Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2016 Issue

Nov 22-25: Bubb Kuyper's semi-annual auction of books, manuscripts, prints and drawings approaches


Items mentioned in the auction preview

At Rare Book Hub, we try to include in our Upcoming Auctions all auction houses whose material is relevant to our focus on rare books, maps, and ephemera. That means houses of varying sizes from all over the world, from the mom and pop shop that has a sale every year or two, to the biggest players in the game. A quick check of our auction house list from our Upcoming Auctions portion of the size revealed 271 individual auctioneers. This month, I’m highlighting one I haven’t written about before who has a sale occurring later this month.

Bubb Kuyper is a Dutch company based in the town of Haarlem. Covering books, manuscripts, prints, and drawings, their material is certainly in our wheelhouse. Their auction records have been going into the Rare Book Transaction History since 2007, and in that time, we’ve archived 132,855 lots from them. They hold sales twice yearly—one in May, the other in November—with this month’s taking place November 22 through 25. These sales are not small affairs. Spanning four days, the upcoming sale offers 6139 lots. With a number as large as this, Bubb Kuyper does interested buyers a favor by breaking the auction up into sections, which are as follows: Bibliography & Typography; Cartography; Fine and applied arts & Art Reference; Children’s Books; Dutch Literature (including autographs); Fine Printing — The Collection of M.B.B. Nijkerk and K.J. Nijkerk; Foreign Literature; Various — Erotica, Fashion & Costume, Gastronomy; Judaica, Music, Theology; Indonesia; Dutch History & Topography; Foreign History, Topography & Travels; Natural History, Medicine, Science, Technology & Transport; Manuscripts, Documents & Autographs; Old and Rare Books; and Prints, which are broken into their own eleven subsections. With such a substantial offering, interesting material for collectors of all calibers and scopes abounds.

I asked for help in choosing lots to highlight, and fortunately, a Director at Bubb Kuyper provided me some guidance. These are but a few of the 6139 lots coming to auction.

The cover of the sale’s catalog bears the image of what has been called “the most ambitious and remarkable,” as well as the “most splendid,” of the Kelmscott Press (Bubb Kuyper). This volume is The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer now newly imprinted printed in 1896. The Kelmscott Press needs no introduction for veterans of the field, but I will provide a little background for anyone just starting out or whose focus lies elsewhere.

The Kelmscott Press was the final chapter in the life of William Morris, an English artist, designer, writer, and socialist. His career lasted over forty years, during which he published a magazine, wrote poetry, painted, designed illuminated manuscripts and embroidery, and founded a decorative arts company. He was a known figure in Britain during his lifetime. It was only in the last years of his life that Morris turned his attention to the publishing of books, and in this endeavor, he sought to produce “some which would have a definite claim to beauty, while at the same time they should be easy to read and should not dazzle the eye, or trouble the intellect of the reader by eccentricity of form in the letters” (Arts & Crafts Museum). Books printed at the Kelmscott Press were as much works of art as they were literary printings, and the Chaucer is the pièce de résistance. Lot 1369 is a very fine copy estimated at €40.000-50.000.

The next item on our short list of highlights also comes from a private press, being The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke, printed in 1930 at the Cranach Press. The Cranach was a German interwar press founded by Count Harry Graf Kessler in 1913, and this printing of Hamlet is the company’s greatest work. It features eighty woodcut illustrations by the Englishman Edward Gordon Craig and is “often regarded as the most bold and ambitious example of 20th-century book art” (Bubb Kuyper). The copy being offered at auction is one of seven copies printed entirely on vellum and is also estimated at €40.000-50.000 as lot 1263.

Being an auction house in the Netherlands, Bubb Kuyper specializes in material of Dutch origin. One such lot in their upcoming sale is a handwritten poem by one of the country’s most famous figures—Anne Frank. It consists of eight lines addressed to a friend of Frank’s, encouraging the owner to work hard.  The poem is dated 28 Maart [March] 1942, a little more than three months before the Frank family would move into their now famous hiding place. This incredibly rare item is listed as lot 2390 and estimated for €30.000-50.000.

Another Dutch item of note, one that collectors of natural history may find of keen appeal, is lot 3185, which has the distinction of being one of “the finest birdbook ever published in the Netherlands” (Bubb Kuyper). Consisting of five volumes printed in Amsterdam between 1770 and 1829, Nozeman and Houttuyn’s Nederlandsche vogelen; volgens hunne huishouding, aert, en eigenschappen beschreeven contains 250 plates with contemporary hand coloring and is a sight to behold that belongs in collections alongside Audubon. The five-volume set is estimated €40.000-50.000.

The last highlight for this auction preview is on a set of individual leaves from the personal archives of the Dutch avant garde typographer Piet Zwart. The items in question are loose leaves of the printing firm Trio’s advertising book, a volume that was never actually publicly published. Three copies of it exist, all of which are in Dutch museums. These individual pieces of paper come from Zwart’s collection and have never been offered for sale before now. This is a very big deal for collectors of graphic design and typography.

Bubb Kuyper’s upcoming sale takes places Tuesday, November 22nd through Friday, November 25th, 2016. You can view all 6139 lots of the sale online on their website.

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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