Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2010 Issue

Rare and Important Books from the Antiquariaat Forum and Asher Rare Books

Forum7-10

250 rare books and manuscripts.


By Michael Stillman

The Antiquariaat Forum and Asher Rare Books have combined to publish a Catalogue of 250 Rare and Important Printed Books and Manuscripts. There is certainly a European flavor to the rare books offered by the Dutch booksellers, and a great many of these books are very old - 16th and 17th centuries. They cover just about any subject, from natural to human history, science, medicine, religion, travel, and more. Many are noted more for their illustrations than their text, with several exquisitely illustrated color plate books offered. This is an exceptional catalogue, offering 250 exceptional items.

Item 74 is a contemporary account of a battle of long, long ago. Actually, it was a siege more than a battle. The Knights Hospitallers had operated a hospital in Jerusalem while it was under Christian control, but were forced from the mainland by the Turks in 1291. Orders such as these knights were more than a religious or charitable organization, but a military force as well. The Knights backtracked but later settled on the island of Rhodes, just off the Turkish coast. For the next two centuries, they used their stronghold to harass shipping between the Islamic lands of the eastern Mediterranean. In 1480, the Turks launched an attack on Rhodes, hoping to remove this thorn from their side, but to no avail. The Knights built enormous fortifications to withstand all attacks. Finally, the Turks attacked again in 1522, this time with enormously superior forces, and began a siege that finally wore down the Knights. They reached a settlement with the Turks that allowed them to safely evacuate. The Knights moved to Malta, and the Turks controlled the sea. Offered is a copy of the account of the siege by Jacobus Fontanus published in 1524, De bello Rhodio libri tres Clementi VII Pont. Max. dedicati. Priced at €5,500 (euros, or approximately US $6,787.

Pierre Marie Francois de Pages may not be known as one of the great voyagers as he did not lead any missions. Nevertheless, he conducted one of the most extensive of 18th century travels, and he tells all about them in Voyages autour du monde et vers les deux Poles...(1767-76), published in two volumes in 1782. Pages was a young French naval officer in 1767 when he obtained a leave to do some traveling. He went to Louisiana, traveled up the Mississippi, and then over through Texas and Mexico. He would then travel across the Pacific to the Far East and Near East before making his way back to France. Later on, he would participate in journeys that headed toward both the North and South Poles. He would next serve with the French Navy during the American Revolution and finally, his health weakened by all of his travels, retired to a plantation in Haiti. He was killed there in 1793 during a slave revolt. Item 164. €2,500 (US $3,082).

Item 4 is a complete set of a massive, early natural history. It is the Opera, or works of Ulisse Adrovandi of Bologna. Androvandi may not be a household name today, but he was very important to the advancement of science in the 16th century. In his younger days, Aldrovandi studied philosophy and medicine, and spent some time under sort of a house arrest for heresy. Fortunately, he was of good bloodlines, and was allowed to become a professor at the University of Bologna. It was at this time that his focus shifted to natural history. He was particularly interested in botany, establishing the first botanical gardens in Bologna, though his interests spread far beyond plants, to birds, animals, geology, and even creatures that bordered on the mythical, such as dragons and monsters. In those days, the line between scientific knowledge and myth was not so clearly understood. His works did not begin to be published until late in his life, the first being printed in 1599. Only 4 of 13 were released during his lifetime, which concluded in 1605, the rest being from his notes, the last not coming out until 1667. €75,000 (US $92,500).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>
  • <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.

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