Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2011 Issue

Classical Antiquity L-Z from Antiquariaat Fragmenta Selecta

Fragmenta103

Classical antiquity from L to Z.

Antiquariaat Fragmenta Selecta has issued their Catalogue 103 Classical Antiquity (L-Z). In November, we reviewed the first half of this collection, letters A-K. There is no shortage of material in the second half of the alphabet. This catalogue contains almost 1,700 items (1,699 to be exact). Offered are books about classical antiquity, which covers primarily Greek and Roman times, but Byzantine times as well, that long era once thought of as the Dark Ages where most progress was taking place outside of Europe. The period covered by these works ends with the dawning of the Renaissance.

 

With this many books, you are sure to find ones of interest if your focus is on antiquity. You will find everything from broad based descriptions of the times to niches so finely targeted that only someone involved in deep scholarly research would ever think to write on the topic. These are books for learning, some for collecting, and almost all within reach of the most modest of budgets. Here is a small fraction of one percent of the items being offered.

 

Thucydides was one of the earliest Greek historians, following the so-called "father of history" Herodotus. Thucydides lived in the fifth century B.C. and was an early participant, and later observer of the greatest battle of ancient Greece, the Peloponnesian War. This was a 27-year long fight between Athens and Sparta, that eventually led to the defeat of Sparta's democratic neighbor. Thucydides was a wealthy Athenian, but after a lack of battle success early on, he went off into a sort of exile/retirement, where his personal wealth enabled him to devote his time to writing the war's history. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for an Athenian, he probably did not live to see its conclusion as he stopped writing before it ended. Thucydides is noted as perhaps the first objective, scientific historian, focusing on observable causes and effects, rather than attributing events to the will of the Gods. Now, if you are looking for more than a one-paragraph summary of the life of Thucydides, item 1405 is A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, by A. Gomme, A. Andrews, and K.J. Dover, published 1970-79. This contains four volumes of information about the noted historian. Priced at €160 (euros, or about $212 in U.S. currency).

 

Pythagoras is best known today for right triangles and beans, but he was a well-rounded philosopher from the century before Thucydides. He led a religious sect, but he was very much a seeker of knowledge, a person who believed that much could be learned about the world through mathematical formulas. Pythagoras was also a learned astronomer, and that aspect of his knowledge is described in item 868 - Die Astronomie der Pythagoreer, by B.L. Van der Waerden, published in 1951. This is actually a look at the astronomy of the Pythagoreans, his followers, as it is hard to know with any kind of certainty what exactly were the views of Pythagoras himself. His society was secretive, and the philosopher did not write any books. Much of what is believed about him is based on the beliefs of his followers, and the writings of other Greeks, ancient to us, but still frequently a century or two removed from their subject. €35 (US $46).

 

We noted that some of these works hit very finely tuned niches. I knew there was lots about the Gods in Greek poetry, but who knew about Dogs in Ancient Greek Poetry? Saara Lilja's treatise was published in 1976. Item 62. €26 (US $34).

 

We know all about the battles, killings and tortures of ancient Rome, but where can you read about mundane items like farm tools? How about in Farm Equipment of the Roman World, by K.D. White, published in 1975. Item 1632. €150 (US $199).

 

Lucian of Samosata is not as well remembered as many of the great writers of Greek and Roman times. Perhaps we prefer the serious philosophers to the popular and witty writers of the day. Lucian was a novelist, speaker, perhaps what passed for a comedian in the second century. His writings included parodies of the styles of really ancient writers, the old Greeks who were already considered ancient 1,800 years ago. If you would like to read some of his works, item 130 is The Works of Lucian of Samosata. It was published in 1949, kind of old but not ancient. €60 (US $79).

 

For those seeking a very old copy of an ancient work, item 75 is The Roman History Written in Latine by Livius. Despite the title, this is an English translation, published in 1686. Titus Livius was an ancient Roman historian whose life spanned from the first century BC to the first century AD. He wrote about Rome, from its beginnings seven centuries earlier, to the time of Augustus, when Livius lived. €850 (US $1,129).

 

Antiquariaat Fragmenta Selecta may be reached at +31 20 4185565 or mail@fragmentaselecta.nl. Their website is located at www.fragmentaselecta.nl.

 

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: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Adams (Richard). <i>Watership Down,</i> FIRST EDITION, author inscription on front free end paper, folded map tipped in, original boards, dust-jacket. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bowles (John). <i>Several Prospects of the Most…la Ville de Londres, avec des Remarques Historiques fort Succinctes, qui les Regardant,</i> 20 double page engraved plates only, of 23, 1724. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Auden (W.H.). <i>Our Hunting Fathers,</i> FIRST SEPARATE EDITION, 1 of 22 copies, COPY B OF 5 PRINTED ON NORMANDIE, original patterned wrappers, Cambridge, for Frederic Prokosch, 1935. £800 to £1200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Barrie (J. M.) & Attwell (Mabel Lucie, illustrator). <i>Peter Pan & Wendy,</i> FIRST EDITION, 12 chromolithograph plates, publisher's blue cloth, original printed dust jacket, [c.1920]; and 3 others (4). £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bartolozzi (Francesco). Genius Calling Forth the Fine Arts to Adorn Manufactures and Commerce; Agriculture (Husbandry Aided by Arts and Commerce), glazed and framed. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> A collection of engraved caricatures, including Gillray ([James]) Tales of Wonder!, 1802; Rowlandson (Thomas) Sports, Smock Racing, 1811;Irish Jaunting Carr, 1814. £400 to £600
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bennett (Charles H, illustrator). <i>Æsop’s Fables,</i> 1875; Buchanan (Robert). <i>Ballad Stories of the Affections,</i> [1866]; Douce (Francis), The Dance of Death, 1833. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Chinese Illustrations. A group of 6 Cantonese rice paper illustrations, depicting scenes of torture with different instruments, gouache, c.340 x 220mm, original wrapper boards preserved, [c. 1800]. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Dulac (Edmund). <i>The Queen of Romania, The Dreamer of Dreams,</i> 5 coloured plates, [1915]; and others illustrated by Edmund Dulac. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Fronth (Per). Xingu Chronicles, the portfolio, comprising 30 plates, photogravues in colours, each signed, dated and titled in pencil, each numbered 10/35, on wove paper, 790 x 600 x 60mm, 1997. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Pasternak (Boris). <i>Doctor Zhivago,</i> FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, original red publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket, 4to, Collins & Harvill Press, 1958. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> 13 sepia photographs of visitors to the Thermes Nationaux d’Aix-les-Bains, c. 150 x 105mm, c.1890 (12). £300 to £400
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.

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