Source : Kraus

Source Title Americana Vetustissima, Catalogue 185
Description For half a century H.P. Kraus has been established at 16 East 46th Street, New York, in a five-story brownstone amid the skyscrapers of mid-town Manhattan. This small cultural oasis epitomizes the world of rare books whose inhabitants need, as well as scholarship and knowledge, the persistence and intuition of a good detective. In the words of the firm’s late founder, life in this field of rare books “involves research carrying one back through all of recorded history, across the world, and into just about every human activity.”

Some of the most magnificent achievements of Western civilization in the form of early manuscripts and printed books have passed through our hands. Treasures such as the Hours of Catherine of Cleves (Morgan Library), the Rothschild Apocalypse (Cloisters, MMA), the Giant Bible of Mainz (LC), the Gutenberg Bible and the Shakespeare Folios; libraries such as part of the enormous collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps, the princely library of Lichtenstein, and much of the ducal one of Arenberg. One rarity which eluded Hans Kraus all his life was finally acquired by the firm in 1991, and a copy of the 36-line Bible, much rarer than the Gutenberg Bible, is now in the W.H. Scheide library at Princeton.

As well as early manuscripts and incunabula, our stock includes European books on a variety of subjects from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries, early Americana, maps, and bibliography. We issue three or four catalogues yearly in different fields, and are always pleased to assist new collectors in those areas.
Scope of Text In an extraordinary tour-de-force the esteemed booksellers H. P. Kraus of New York City prepared an unusual catalogue of Americana to honor the five hundredth anniversary of Columbus arriving in the new world – Americana Vetustissima (Catalogue 185). To create this catalogue that they issued in 1991, they organized an absolutely extraordinary group of important pieces most of which date to within 50 years of Columbus’ discovery. Of course the first item is a Columbus Letter printed in Rome in the late spring of 1493. For those who love the earliest materials what follows is an absolute tour de force of absolutely impeccable examples. There’s a 1504 Vespucci Letter and a 1507 Waldseemuller, a 1521 Peter Martyr, a 1532 Cortes Letter and a 1553 Lopez de Gomara. To read this catalogue you could begin to think that such material is actually obtainable when in fact it is very rarely seen. For those who are momentarily transported back to a time when such material could be found, one is brought back to reality by the prices which reflect that these pieces, while rare in any condition, are themselves, in every case in this catalogue, condition rarities.

