Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2010 Issue

A New Miscellany from Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller

Karmiole28

There are some very old books in Kenneth Karmiole's latest catalogue.


By Michael Stillman

Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller, has printed a New Miscellany #28. A miscellany it certainly is, which makes it difficult to otherwise classify what may be found. There are quite a few very antiquarian books in Latin, 16th and 17th centuries, even an item of incunabula. However, there are a great many not quite so old books that cover just about anything, so you will need to see this catalogue to know what type of material it contains. Nevertheless, here are a few excerpts.

Item 26 offers some advice for those who find one wife to be insufficient: Reflections upon Polygamy, and the Encouragement Given to that Practice in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, by Phileleutherus Dubliniensis (actually, Patrick Delany). Delany was a respected Irish preacher who wrote on Old Testament issues. Contrary to the implication of the title, Delany does not come down in favor of the practice of multiple wives. He is against it, but not for moralistic reasons as might be expected of a churchman, but for practical reasons, believing it is harmful for children and families. Delany was a good friend and supporter of his fellow Irish church leader and author of Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift. Priced at $500.

Item 78 is a copy of the massive Spanish history, The Generall Historie of Spaine... This title doesn't represent bad spelling, just the antiquity of this book. It is a first English edition of a history written in French by Louis Turquet de Mayerne. Mayerne covered Spanish history up to 1583, but translator Edward Grimstone then continued the book "up to these times" (1612). These would be particularly interesting times with regard to Spain from an English point of view as the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the changing balance of power it signaled, came a few years after Grimstone took over. $4,500.

Item 113 is an interesting look at genetics, such as they were in 1839: Intermarriage: or, The Mode in Which, and the Causes Why, Beauty, Health and Intellect, Result from Certain Unions, and Deformity, Disease and Insanity, from Others... We will not be so rude as to inquire into the parentage of author Alexander Walker, but he evidently was not quite as insightful as, say, Charles Darwin, who was developing a different theory at this time. Walker concluded that the forehead, sense organs, and "nutritive" organs of the body were passed down from one parent, while the other parent passed along the back of the head, brain, and locomotive organs. Queen Victoria was offered as proof. She had her father's forehead but her mother's mouth, or at least so said Walker. Anyway, this book was offered as a guide to selecting a mate, though it never managed to replace "natural" selection as a means of making that choice. $150.

Item 82 might be called a "Catholic captivity," the equivalent of many Indian captivities, horrible, sensational, and completely false. It is the Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, as Exhibited in a Narrative of Her Sufferings During a Residence of Five Years as a Novice, and Two Years as a Black Nun, in the Hotel Dieu Nunnery at Montreal. Maria Monk burst onto the scene in New York in 1836 (the year this tome was published), supported by some anti-Catholic ministers just as the first wave of Catholic immigrants was arriving. She told of her horrors in a Catholic convent in Montreal. Essentially her story was that the nuns had to travel through an underground tunnel to a seminary where they were forced to submit to the sexual demands of the priests. They were told that the priests were making great personal sacrifices, giving up marriage and family, so that the nuns could be saved, so this was the least the sisters could do in return. When babies were born of these illicit relationships, they were immediately baptized and then strangled. It made a sensational story, but when newspapermen and others investigated her claims, they found them wanting. Monk's description of the nunnery was totally inaccurate, and it turned out she had previously been committed by her mother to an asylum for insanity. Meanwhile, several anti-Catholic clergy battled for the profits from the book she had supposedly written. A dozen years later, long since discredited, Monk died in prison, arrested for theft and prostitution. $375.

Item 110 is Argonautica, a 1548 edition of this ancient classic by Gaius Valerius Flaccus. This is based on an ancient Greek tale, and is not the better-known version by Apollonius, the Greek librarian. It, too, is an epic poem, and not terribly original, bearing a resemblance to the earlier epic of the tale, but perhaps Flaccus' version was better suited for first century Rome where it was written. Flaccus' poem ends abruptly and early, leading to the belief that he probably died before his only surviving work was completed. Those unfamiliar with Argonautica may know it by its more recent film edition, Jason and the Argonauts. $675.

Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller, Inc., may be reached at 310-451-4342 or Karmbooks@aol.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on 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. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <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. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on 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. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions