Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2011 Issue

Antiquarian Books, Manuscripts, and Ephemera from Samuel Gedge Rare Books


Catalogue XI from Samuel Gedge.

Samuel Gedge Ltd. Rare Books has issued their Catalogue XI. Gedge offers a mix of books, manuscripts, and ephemeral items from antiquarian times to antiquity. In other words, there are not only items from the 17th and 18th century, but manuscripts from pre-printing times, as far back as the 13th century. Most items are of British origin, and English is the predominate, though not exclusive, language. Of course, old English is sometimes a bit hard to fathom, and while 16th and 17th century English is fairly easy to follow, the spellings are unusual by current standards. Here are a few of the varied items being offered by Samuel Gedge this month.

Item 4 is a manuscript collection of medical remedies, along with some culinary recipes, put together by one Margaret Baker, probably around 1675. Gedge has not been able to locate any information beyond this book about Ms. Baker, but she evidently gathered her cures and recipes from both professionals and relatives and friends. She has compiled a large collection, and while we would not recommend using her medical advice today, you might want to try her cuisine, if you have the stomach. Among the medicinal treatments, there are “a diat drinke for scurvie, an oyntment for smale poxe, a bathe for swellinge of ye leggs, a salve for oulde sore, a medisen for the gowte, and for ye swelling of ye Kings Evell.” For the young ones, there are cures “for children that are broken out in their heads, a soveraygne medisene to kill wormes in the belly of younge children,” and something “for convolchen fetts in yong children.” While some of these spellings undoubtedly date from the times, her changes in spellings make me think Ms. Baker was not very learned at the art. Among the recipes you can try, there are Ffrench ffritters, sheep troters, sacke possett, sillibub, and Anchovian spratts. “Sillibub” is evidently sillabub, which according to Wikipedia, is a traditional English desert, popular from the 16th through the 19th century, made from cream, sugar, and curdled with wine. I can see why it went out of style. A Google search for “anchovian spratts” instead gave me matches for “anchovy spread.” Did they have anchovy spread in 17th century England? Since there is a fish called the “sprat,” this was more likely a type of fish, rather than something fishy to be spread on crackers. Priced at £7,500 (British pounds, or roughly $11,610 U.S.)

Legal disputes are nothing new. Here is one dating back to 1429. In this case, Sir John de Bohun and the nuns of Easeburne sued the burgesses of Midhurst to pay for certain repairs of the church. The burgesses in turn wanted the convent to pay for ropes for the bells and someone to ring it at morning and night. The dispute was submitted to John Rickingball, the Bishop of Chichester. As this document shows, the Bishop split the difference. The burgesses were required to repair a 72-foot long section of the churchyard wall, and this would discharge their obligations to the church in full. Item 24. £1,600 (US $2,478).

Item 5 is published Extracts from the latter will and codicil of Professor John Anderson, from 1796. Anderson was a professor at Glasgow University, but wished a second university be constructed in the city, one that would provide more in the way of practical skills. Of particular note, Anderson wanted education in mathematics and physics to be available to women, certainly a pioneering concept at that time. Anderson's will provided instructions for the university and funding, and in 1796, Anderson's University was formed. It went through several name changes along the way, but today it survives and thrives as the University of Strathclyde, the third largest in Scotland. True to Anderson's wishes, it provides technical and other courses of practical training. Its most famous alumnus, I presume, was the great explorer David Livingston. £750 (US $1,163).

Item 104 is a printed letter To the Naval and Maritime Officers of Great Britain. It was published by “Princess Olive of Cumberland.” The “Princess” herein makes known that she has been able to determine why mariners' compasses vacillate in Arctic regions, and has developed a compass that will accurately perform on both sides of the equator. Whether she had created such a thing is unknown, but certainly you would not want to assume the verity of any claims made by the “Princess.” We have placed quotation marks around the “Princess'” name as she was an imposter. Daughter of a house painter, but with tastes that far outstretched her means, she declared herself the illegitimate child of the King's brother. She also claimed descent from Polish royalty, in case the other claims weren't sufficient. In reality, “Princess Olive” was Olivia Serres, a painter and writer, but one with a penchant for lots of money and numerous lovers, and possessing a vivid imagination. £350 (US $542).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000

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