Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2004 Issue

Five Centuries from Joseph Felcone, Antiquarian Booksellers

1204r5

Books from Five Centuries from Joseph Felcone.


By Michael Stillman

Joseph J. Felcone Antiquarian Booksellers
has issued its Bulletin Ninety-Two. This is not the typical publication for the bookseller noted as the foremost expert on and dealer in New Jerseyana. The titles gives it away: Books From Five Centuries: A Miscellany. New Jersey hasn't been around for five centuries, so there must be more. And there is. Here are a few samples.

Long before Europeans were settling on the Jersey shore, Roger Ascham was writing instructions on how to teach your children. First published in 1570, this is the 1589 London edition of The Scholemaster. Or, Playne and Perfite Way of Teaching Children. To Understande, Write, and Speake the Latin Tong.... How could Ascham be a teacher if he couldn't even spell? In the book, the kindly Ascham calls for gentle coercion rather than flogging of children. This strange philosophy of education became quite influential, perhaps because Ascham was not only a highly regarded educator, but had been the private tutor of Queen Elizabeth I in her princess days. Item 4. Priced at $4,500.

Franciscus Mercurius van Helmont produced one of the earlier books on instructing the deaf on lip-reading and speaking. Helmont possessed some unusual spiritual views, and they are reflected in this work, Alphabeti vere Naturalis Hebraici.... and others. In this one, he expresses the belief that the design of Hebrew letters reflect positions of the tongue when speaking, and attempts to use this to teach the deaf. Item 19. From 1657. $3,800.

Item 169 touches on an issue being debated today, whether it is acceptable to execute youth under the age of 18. In 1821, this was not an issue. This is a broadside headed Execution of Stephen Merrill Clark, which took place on Winter Island, Salem, on Thursday, May 10, 1821. For the crime of arson. Clark was only sixteen, and no one died (other than Clark himself) as a result of his crime, but those were harder times. Indeed, the execution was evidently something of a morbid form of entertainment. "At an early hour the place of execution was literally surrounded by anxious multitudes, waiting the arrival of the fatal moment...." the broadside tells us. Another crowd followed the procession of officers with Merrill, those officers having to move the crowd aside to reach the gallows. Clark is said to have confessed, and to have been forgiven by his victims. At one point he tried to bribe his jailer to be set free, but without success. As to why he set the fire in the first place, the broadside is unclear. He was supposedly inveigled into the act by some "lewd" women, and the clear moral of this broadside is to let others beware of such ladies. However, we are not told why these women wanted the properties burned down. All we know is that Merrill did it, these women became his accusers, Merrill was executed, and they were "permitted to go unpunished." $900.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <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>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <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…
  • <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.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions