Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2012 Issue

A New Miscellany from Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller

Karmiole33

A New Miscellany from Kenneth Karmiole.

Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller, has issued a New Miscellany #33. Karmiole’s catalogues truly are miscellanies, the material so varied it is hard to describe. There are ancient Latin treatises, often translations from Greek and Roman times, travel books, Americana, several California items from the Zamorano 80, medical books, children’s books, fine press books… The list goes on. All we can do is provide a few samples, with the understanding that they are in no way representative of the wide variety of material you will find in this catalogue.

Item 41 is Erasmus Darwin’s The Temple of Nature: or, the Origin of Society. Those Darwins were always writing about the origin of something! Erasmus was Charles Darwin’s grandfather, a great botanist and scientist in his own right. At times, he wrote his scientific observations in the form of poems, as is the case with this, his last work. It was published in 1803, the year after he died. Erasmus Darwin was an evolutionist long before his grandson. He is not credited for the discovery as, unlike Charles, he never figured out the mechanism, though he recognized that organisms were evolving into new forms. This poem (which, despite its title, is not about “social Darwinism”) shows how life emerges in more advanced forms, culminating in man. $850.

A century before Erasmus Darwin there was another great botanist in England by the name of John Ray. Ray based his ideas on empirical observations, somewhat obvious now, but original in his era when rationalists believed things could be better understood through intellectual reasoning. Ray is particularly noted for coming up with a solid definition for species, concluding that differences between individuals from the same seed were not different species, while the similarities regularly present were characteristics of a species. He was essentially correct, although evolutionary theory would later establish that gradual changes between plant/animal and offspring could eventually lead to new species. Item 98 is a copy of the second and enlarged edition (1692) of Ray’s The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of Creation. $600.

Item 69 is an early work from the preeminent economist of the 20th century, John Maynard Keynes. Keynes would argue during the Depression for government borrowing, in effect priming the economy when no one else was spending. We hear both sides of his argument again today. While he was engaged in economics from the time he entered college, Keynes also wrote about probability theory. Item 69 is his a Treatise on Probability, published in 1921. $600.

Item 6 is one of those Zamorano 80 numbers, number 14 to be exact. It is titled California and New Mexico. Message from the President of the United States… That President was Zachary Taylor, though he had died before this was published in 1850. It is a thorough account of these territories/states in the period of 1847-50, the time of the Mexican War and the seizure of the land. It covers the formation of a provisional government, natural history, transition of California to statehood, Fremont’s expedition, and mining. $1,000.

Item 115 is a sad tale that is based on a true story, though undoubtedly with much embellishment. It is the tale of Amos Wilson, whose actual name was apparently William Wilson, but became “Amos” for some unknown reason. As the story goes, his sister Harriot, whose real name was “Elizabeth” (another mystery), was condemned to death. Amos/William managed to secure a pardon from the Governor, but on his way to deliver it, he was delayed by a swollen stream. He arrived too late. Not surprisingly, it was a devastating event for Mr. Wilson. He deserted society, went off to live in a cave near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he stayed for the remaining 19 years of his life. He became known to locals as the “Pennsylvania Hermit.” Item 115 is one of the books about him, The Sweets of Solitude, published in 1822. $150.


Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller, Inc., may be reached at 310-451-4342 or Karmbooks@aol.com.

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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