Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2012 Issue

A Miscellany from Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller

Karmiole34

A new miscellany.

Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller, has issued New Miscellany #34. There are very old books, as far back as the 15th century, and some as recent as the 1990s. There are works in Latin, as favored in those olden times, but more in English, plus a few other European languages. Topics are too varied to peg. Here are a few samples of the miscellaneous items being offered.

Item 2 has been described as the “first book by a North American on the antiquities of Mexico.” It is An Inquiry into the Origin of the Antiquities of America, by John Delafield, published in 1839, a few years ahead of John Lloyd Stephens' volume. Delafield strays from straight anthropology as he looks to stories of creation and the flood to explain what he found in Latin America. It contains 10 plates, 5 hand colored. The second part of the volume is James Lakey's A View of the Causes of the Superiority of Men of the Northern Over Those of the Southern Hemisphere. Dr. Lakey, quite obviously a Northern Hemisphere man, had a theory that some sort of exhalations from the Earth made not only humans, but animals of the south inferior to those of the north. Priced at $450.

Item 40 is Michaelis Mercati's Metallotheca. Opus Posthuman... a second issue from 1719 (the first was 1717). However, this was long after Mercati's time (he died in 1593). It is a great work on minerals and fossils collected by Pope Sixtus V. Mercati was in charge of the collection formed by Sixtus, an extraordinarily busy man who converted the Vatican's deficits to large surpluses, built great structures, and was politically very active, while also antagonizing many with his high taxes. His active papacy was short, running from 1585-1590. Mercati oversaw this great collection, which was dispersed shortly after Sixtus V's death. However, Mercati did not understand the source of fossils in those days long before Darwin evolved. He concluded they were rocks whose odds shapes were somehow created by the influence of celestial bodies. $7,500.

Here is a book for dog lovers, and I read somewhere that 40% of American households have at least one dog. This is a two-volume set by Edward Ash, published circa 1927, entitled Dogs: Their History and Development. Ash wrote several books about dogs, and as best I can tell, is regarded as one of the greatest writers on the subject. Item 9. $400.

For those with an interest in Baja California, item 73 offers about as thorough a resource for anyplace imaginable. It is a complete set of the Baja California Travel Series published by Dawson's Book Shop. This series was published from 1965-1992, 51 volumes in all. It covers not just travel and exploration, but its history, natural and human, and just about everything else pertaining to this peninsula south of the American border. The volumes were produced in limited runs, ranging from 300-900 copies. $3,000.

Item 28 is Kunst in Schachspiel ein Meister zu Weden, a 1771 third German edition of manuals for the game of chess by Philip Stamma and Francois Philidor. These names may not mean much to the average person, but will be instantly recognizable to the chess aficionado. While there were no official tournaments at the time, Stamma was generally recognized as the greatest chess master around the middle of the 18th century. Philidor would be the man to defeat him, raising his own standing to preeminent chess master. Philidor was known for the sort of amazing feats we now see performed by the greatest of chess players. He would take on such challenges as playing two opponents at once – blindfolded. $750.

Item 94 is a classic study of how society breaks down economically, published over a century ago (1899) by Thorstein Veblin: The Theory of the Leisure Class. Veblin concluded that most of the hard work and contributions to society were not performed by those who were the highest compensated financially. Rather, lower classes did most of the work, while those in the elite, the “leisure class,” received most of the rewards. Those who were most highly compensated would then use their rewards on self-indulgence, often items of what he labeled with a term still used today - “conspicuous consumption.” $1,500.

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

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>
  • <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.

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