Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2011 Issue

Early to Very Early European Books from Bruce McKittrick Rare Books

Mckittrick57

Antiquarian books from Bruce McKittrick.

Bruce McKittrick Rare Books, of Narberth, Pennsylvania, recently issued Catalog 57. There is no stated topic for the material offered. What we can say is that despite their being located near a center of early American history - Philadelphia - the books in this catalogue are European in origin. Indeed, a great many of the items come from the days before there was a Pennsylvania, or a William Penn. This is a catalogue of material that ranges from old to very old, including incunabula. Many could only have come from Europe. Here are a few of the items we found.

 

Item 1 is a piece of incunabula, and McKittrick describes it as "the first printed book on architecture." The title is De Re Aedificatoria, by Leone Battista Alberti, published in Florence in 1485. This is a first edition of a book that has been described as the first Renaissance piece on the art of building, the first printed example of town planning, the first description of the ideal Renaissance church, and the first printed proposals for hospital design. Interestingly, Alberti advocated small, private rooms in hospitals, rather than large wards, something that took almost 500 more years to become the standard. The book also discusses, "frescoes, marble sculpture, windows, staircases, prisons, canals, gardens, machinery, warehouses, markets, arsenals, theaters…" It is, "a cornerstone of the Renaissance." Priced at $125,000.

 

Item 15 combines fields not often found together - architecture and chemistry. This is the first architectural work by a Brazilian writer, and the interest in chemistry arose from the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Author Mathias de Eca was concerned with the chemistry of building materials as well as building design because of the strength issues displayed by the earthquake. The title is Problema DeArchitectura Civil, and the author discusses the chemical composition of building materials and adds a 140-page dictionary of chemical terms, likely the first such dictionary in the Portuguese language. This is the 1777 middle of the three issues of the book's only edition. $4,500.

 

Item 37 is Avstriaci Caesares Maria Anna, by Hortensio Pallavicino. It is a festival book, celebrating the visit of Maria Anna, the young daughter of Hungarian King and Holy Roman Emeperor Ferdinand III. She was passing through Milan on her way to Spain to marry her uncle, King Philip IV. The idea here was to keep the alliance between Spain and Austria intact, though the inbreeding would take its toll. She was originally betrothed to her cousin, Philip's son, but after both he and Philip's first wife died, it was decided that Philip should marry Maria Anna. They had three sons, but only the youngest, who was both mentally handicapped and physically deformed, survived. He became Phillip's heir. When Philip died while he was just three years old, her son became King Charles II. Due to both his young age and limitations, Maria Anna would serve for many years as Regent. $7,500.

 

If you collect portraits, here is your perfect book:  Chronologie Et Sommaire Des Sovverains, Pontifes, Anciens Peres… This is a 1631 scrapbook collection of sheets displaying the faces and brief descriptions of over 2,000 notable figures from history. Some are undoubtedly accurate representations, though some must have been fanciful as they include Hebrew Patriarchs and even Pagan Gods and Goddesses. There are also numerous kings and queens and popes, jurists, and famous Frenchmen, this set having been compiled in Paris. Item 39. $22,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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>

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