Source : John Howell Books Americana

Source Title Americana - Books, Manuscripts, Maps, Prints, Photographs, Paintings - The Inventory of John Howell - Books Part I
Description Various material from the inventory of John Howell - Books.
Scope of Text "Antiquarian booksellers lead privileged lives. They are merchants, to be sure, but what merchandise they buy and sell! It is the very stuff of human life, wisdom and vanity, nobility and squalor, adventure and serenity, distilled into words and preserved on paper. A bookseller can never be lonely; his shop is always full of people (though at times he may wish more of them were in the aisles rather than on the shelf, customers rather than tenants.)

Partly no doubt from necessity but largely as a result of their own enthusiasm good booksellers are teachers. A neophyte collector will learn from bibliographies but he will learn far more by frequenting the company of the leading members of the book trade. In my thirty years as a curator I gained as much from Warren Howell and his peers as from academic historians and bibliographers. A lifetime spent with books can bring much curious knowledge to an enquiring mind, and men like Warren gladly shared that learning.

Good booksellers not only know good books, they know where they belong. There is a certain intoxication in the power to choose which collector, personal or institutional, shall have first opportunity to acquire a rare title. Every great collection owes more to booksellers than it ever had to pay in dollars on invoices submitted. Certainly the Yale Collection of Western Americana owed much to Warren. Out debt was small compared to that of his beloved Bancroft Library, but it included many choice titles. And we were only two among many collections which he helped to build.

Now his books are being dispersed at auction. The firm of John Howell - Books has ceased to exist. But long after all of us who knew Warren have disappeared, generations of scholars will have cause to be grateful to him. That is monumental enough for any bookman."

Archibald Hanna,
New Haven, Connecticut
November 1984

From the preface to the sale catalogue.
Total Records in AED 718
  • <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Latest catalogue: 50 Fine Books 2015
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> M. Catesby,<br>The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (London, 1729-77).
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility (London, 1811). First edition of the Austen’s first published novel.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Koronatsionniy sbornik [Album of Nicholas II's coronation] (St. Petersburg, 1899): preferred deluxe version in Russian.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> A complete set of John Gould's magnificent bird books in attractive contemporary bindings (1831-88).
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Andy Warhol, Bald Eagle from Endangered Species. Screenprint in colours, 1983, signed in pencil.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: The story of Shackleton’s last expedition 1914-1917 (London, 1919).
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> J.J. Audubon, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (NY, 1845-54): The largest successful colour plate book of 19th-century America.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Geoffrey Chaucer, The Works (Kelmscott Press, 1896). One of the finest illustrated books ever produced.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Lev Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (Moscow, 1879):<br>first edition in book form of the celebrated novel.
  • <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.