Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2012 Issue

The First Occasional List from John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller

Windle1

Occasional List One from John Windle.

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller has published Occasional List Number One. English Books, Fine Printing and Bindings. Windle is hardly new to catalogues, but this is a first of a planned “unknown number” of occasional lists. These are to be collections of around 50 items to be published on a regular basis. As the title notes, this catalogue is focused on English books and fine printing, either of which leave it open to an unlimited variety of topics. Here, then, are a few samples from this list number one.

Item 9 is a book designed to bring botany to the masses, in a manner of speaking. It is Erasmus Darwin's The Botanic Garden. It consists of two poems, Part I being The Economy of Vegetation, Part II The Loves of Plants. Offered is the third (preferred) edition of Part I with the Tornado plate engraved by William Blake, Part II a fourth edition (1794-95). Darwin was a scientist, physician, and poet, and though not nearly so well remembered as his grandson, Charles Darwin, he was a very popular figure in his day. Erasmus also developed a theory of evolution, but unlike his grandson, he never understood what made it tick (natural selection). These poems, especially the Loves of Plants, added an almost human element to their lives, giving the book the popular appeal necessary for Darwin to provide his readers with a certain amount of scientific instruction. Priced at $3,750.

Here is another book of poetry that received none of the popular acclaim achieved by Darwin's book when it was first released, but which fared much better the second time around. The title is Poems, by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, and it was first published in 1846. Those names may not be familiar, but that is because they were pseudonyms for the soon to be famous Bronte sisters. One thousand copies were printed by Aylott and Jones, but two years later, 961 copies remained unsold (only two or three copies actually sold, the other few given away). The sisters wisely turned to novel writing instead. In 1847, all three sisters would have books published, and they quickly ascended from unknown to popular authors, though at first still shrouded by pseudonymous identities. The result of their success was that Smith, Elder grabbed the unsold material and re-released it with a new cover and title page in 1848. This time the book sold. Sadly, the sisters had little time to enjoy their success. Emily died in 1848, Anne in 1849, and Charlotte, the last survivor, in 1855. Item 14 is a copy of the 1848 Smith, Elder edition of their poems (the 1846 one is essentially unobtainable). $1,250.

Item 49 is the biography of Mary Wollstonecraft by her husband, William Godwin: Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Wollstonecraft was a woman ahead of her time. Already an author of various books, including one on educating daughters, it was her Vindication if the Rights of Woman that garnered the most attention. She argued that women should receive an education comparable to that received by men, and should have the same fundamental rights as their male counterparts. She was hardly a radical feminist by today's standards. She explained that providing a greater education for women was useful as it would make them better companions for men. Nonetheless, her views were radical and far ahead of time in 1792. In 1797, Wollstonecraft gave birth to a daughter, also named Mary, and died ten days later from complications. Her daughter would go on to write Frankenstein and marry the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. After her death, Mary's husband, William Godwin, would write this biography of her. Wollstonecraft had led an unusual lifestyle for her era, including a couple of affairs and close relationships with women that shocked turn of the 19th century sensibilities. Godwin, a radical and anarchist not troubled by her history, believed in telling her story as it was, not as a sanitized fiction. The result was that her reputation was seriously tarnished, and it would take a century before she would be reexamined and her contributions to the rights of women again recognized. Offered is a second edition of Godwin's biography, the “corrected” edition of 1798 (same year as the first), designed to be slightly more acceptable than the first. $1,750.

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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions