Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2012 Issue

A Miscellany from Sotheran's

Sotheransp12

Spring Miscellany 2012.

Henry Sotheran Limited, also known as Sotheran's, has released their Spring Miscellany 2012. What can one say about a miscellany, other than that it is a miscellany? It is not the type of catalogue one can fit into any other description. There is a wide range of material, from great literature to travels to children's books, and just about everything in between. So, we will provide a few samples of what is here, and let you discover the rest of the nearly 500 items, once you get your hands on a copy of the catalogue.

Item 94 is an account of early railroad construction in England: The History and Description of the Great Western Railway, Including Its Geology and the the Antiquities of the District through which It Passes... This book is a tribute to the engineering feats of the Great Western in building a rail line from Bristol to London. Conceived of by a group of Bristol businessmen in 1833, work began in 1835. Among the engineering marvels of this railway are a 1.8 mile long tunnel and a brick bridge. This book features the lithographs of John Cooke Bourne, who prepared the volume. His work is exceptional. Bourne had earlier prepared a similar volume related to the railway from Birmingham to London, built around the same time. The Bristol volume was published in 1846. Priced at £5,995 (British pounds, or roughly $9,635 U.S. dollars).

Item 128 is a book that most observers would now consider fiction, though that was hardly the intention: My Attainment of the Pole... With a Final Summary of the Polar Controversy, a third printing from 1913. The author was Arctic explorer Frederick Cook. During the 1890s, he had served on several expeditions to very cold places. He was a surgeon on the Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1897, and was acclaimed for saving many lives. He earned the undying respect of fellow expedition member Roald Amundsen, who would later be the first to reach the South Pole. However, in the early 20th century, Cook led several smaller expeditions, first to Mt. McKinley, and then the North Pole, that are surrounded with controversy and claims of fraud. Cook's most notable claim is to being the first to reach the North Pole. He made that claim in 1908, but while at first accepted, examination of his records, timing, and interviews with his two Inuit companions, led to grave doubts. Cook's claims were particularly attacked by Robert Peary, who had a rival claim to being first to reach the North Pole, but that claim hinged on Cook's being false as it came a year later. Today, few believe Cook actually made it to the North Pole, but Peary's claim has also come under increasing attack. This copy contains an inscription from Cook. £295 (US $474).

Item 245 is an interesting work by John Hancocke. That's Hancocke with an “e.” This is not the American patriot with the large signature, but a rector at St. Margaret's in England in the early 18th century. Hancocke wrote a book of medical advice, though he emphatically points out he is not a physician, and if his claims “...be found to fail, I must bear the disgrace of amusing the world with such a proposal.” Certainly, Hancocke will never have to bear the disgrace of overconfidence. His book is entitled Febrifugum Magnum: or, Common Water the Best Cure for Fevers, and Probably for the Plague. In hindsight, Hancocke was probably half right. He believed in the curative powers of drinking cold water, preferably clear, clean water as from a well. His theory was that drinking lots of water made the body sweat out its fevers and other diseases. Today we do recommend plenty of fluids when you are sick, and fluids are naturally essential to sweating and reducing one's fever. So, Hancocke had some good advice, but his belief that water could cure such diseases as the plague and other serious illnesses including smallpox, scarlet fever, and measles was a bit optimistic. £295 (US $474).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>
  • <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

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