Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2011 Issue

A Spring Miscellany from Michael Thompson Books

Thompson97

Michael Thompson's Spring Miscellany.

Michael Thompson Books has published a Spring Miscellany. Thompson's miscellanies are appropriately named, as there is a wide range of material to be found. What we find here in particular are antiquarian works, primarily of European origin, and fine press books, generally from the past century. It's not quite that simple as there can be just about anything here, but at least this highlights much of the material to be found. Offered is a collection of 100 books, most of them recent acquisitions. Here are a few.

 

Item 33 is the first script from a theatrical performance that was once, in its own way, more popular than Shakespeare in old England. It is Punch and Judy, a free-form puppet theater that played on the streets of London for centuries. Punch and Judy made its first appearance in England in 1662, but it was not until 1828 that John Payne Collier first put a dialogue to print. The play never had a set group of lines. The puppeteer would follow a loose script, often at least partly adlibbed, from behind a curtain. It involved Punch and his wife, Judy, their baby, and often a host of other characters. It was puppet slapstick, as the two would get into battles, the result of Punch's foolish behavior. It should be noted that author Collier would later be accused by many of fabricating certain Shakespeare material, though there is no sign he made up the Punch and Judy dialogue. The book was illustrated by George Cruikshank, perhaps the most notable illustrator and caricaturist of his era. It is bound with a scarce 1840s pamphlet entitled Park's Amusing History of Punch & Judy. Offered is a second edition of the main book, published the same year as the first. Priced at $750.

 

Item 63 is Dris Martini Lutheri colloquia mensalia; or, Dr. Martin Luther's Divine Discourses at his Table. This is a first English edition (1652) of what is better known as Martin Luther's Table Talk. It contains quotes, or at least paraphrases, of comments made by Luther around the table, as compiled by Dr. Antonius Lauterbach. The latter has been described as Luther's Boswell, an admirer who tried to preserve all of significance Luther said, though Luther did not want his unconsidered comments so published. It provides great insight into Luther, both as theologian and man. As man, Luther had his share of warts, and this book can at times be coarse, merciless, and bigoted. Luther had his opinions of Catholics, Jews, and Turks, that were not, to say the least, always kind. Still, Luther was a product of his times, and not one to be terribly concerned about political correctness. $1,500.

 

Item 54 is the second title printed by the pioneering private press of William Morris - Kelmscott Press. The title is Poems by the Way, which reflects the multi-talents of Morris. Along with being a fine press printer in the last years of his life, he was a novelist, poet, artist, designer, and political socialist. This personal collection was published in a run of 300 copies at Kelmscott in 1891. $2,500.

 

Item 42 is The History of the Life of the Duke of Espernon, the great favourite of France, by Guillaume Girard. Certainly Jean Louis de Nogaret de La Valette, who lived from 1554 to 1648, was a great favorite of the leaders of France, especially King Henry III. Henry showered La Valette with a series of titles, including this dukedom created specifically on his behalf. The Duke was a contemporary of Henry who worked his way into the King's inner circle. Though Henry died more than a half a century before Espernon, the Duke also managed to ingratiate himself to the following two kings, even though he was suspected of participating in the assassination of one. He would remain an important person in France until finally disgraced in his later years and exiled to a castle in the countryside. This book was "Englished," or as we more commonly say, translated, in 1670 by Charles Cotton, better known as Izaak Walton's fishing buddy. $650.

 

On June 6, 1944, known to history as "D-Day," President Franklin Roosevelt delivered a message via radio to the American public. The President issued a prayer, asking, "With thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogance.  Lead us to the saving of our country…" Thankfully, his prayer was answered. For Christmas that year, FDR printed up a broadside of his D-Day Prayer. Only 50 copies were printed, and they were given to a few of his closest friends at a White House ceremony. Item 76 is one of those. $17,500.

 

Michael Thompson Books may be reached at 323-658-1901 or mrtbksla@pacbell.net.

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>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

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