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>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Copper Printing Plate for "Marshall's Household Engraving of Washington." $500 to $1000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Important Documentary Painting Showing Baseball Great Ty Cobb in Cuba. $1,000 to $2,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> <i>Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age</i>, Inscribed by Bill Wilson. $500 to $1,000
    <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), <i>Prise à l'hameçon.</i> $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Maurice Dufrène (French, 1876-1955), <i>Rayon des Soieries</i>. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> William Pope.L (American, b. 1955), <i>Intimacy Project</i>. $2,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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>

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