It is one thing to look through great catalogues of 75 years ago and think that a few dollars invested then would have yielded extraordinary returns today. But we all know that such materials haven’t just risen in price, they have also disappeared almost entirely.”
Total Records in AED 569
  • <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Manuscripts
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Miniatures
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Early Printed Books
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b><br>St. Paul’s epistles, manuscript on vellum, illuminated by the Simon Master, c. 1150-75
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Book of Hours, illuminated by the Boucicaut Master, Paris, c. 1415
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Book of Hours, illuminated by the Rohan Master, probably Troyes, c. 1415-20
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Julius Caesar, De bello Gallico, manuscript on vellum, Milan, c. 1450-75
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Bible Historiale, illuminated manuscript in French on paper, Amiens, c. 1480-85
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Miniature Book of Hours, illuminated by Simon Bening, Bruges, c. 1530-35
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Saintly Pope, miniature on vellum, by Pacino da Bonaguida, Florence, c. 1310-15
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Christ calling St. Peter, miniature on vellum, by Pellegrino di Mariano Rossini, Siena, 1471
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Presentation in Temple, miniature on vellum, Nuremberg, c. 1490-1500
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Pliny, Historia naturalis, Treviso: Manzolus, 1479
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Valturio, De re militari, Verona 1483, first edition in Italian
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Celestial vision at Constantinople, single-leaf woodcut, Nuremberg,<br>c. 1490-91
  • <b>Lawbook Exchange: </b>Bartolus, Super Prima Parte Infortiati (Venice, 1478). See at the 2015 NY ABAA Antiquarian Book Fair Booth C26.
    <b>Lawbook Exchange: </b>Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (Philadelphia, 1771-73). First American edition. See at the 2015 NY ABAA Antiquarian Book<br>Fair Booth C26.
    <b>Lawbook Exchange: </b>Blackstone, The Great Charter (Oxford, 1759). First edition. See at the 2015 NY ABAA Antiquarian Book Fair Booth C26.
    <b>Lawbook Exchange: </b>Boniface VIII, Liber Sextus Decretalium (Venice, 1491). In a remarkable binding. See at the 2015 NY ABAA Antiquarian Book Fair Booth C26.
    <b>Lawbook Exchange: </b>Darrow, Autograph Letter, Signed (February 26, c.1930). See at the 2015 NY ABAA Antiquarian Book Fair Booth C26.
    <b>Lawbook Exchange: </b>Dugdale, Origines Juridiciales (London, 1671). Extra-illustrated on 138 leaves. See at the 2015 NY Antiquarian Book Fair Booth C26.
    <b>Lawbook Exchange: </b>Gratian, Decretus Gratiani (Venice, 1514). With 130 woodcuts. See at the 2015 NY ABAA Antiquarian Book Fair Booth C26.
    <b>Lawbook Exchange: </b>Gregory IX, Decretales (Nuremberg, 1482). Koberger imprint with exquisite initials. See at the 2015 NY Antiquarian Book Fair Booth C26.
    <b>Lawbook Exchange: </b>Holmes, Flirtatious Autograph Letter, Signed (Boston, December 4, 1897). See at the 2015 NY Antiquarian Book Fair Booth C26.
    <b>Lawbook Exchange: </b>Jodocus, Vocabularius (Strasburg, 1500) [&] Formulare Registrorum (Leipzig, 1506). See at the 2015 NY Antiquarian Book Fair Booth C26.
    <b>Lawbook Exchange: </b>Story, Commentaries on the Constitution (Boston, 1833). First edition. See at the 2015 NY Antiquarian Book Fair Booth C26.
    <b>Lawbook Exchange: </b>Catalogue 79 - March 2015. Recently Acquired Books, Manuscripts & Ephemera
  • <b>London, King Street: 27 May 2015</b>
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> THE GUTENBERG BIBLE, MAINZ. Price realized: $5,390,000. Oct 1987, NY.
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> LEONARDO DA VINCI, Codex Hammer. Price realized: $30,802,500. Nov 1994 NY
    <b>London, King Street: 27 May 2015</b>
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> THE FORBES COLLECTION, Price realized: $40,900,000. Mar 2002, New York.
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> ANDRE FRANQUIN, SPIROU ET FANTASIO. Price realized: €157,500. Apr 2014, Paris, France.
    <b>London, King Street: 27 May 2015</b>
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> THE GREAT HOURS OF GALEAZZO MARIA SFORZA. Price realized: £1,217,250. Jul 2011, London.
    <b>CHRISTIE'S EXCEPTIONAL PRICES:</b> THE ROTHSCHILD PRAYERBOOK. A Book of Hours, use of Rome, in Latin. Price realized: $13,605,000.
  • <b>Bonhams Apr 13:</b> TURING, ALAN MATHISON. 1912-1954. Composition notebook. Refer to department for estimate.
    <b>Bonhams Apr 13:</b> ENIGMA MACHINE. A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine (aka Heeres Enigma). Est $140,000-180,000.
    <b>Bonhams Apr 13:</b> BIBLE IN ENGLISH—1611. The Holy Bible, Conteyning the Old Testament, and the New... Est $100,000-200,000.
    <b>Bonhams Apr 13:</b> DECLARATION<br>OF INDEPENDENCE. The Providence Gazette; And Country Journal. <br>Est $80,000-120,000.
    <b>Bonhams Apr 13:</b> BOWIE, JAMES. 1796-1836. Document Signed "James Bowie". Est $50,000-70,000.
    <b>Bonhams Apr 13:</b> KING, AUGUSTA ADA, COUNTESS OF LOVELACE. 1815-1852. Autograph letter signed "A.A. Lovelace". Est $25,000-35,000.
    <b>Bonhams Apr 13:</b> MELVILLE, HERMAN. 1819-1891. Moby-Dick. <i>Doors Vocalist Jim Morrison's Copy.</i><br>Est $25,000-35,000.
    <b>Bonhams Apr 13:</b> VANCOUVER, GEORGE. 1757-1798. A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean. Est $20,000-30,000.
    <b>Bonhams Apr 13:</b> [KING, AUGUSTA ADA, COUNTESS OF LOVELACE. 1815-1852.] Est. $18,000-20,000.
    <b>Bonhams Apr 13:</b> CIVIL WAR<br>THE FIRST SECESSION BROADSIDE. Charleston Mercury Extra.<br>Est $15,000-20,000.
    <b>Bonhams Apr 13:</b> BILL OF RIGHTS. Gazette of the United States.<br>Est $12,000-18,000.
    <b>Bonhams Apr 13:</b> GEISEL, THEODOR SEUSS. 1904-1991. Original painted clay sculpture, Mulberry Street Unicorn. Est $30,000-50,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books. April 9th.</b>
    <b>Swann April 9th: </b>Single leaf from a paper copy of the Gutenberg Bible, Mainz, circa 1450-55. Estimate $40,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Swann April 9th: </b>Petrus Lombardus, <i>Sententiarum libri IV</i>, manuscript in Latin, Bohemia, dated 1463. Estimate $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann April 9th: </b>Parisian Book of Hours with fifteen miniatures in colors and gold, printed on vellum, 1534. Estimate $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books. April 9th.</b>
    <b>Swann April 9th: </b>Marcus Tullius Cicero, <i>Orationum volumen primum</i>, bound for Queen Elizabeth I, with her device, Paris, 1543. Estimate $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann April 9th: </b><i>Bacchus and Venus</i>, first edition of a collection of love and drinking songs, London, 1737. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann April 9th: </b>William Shakespeare, Othello, seventh and last quarto edition, London, 1705. Estimate $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books. April 9th.</b>
    <b>Swann April 9th: </b>Conrad Gesner, <i>Thierbuch</i>, bound with Fischbuch, 1606 and 1598. Estimate $4,000<br>to $6,000.
    <b>Swann April 9th: </b>Aratus, <i>Syntagma Arateorum</i>, first Grotius edition, Leiden, 1600. Estimate $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann April 9th: </b>Charles Lyell, <i>Principles of Geology</i>, three volumes, first edition, London, 1830-33. Estimate $3,000 to $4,000.