Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2013 Issue

Kestenbaum & Company to Auction Fine Judaica on May 2nd including Holy Land and Travel – The Collection of Nathan Lewin, Esq.


Fine Judaica on May 2nd at Kestenbaum & Company

The Kestenbaum & Company of New York is to sell at auction Fine Judaica:  Hebrew Books, Manuscripts and Autograph Letters from the Collection of Nathan Lewis, Esq. on May 2nd.  Jackie Insel, speaking on behalf of the auctioneers, describes the sale as important.

This sale of nearly 400 lots represents in particular, the varied ways over the centuries that countries have been cartographically represented. Sale highlights include rare books, manuscripts and important letters consigned from illustrious rabbinic libraries including the Rivkin and Zuckerman families and the late Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Halevi Ruderman, founder and Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel Rabbinical College, Baltimore.”

The range of subjects offered include Americana, Anglo-Judaica, anti-Semitica, Bibles, Chassidic books, children’s books, Passover Hagadahs, Kabbalistic books, Holocaust-era related books, books relating to Jews in 19th and early 20th century China, a number of rare government pamphlets relating to Jews of early 18th century Germany, Zionist related books and Livres d’Artistes.

“An exceptional lot of American Judaica includes a large, visually striking illuminated Hebrew manuscript of the Book of Psalms, handwritten and illustrated by Morris Weinberg, Chicago, 1910-12.  Using Hebrew calligraphy accompanied by explanatory folk illustrations, the artist designed a highly creative and captivating example of Jewish Americana. The pre-sale estimate for this lot [342] is $70,000-90,000.”

Other material of particular interest:

Penina Moise’s Hymns Written for the Service of the Hebrew Congregation Beth Elohim, Charleston, S.C., 1842, noteworthy as the first book of poetry published by a Jew in the United States and furthermore, that first person a Jewish woman. The pre-auction estimate is $8,000-10,000 (Lot 11). Additional American Judaic highlights include Mordecai Manuel Noah’s Discourse on the Restoration of the Jews, New York, 1845, estimated $3,000-5,000 (Lot 12), Uriah Phillips Levy’s Manual of Internal Rules and Regulations for Men-of-War, New York, 1862, estimated $1,200-1,800 (Lot 20) and an album of photographs inscribed by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and presented to U.S. President Harry S. Truman in 1958, estimated $2,000-2,500 (Lot 55).

Notable Bibles include a Renaissance-era pocket-sized Hebrew Bible, bound in eight volumes, printed by Estienne, Paris, 1543-46, estimated $12,000-15,000 (Lot 59); the Apparatus Sacer from the Antwerp Polyglot Bible including maps and engraved plates, 1572, estimated $8,000-10,000 (Lot 72); and a Hebrew Bible used throughout the 19th century in the courts of law in Prague to administer the oath to witnesses of the Jewish faith estimated at $3,000-5,000 (Lot 69). Of interest among Chassidic books is an early edition of Elimelech of Lizhensk’s classic.

Another rarity is the first Hebrew book printed in Fez, Morocco, the first book printed on the African continent in any language: Jacob ben Asher’s Yoreh De’ah, circa 1516-17. This book, for which no auction records are known, is estimated $40,000-60,000 (Lot 198).

Other important Rabbinic books include Jacob Emden’s Mor U’ketziah with his extensive autograph marginal notes and corrections, Altona, 1761-68, estimated $25,000-30,000; noted 17th century Polish Kabbalist Nathan Nata Shapiro’s Megaleh Amukoth, Cracow, 1637, estimated $12,000-18,000 (Lot 267); Nachmanides’ Peirush HaTorah, Pesaro, 1513-14, estimated $13,000-15,000 (Lot 247); Jacob Auspitz’s Be’er Haluchoth, the first Hebrew atlas featuring five hand-colored maps in Hebrew, Vienna, 1818 estimated $10,000-15,000 (Lot 308); and Judah ben Bezalel Loewe’s Chibur Nethivoth Olam, with an addition of three lines of handwritten text possibly by the MaHaRa’L, Prague, 1595-96 estimated $5,000-7,000 (Lot 221).

General interest texts include Swiss scholar and physician Johann Jacob Scheuchzer’s Physique Sacree, ou Histoire Naturelle de la Bible, in eight folio volumes, Amsterdam, 1732-37, estimated $12,000-15,000 (Lot 262); Bernard Picart’s six-volume set, Description of the Religious Duties, Manners and Customs of all the Nations of the World, Amsterdam, 1727-38, estimated $7,000-9,000 (Lot 261); Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud’s famous exchange on the root causes of war: Why War?, 1933, estimated $1,200-1,800 (Lot 110); the first edition of Benedict Spinoza’s highly influential philosophical work, Opera Posthuma, Amsterdam, 1677, estimated $3,000-5,000 (Lot 269); and a group of seven volumes relating to boxing and the career of the Anglo-Jewish boxer Daniel Mendoza, London, estimated $1,200-1,800 (Lot 274).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000

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