Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2011 Issue

Some Outstanding Books from the Arader Galleries


A Selection of Rare Books from the Arader Galleries.

The Arader Galleries has offered A Selection of Rare Books for the fall and winter season. While we're a tad late, it is still winter, and the books are still as enticing as ever. A few of them could fairly be described as for collectors of well above average budgets, but for those with more in their bank accounts than on their bookshelves, there are some worthy trades to be made. The Arader Galleries offer top tier material in top condition, always the preference of collectors at the highest end. Here are a few.


We will start with the most notable of all American color plate books, John James Audubon's The Birds of America. Offered is a first octavo edition, published 1840-44. Audubon was both a great ornithologist and artist. Originally, he published his work in a larger, double elephant folio size. It was spectacular, but the cost of production was so great he was forced to sell the work at a price few could afford. Audubon made no money for his efforts until he conceived of the idea of selling his book in a reduced size, octavo format. The octavo version was a financial success for Audubon, making him if not wealthy, at least prosperous. The octavo edition was not merely a scaled down version of the elephant folio, but one to which Audubon added 65 new plates, raising the total to 500. All are hand colored. A first octavo Birds of America is not inexpensive, this one being priced at $145,000. However, it should be noted that this is pocket change compared to the elephant folio, the world's most expensive printed book, a copy having been sold last month at auction for over $11 million.


From drawings of birds we go to those of flowers, a collection of proof copies of the plates for Gerard van Spaendonck's Fleurs dessinees d'apres nature... This book was published around 1800. Offered is a copy of the proofs with a manuscript title Fleurs de G. Van Spaendonck. These 25 stipple engraved plates are in the original black and white (most copies were colored). Spaendonck's work is exceedingly rare, and the man himself is not that well known despite his great artistic talent. However, he was a notable influence on and supporter of Redoute, the great illustrator of roses whose prints bring great prices today. $58,500.


John Lawson provided one of the earliest looks at the Carolinas in The History of Carolina… This is a first edition, second issue, published in 1714 (five years after the first issue). Lawson sailed from England to Charleston in 1700, and then proceeded on a 600-mile inland journey through what was mainly wilderness. He wasn't the first to travel the interior regions, but he provided the earliest detailed account, paying particular note of its natural history and Indian tribes. He became a surveyor in what is now North Carolina and helped found some of its earliest settlements. On one of his surveying missions in 1711, Lawson ran into problems with the Tuscarora Indians and was killed. $57,500.

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>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, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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