Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2011 Issue

Varied Printed and Manuscript Material from Samuel Gedge Ltd.

Gedge10

The latest from Samuel Gedge, Ltd.

Samuel Gedge Ltd. has issued their Catalogue X. That is "X" as in ten, not as in x-rated. Most of what you will find here is not primarily books per se, but a variety of ephemeral printed and manuscript material. There are broadsides, pamphlets, newspapers, handwritten ledgers, drawings, and even more unusual printed items such as printed fans and handkerchiefs. There are also a few even more ephemeral items such as the French Royal Librarian's letter pouch (18th century Royal Librarian Jean-Paul Bignon liked to exchange a lot of letters - he would have loved Facebook). Of course, there are some books here too. Most of the material offered is of English origin, but as that last item attests, not all. Samuel Gedge regularly offers unexpected material, and this catalogue is no exception. Here are some samples.

 

Item 107 is a medical treatise that time has passed by, but while it seems silly today, it was a serious attempt to find cures based on the knowledge of its time, in this case, 1787:  An Account of the Effects of Swinging, Employed as a Remedy in the Pulmonary Consumption and Hectic Fever, by James Carmichael Smyth. I'm not sure what hectic fever was, but pulmonary consumption was usually what today is known as tuberculosis. At the time, it was believed, undoubtedly based on anecdotal evidence, that sufferers of these diseases found their health improved when they went to sea. There were two possible explanations. One was that the salty sea air helped; the other was that the rolling motion was somehow beneficial. Mr. Smyth believed the latter. He concluded that the motion, and accompanying seasickness, actually reduced the coughing and other symptoms. As a result, he advocated "swinging," motion induced by having people swing or spin in a chair raised off the ground by ropes. Obviously, such a "cure" today would be deemed quackery, but in an era long before antibiotics, and before the use of truly scientific blind testing, it was the use of anecdotal stories of cures that provided the best chance of learning something that could help the sick. Priced at £450 (roughly $728 in U.S. currency).

 

Here is a broadside for a lecture, circa 1855, that combined pseudo-science with the real. It is headed, Mr. J.S. Butterworth, Phrenologist, &c. Begs most respectfully to inform the Lovers of Knowledge and Free Inquiry that he will deliver Lectures. Gedge notes that little is known about Butterworth, other than he started out as a factory worker and made his way up to being a teacher and than a lecturer. He spoke about phrenology, the "science" where examination of the shape of one's head could tell all sorts of things about that person. In reality, it doesn't do much more than tell you the shape of that person's head. However, Butterworth also noted "a magneto electric machine will be in the room to increase the amusement, and the magnesium wire light will be exhibited." That sounds very much like, in these days before the light bulb, an early display of an incandescent light. If Butterworth had only thought to place that magnesium wire in a vacuum bulb, he could have been Edison. Item 18. £250 (US $405).

 

Item 67 comes from America. It is a doctoral certificate issued by the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1819. It was awarded to Thomas Connell, who seems to have disappeared into history, as most people from that long ago time have done. However, the certificate is signed by several leading figures in American medicine of the era, including Philip Syng Physick. Dr. Physic obtained his medical degree in England, but returned to Philadelphia where he treated many of America's leading figures during that city's yellow fever epidemic of 1793. Dr. Physic was a pioneer, inventing the stomach pump, and making several surgical advances. He earned the appellation of the "Father of American Surgery" for his work. £750 (US $1,215).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Published Half Plate Ambrotype of a North Carolina Confederate Officer. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two 19th Century Books Pertaining to Canada's Red River Settlement. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two Books With Fore-Edge Paintings of British Architectual Landmarks. $400 to $600
    <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), "Torte a la Dobosch" from <i>Wild Raspberries</i>. $1,000 to $3,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), <i>Pop Shop II,</i> One Plate screenprint in colors, on wove paper, 1998. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Thomas Rowlandson (British, 1756-1827), Twenty-Two Prints from the <i>Tours of Dr. Syntax</i>. $500 to $1,000
  • <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: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

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