Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2011 Issue

Old and Rare Books about Books from Knuf Rare Books

Knufold2011

Old and rare books about books from Knuf Rare Books.

Knuf Rare Books has issued a catalogue of Old & Rare Books about Books. Knuf Rare Books is located in Vendome, France, so not surprisingly, most books are from France. However, the catalogue itself is in English, so it will provide no obstacles to American or British collectors. In it you will find all types of books about books, covering such topics as printing, binding, typography, libraries, and lists of books from booksellers, auction houses, even those of prohibited reading. This is a fascinating look at books from the pre-television and internet days when the medium had little competition as a source for information and entertainment. These are a few of the 101 items Knuf has described in this latest catalogue.

 

Item 31 is an important work in the history of French printing:  La Science pratique de l'Imprimerie contenant des Instructions tres faciles pour se perfectionner dans cet Art. Printed in 1723, Martin Dominique Fertel's first edition guide is the first French printing manual, and the only one published prior to the Revolution. Fertel ran a print shop in St. Omer during the first half of the 18th century, and did quite a bit of traveling around Europe. Unable to find a printing manual anywhere, he decided to produce his own. It covers composition, press correction, accentuated letters and punctuation, and press work. It is reported to be an excellent guide, though I'm not sure that the instructions for running a press are quite as easy to follow as the title claims. Priced at €4,500 (euros, or approximately US $6,131).

 

Item 64 is the Bibliotheque de Madame la Dauphine. No. 1, by Jacob Nicolas Moreau, published in 1770. The Dauphine, or Princess, was Marie Antoinette, just 15 years old but already the wife of the Dauphin, the future King Louis XVI. Marie Antoinette had recently arrived from Austria, specifically to marry the future French King and cement relations between the nations. It was now time to educate her in the history of France. This title lists the 166 books in the library that was prepared for her and includes an essay on the importance of studying the past. Moreau became her librarian as well as France's royal historiographer. He planned to produce a series books, but this No. 1 was the only one to make it to print. As for Marie Antoinette, she became an avid reader and bibliophile, but her French history lessons never made her very adept at French politics, and ultimately she had a most unfortunate run-in with a guillotine during the French Revolution. €800 (US $1,088).

 

Item 44 is Cum Regulis confectis per Patres a Tridentina Synodo Delectos, the index of prohibited books from 1593. This was a list of books Catholics were prohibited from reading without dispensation. There was little need for such lists for the Church's first millennium and one-half, but with the invention of printing, heretical thoughts could be mass-produced. Still, it took the Reformation to sufficiently upset the Church to the point where it began publishing such lists, the first to come in 1557. In time, the list would expand to other types of heresies, such as disputes within the Church or salacious materials. As might be expected of censured books, eventually their appearances on these lists only served to make them more popular, leading to an end to the indexes. €1,800 (US $2,448).

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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