ 30,000-40,000
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Space Suit from ISS Expidition 6. Worn by Flight Engineer Don Pettit on his dramitic return to earth. US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Original Gemini 133P Trainer Assembly Five Part Electrical System & Attitude Maneuver ... US$ 60,000-90,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Rover Development. Collection of 11 vintage gelatin silver prints and 4 vintage NASA lithographs. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000.
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Orbiter I. The first image of the earth as seen from the moon. Gelatin silver print. August 23, 1966. US$ 2,500-3,500
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Michael Collins' Flown Crew-Signed Apollo 11 Emblem. One of the very few Armstrong signed mission artifacts. US$ 50,000-70,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart. Taken to Lunar surface mapping the start of the <br>first manned lunar descent. <br>US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> FFlown Apollo 11 Flight Plan Sheetmission Day One. Some of the first words and data values written by Neil Armstrong. US$ 18,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Apollo 12 - Alan Bean in the Ocean of Storms. Signed and inscribed by Bean. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions