Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2011 Issue

Spanish and Portuguese Related Works from Paul Orssich

Orssich71

Iberian books from Paul Orssich.

Paul Orssich recently released Catalogo 71 Libros Antiquos. As one might expect from a catalogue so named, the focus is on works related to Spain. That's a bit too narrow a description, as Portuguese related works are also covered, so this is more an Iberian catalogue. As such, there is also material dealing with South and Central America, most of that land once having been colonies of Spain or Portugal. As befitting a Spanish book dealer located in London, the books are divided primarily between those in Spanish and those in English, with an occasional title in a third language. Many of the books were written by English men and women who visited Spain and Portugal, either as tourists, diplomats, or military personnel involved in the incessant wars that took place in Europe in earlier days. Our focus will be primarily on the English language books in deference to this reviewer's limited comprehension of Spanish. Now, here are a few of the 170 titles offered.

 

We will start with the earliest of Spaniards, though it is doubtful they considered themselves as such:  Fossil Man in Spain by Hugo Obermaier Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Madrid. Published by the Hispanic Society of America in 1924, its Vice-President, in his introduction, describes the work as "Absolutely essential to the understanding of the history of Spain." Professor Obermaier was one of the era's noted scholars and researchers in the field of pre-historic archeology and the diffusion of man through Europe during the Ice Age. At the time of this publication, Obermaier was conducting excavations in the cave of Altamira in Spain. Its walls are covered with prehistoric cave drawings, and excavations indicated it was populated 15,000 - 20,000 years ago, though some more recent evidence indicates some drawings may go back almost twice as far. Item 117. Priced at £70 (British pounds, or approximately US $113).

 

This book covers an era not nearly so ancient, but still a much earlier time, the eight pre-Columbian centuries in Spain. A divided Iberian peninsula in the post-Roman era fell to Moslem invaders from North Africa, better known as the "Moors," in 711. They moved rapidly forward, capturing all but the northernmost part of the peninsula from the Vandals and others who had conquered the land in the declining years of Rome. They would inhabit the land for almost eight centuries, though for much of that time it was a slow decline as local Christian kingdoms gradually seized power. By the 15th century, the Moors were pushed back to the southernmost areas of the peninsula, and in 1492, while Spanish ships under Columbus were engaged in explorations to the west, Ferdinand and Isabella expelled the last of the Moors. Item 3 is The History of the Mohammedan Dynasties in Spain… This is an 1840-43 translation of the early 17th century work of Ibn Mohammed Al-Makkari. Al-Makkari's history is particularly important as he had access to numerous 9th-14th century sources that have since been lost. £1,200 (US $1,950).

 

Henry Swinburne was the son of an English baronet, which enabled him to live well without having to make a living. After some time at their estate, Swinburne and his wife decided to travel. Being Catholics as well as nobility, doors were open to them in Spain, France, and other Catholic countries. That connection would eventually lead to minor diplomatic posts, including Swinburne being sent to negotiate a prisoner exchange with France late in the 18th century. However, it was earlier on that he conducted most of his travels, some of which are described in Travels through Spain, in the Years 1775 and 1776. In which several Monuments of Roman and Moorish Architecture are illustrated by accurate drawings taken on the spot. Swinburne not only was a writer, but a skilled artist as well. Offered is the 1779 first edition of his work. Item 147. £1,100 (US $1,787).  A 1787 second edition is also available. Item 148. £900 (US $1,462).

 

George Ticknor was another man who grew up under circumstances that did not require him to struggle for a living. His father was a founder of the first insurance company and the first savings bank in Boston. The result was he became an academic, a writer, and during his residence in Europe, a collector of books. His specialty, both as an academic and collector, was the literature of Spain and Portugal. Ticknor was also a great benefactor of worthy causes, notably as one of the founders and first trustees of the Boston Public Library, which opened its doors in 1852. When he died in 1871, Ticknor left his book collection to Boston Public. Item 159 is a Catalogue of the Spanish Library and of the Portuguese Books bequeathed by George Ticknor to the Boston Public Library, by James Lyman Whitney, published in 1879. £180 (US $292).

 

Paul Orssich can be reached at 020 7787 0030 (International 44 + 20 7787 0030) or paulo@orssich.com. Their website is www.orssich.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Keep Calm and Carry On</i>, designer unknown, 1939. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, <i>Le Journal / La Traite des Blanches</i>, 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>"Let Us Go Forward Together,"</i> designer unknown, 1940. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, <i>Babylone d'Allemagne</i>, 1894. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Frank Beatty, <i>Out of the Running</i>, 1929. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Wake Up America Day</i>, 1917. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Danté / Sim • Sala • Bim!</i>, designer unknown. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>[Zodiac]</i>, 1900. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Rick Griffin, <i>Jimi Hendrix Experience / John Mayall</i>, 1968. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Abram Games, <i>Join the ATS</i>, 1941. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Aldo Mazza, <i>Torino / Esposizione Internazionale</i>, 1911. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Robert Motherwell, <i>Julliard School / Dedication - Lincoln Center</i>, 1969. $3,000 to $4,000
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    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
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  • <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> John Muir. <i>My First Summer in the Sierra</i>, Boston, 1911.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Ernest Hemingway. <i>For Whom the Bell Tolls</i>, New York, 1940. First edition later printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Upton Sinclair. <i>The Jungle</i>, New York, 1906. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> George Orwell. <i>Nineteen Eighty-Four</i>, 1949. First American edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Harper Lee. <i>To Kill a Mocking Bird</i>, 1960. Early printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Richard Wright. <i>Native Son</i>, New York, 1940. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Dryden, Congreve, and others. <i>Ovid’s Art of Love</i>, London, 1764. English translation of Ovid’s work.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> S. E. Hinton. <i>The Outsiders</i>, New York, 1967. First edition.
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    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Ayn Rand. <i>Atlas Shrugged</i>, New York, 1957. Early printing.
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  • <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>

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