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>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>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

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