Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2010 Issue

Antiquarian Books from Librairie Thomas-Scheler

Thomas-scheler41

Livres Anciens from Librairie Thomas-Scheler.


By Michael Stillman

Librairie Thomas-Scheler has issued its 41st catalogue of Livres Ancien, or Antiquarian Books. This catalogue is written in French, and most books are also in the French language, though there are a good number of titles in Latin as well. Many of these books are quite old. Subjects are varied, ranging from travel to science, mathematics, medicine, literature, politics, and whatever else was on people's minds a few centuries ago. Here are some of these works.

Item 30 is a first edition account of one of the most important of French voyages, the first to make it around the world: Voyage autour du mond, par la fregate du Roi La Boudeuse... by the explorer Louis de Bougainville. Bougainville established a French colony on the Falkland Islands (only to have France cede them to Spain in the interests of maintaining peace). Heading further west, he discovered some Pacific islands, and thought he discovered Tahiti, only to find someone else had beaten him there. However, Bougainville's description of Tahiti as some sort of island paradise remains a part of the island's image to this day. If Bougainville himself is not that well known outside of France today, his name is more familiar. His botanist named a plant he discovered in South America for his captain - the bougainvillea. Published in 1771. Priced at €6,000 (euros, or about $7,736 in U.S. dollars).

Item 4 is the 1751 French edition (following the 1748 first in English) of another voyage around the world, that of George Anson. Anson was not a true explorer like Bougainville, and probably a lot less popular with his men, though he came home to England a hero in 1744. He was the captain sent out with five ships to harass the Spanish in South America. He lost all but one of his ships, and most of his men died, but his capture of a Spanish ship laden with treasure near the end of his voyage enabled him to return home a wealthy man. The book is entitled Voyage autour du monde, fait dans les annees MDCCXL... This book comes with the account of some of his men who made a daring escape of a shipwreck of one of Anson's ships, along with an arduous journey to eventual rescue: Voyage a la Mer du Sud... published in 1756. €6,500 (US $8,388).

If you think a trip to the dentist is scary today, what must it have been like two centuries ago? Here is the answer: L'art du dentiste ou Manuel des operations de chirurgie... This is an 1802 treatise by Louis Laforgue on the art of dentistry, including dental surgery. Dental surgery in the era of crude instruments and no novocaine or antibiotics is just one reason not to want to return to Napoleonic times. Item 136. €1,200 (US $1,552).

We don't know what language his dogs spoke, but item 201 is the first French edition of Le travail des glandes digestives, or the work of the digestive glands, by the great Russian scientist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov. Pavlov's dogs were the ones whose digestive juices began flowing at the ringing of a bell, after they learned that the bell signified dinnertime. The work described in this book earned its author the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1904. €1,000 (US $1,295).

Leonhard Euler was a prominent Swiss mathematician and physicist of the 18th century, often regarded as the greatest mathematician of his time. He wrote an enormous amount of material most of us couldn't possibly understand. However, he did publish a book that was designed to help the layman understand complex concepts. It's called Lettres a une Princesse d'Allemagne, sur divers sujets de Physique et Philiosophie. The title translates to Letters to a German Princess. Frederick the Great had asked Euler to teach his niece, the Princess of Anhalt-Dessau, some basic science. He wrote her a series of letters which could be called the Popular Science of the day. In it he explains such diverse topics as why the moon looks larger on the horizon, the sky is blue, and why the tops of mountains are cold. His letters were published in book form, a book very popular in its day. This French edition was published in 1812. €850 (US $1,100).

Librairie Thomas-Scheler may be reached at +33 (0)1 43 26 97 69 or basane@thomas-scheler.fr.

You will find many of Librairie Thomas-Scheler's books listed in "Books For Sale" on this site. Click here.

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>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Extremely Fine Copy of Fantasy Classic. Tolkien (J.R.R.) <i>The Hobbit, or There and Back Again,</i> L. (George Allen & Unwin Ltd. Museum Street) 1937. €20,000 to €30,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Incunabula. [Sirectus, Antonius] O’Fihely (Maurice)Abp. <i>Formalitates de Mente Doctoris Subtilis Scoti Nec Non Stephai Burlifer cum novis additionibus…</i> Venice 14th December 1051 (ie. 1501). €3,000 to €4,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Original Book Illustrations by Pamela Leonard. Illustrations: Regan (Peter) Touchstone, 8vo D. (Mount Salas Press) 1989. €3,500 to €4,500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> [Petit (Jean), Prevel (Jean) & Gregory (Pope)] [Gregorius]. <i>Compendium Textuale Compillationis decretalium Gregorri noni sine qua…</i>, Paris [Dec. 1524]. €350 to €500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Excessively Rare – V. Fine Copy. [Mac Mahon]. <i>Jus Primatiale Armacanum, In Omnes Archiepiscopos, Episcopos, et Universum Clerum</i>… [n.p.] 1728. €750 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Madden (R.R.). <i>Travels in Turkey, Egypt, Nubia and Palestine in 1824, 1825, 1826 and 1827,</i> 2 vols. 1822. €500 to €700
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Early English Herbal. Gerarde (John). The Herball or General History of Plants, thick folio L. (John Norton) 1597. €700 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The Tehran World War 2 Conference Photograph: [Tehran Conference 1943] An important and iconic Group Photograph showing Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. €80 to €120
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Natural History Specimens from Jersey Jersey Islands: Westacton [Mrs Acton] Collection of 53 original dried examples of Seaweed collected in Jersey, c. 1860. €300 to €400
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Plyglot Bible: Hutteri (Eliae). <i>Biblia Sacra, Ebraice, Chaldaice, Graece, Latinae, Germanice, Sclavonice.</i> Lg. folio Nurimberg 1599. €250 to €350
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The American Invasion 1888: “First Ever G.A.A. Hurling Match in America” Medal: G.A.A., The Invaders, 1888. €2,000 to €3,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> “Babe” Ruth and the G.A.A. G.A.A. & Baseball: A unique and early Sporting Association. An original Spalding B12 Baseball Bat. €4,000 to €6,000

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