Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2012 Issue

Antiquariats Banzhaf and Kuhn at the New York Book Fair

Banzhafny2012

An American Tapir on the Banzhaf/Kuhn catalogue.

Antiquariat Banzhaf and Antiquariat Michael Kuhn created a pocket catalogue for the recent ABAA Antiquarian Book Fair in New York. These booksellers traveled from Germany to New York to display their wares, including the 21 items contained within these pages. Offered are various pieces, books and ephemera, of European origin. Here are some examples.

Item 3 offers drawings of plants and animals as viewed under the lens of the most powerful microscopes available in the 18th century. The book is Mikroskopische Untersuchungen und Beobachtungen der geheimen Zeugungstheile der Pflanzen... (Microscopic studies and observations of the secret parts of plants... and insects), first edition, second printing from 1790. The author was Wilhelm Friedrich von Gleichen-Russwurm. He was a naturalist of sorts, more an amateur, which explains why he is not that well known. Gleichen-Russworm was a baron, born of a substantial family, but problems within that family led to his receiving a less than expected education for someone of his standing. He joined up with the military, and later worked at the court, where he befriended important people. He was a well-liked individual. It enabled him to earn a good living, and after his mother died, he inherited a substantial estate. Tired of the court life, he semi-retired and began scientific studies, notably, looking at plants and small animals under the microscope. As a self-taught scholar, he was not in a position to provide great scientific knowledge, but he had access to the best microscopes available, and provided detailed illustrations of what he discovered in his books. Priced at €6,900 (euros, or roughly $9,075 U.S.).

The image on the cover of this catalogue comes from one of eight wall panel plates depicting various animals of the world. Unsigned and undated, they come from southern Germany or Austria circa 1800. The beast on the cover is that of Tapiris Americanus, the American Tapir. Now I've lived all my life in America and never seen one of these, but there is an explanation. It does not inhabit the America that residents of the United States refer to as “America.” This tapir is now known as Tapiris Terrestris and is commonly called the South American Tapir or Brazilian Tapir. Item 1. €6,400 (US $8,405).

Item 15 is Resa til Italien, 1780, 1781, 1782 (Travels in Italy 1780-2). The author was Carl August Ehrensvärd, who lived from 1745-1800. Born in Stockholm of a military father, Ehrensvärd would fill numerous roles during his life. He is best known as an architect, but was also a painter, caricaturist, writer, member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and rose to Admiral in the Swedish Navy. He was also a traveler, as this book attests, and it contains his account and illustrations. The catalogue describes it as “a beautiful book with astonishing, quite unusual illustrations.” Offered is the second illustrated edition from 1819. €4,200 (US $5,515).

Item 20 is a treatise on a rare and unpleasant genetic disease – ichthyosis: Descriptio Ichthyosis corneae congenitae in virgine observatae. It causes dry skin with a build up of scale-like flakes, hence the ichthyo - “fish” - prefix. It is not contagious, and even today, there is only treatment, no cure. The author of this book, which provides text and illustrations about the condition, was Christoph Helwig Smith, a physician from Bremen when this treatise was published (1830). €7,000 (US $9,190).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
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  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
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  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…

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