Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2010 Issue

50 Fine Books from Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books

Shaperofinebooks2010

Fifty fine books from Bernard J. Shapero.


By Michael Stillman

Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books has issued their catalogue of 50 Fine Books 2010. Shapero often publishes catalogues of "50s," thoroughly described and illustrated collections focused on 50 notable items. With over 100 pages and numerous glossy color images for such a small number of items, you can expect they will be out of the ordinary. They are. Here are some of these latest top 50 items from Shapero Rare Books.

Item 10 is an amazing set of books for any Egyptologist or person fascinated by this land with a history longer than just about any other. It is written in French, as one might expect of a work commissioned by Napoleon: Description de l'Egypte ou recueil des observations et des reserches qui ont ete faites en Egypte pendant l'expedition de Vivant Denon, 23 volumes published from 1809-1813. Vivant Denon was a pre-Republic French diplomat who managed to escape the worst of the revolution and who focused on art and archeology after the horrors of that period ended. He was engaged in a mission to Egypt on behalf of Napoleon from 1798-1801. The French Emperor planned to colonize Egypt, and as part of that plan wanted to know everything possible about the land, from its ancient history to its natural science to its current state. The result is this massive work documenting everything this four-year mission was able to learn. Napoleon's intentions for Egypt never quite worked out as planned, but the work he ordered provided history with an enormous wealth of information about the land anyway. Priced at £115,000 (British pounds, or approximately $165,686 in U.S. currency).

Item 27 is a set of four first editions from the great 19th century Arctic explorer William Parry: Journal of a voyage for the discovery of a North-West Passage... (1821) with Journal of a second voyage... (1824), with Journal of a third voyage... (1826) along with his Narrative of an attempt to reach the North Pole... (1828). Strikingly, Parry failed to reach his goal in all four missions. He never found a Northwest Passage, and he never reached the North Pole. Nonetheless, he is remembered as a great and brave explorer, coming closer to reaching his goals than anyone before him, and there would be many more failed attempts before these goals were finally achieved almost a century later. Parry went as far west as he could in seeking the passage, and his farthest point west would later be viewed by a mission heading west to east, though the route was blocked by ice. It established that there was a passage unblocked by land, though it would take warmer weather to make it passable. As for his North Pole mission, while not reaching the pole, Parry traveled farther north than anyone before him nor for half a century after. £8,000 ($11,512).

Here is the collection of another explorer who completed three voyages to the same place. Well, not entirely the same place, as James Cook visited different locations on his three voyages, but each was a journey from England to the Pacific Rim and islands. Along the way he did much of the mapping of Australia, determined there was no massive southern continent, discovered Hawaii, and surveyed the west coast of North America. And, like Parry, he unsuccessfully sought to find the Northwest Passage. Offered is a set of second editions of the official accounts of the three voyages, including the illustration of Cook's death in the third volume, along with a first edition of Andrew Kippis' A voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Item 11. £37,500 (US $54,067).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>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

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