Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2012 Issue

A Variety of Material from the Antiquariaat Forum and Asher Rare Books

Aforumsp2012

Better late...

The mail sometimes arrives by slow boat from overseas, which hopefully explains this review of the latest combined catalogue from the Netherlands booksellers Antiquariaat Forum and Asher Rare Books, Catalogue Spring 2012. Or, perhaps it's springtime now in the Eastern Hemisphere? Whatever, this is still a collection of wonderful books pertaining to hemispheres east and west, north and south, and if the catalogue is a bit old, it is not nearly so old as the books within. A few extra months mean nothing to them. Here are some of the antiquarian and rare books you will find in this latest combined offering.

The 18th century German Jesuit Jakob Baegert understood something about California long before the era of smog, traffic jams, and deficits. As Cowan explains, “according to his accounts the country was absolutely unfit for habitation; it was inhabited by wild and ferocious beasts; peopled by cruel and inhospitable savages; water was unfit to use; wood was scarce; and the soil would not sustain life.” The more things change... In fairness to the Golden State, Baegert was a visitor to what is now known as Baja California, south of the American border. His book, published in 1772, is entitled Nachrichten von der amerikanischen Halbinsel Californien. One chapter is devoted to the Waicuri language of the natives. Item 9. Priced at €9,500 (euros, or about $11,717).

Lots of Americans obviously never read Baegert's book and emigrated to California anyway in the next century. Many followed the path of the Humboldt River to reach California, traversing the deserts of Nevada. However, the Humboldt River itself wanted nothing to do with California, simply ending in a sink before reaching the border. Anyway, the river was named for the German explorer Alexander von Humboldt. Perhaps not as well known in America is that Humboldt was also an expert on mines, once managing a mine. Item 96 is his 1799 study of gasses in mines, safety lamps, and mine rescue, Ueber die unterirdischen Gasarten und die Mittel ihren Nachthiel zu vermindern, published in 1799. Humboldt had personally tested some of his rescue equipment for miners in danger of asphyxiation, despite the risk. €2,950 ($3,638).

Bad, even corrupt, governors are nothing new, but Petrus Vuyst must have been just about the worst ever known. A rising star in the Dutch East India Company, primarily through his wife's connections, he was appointed Governor of Ceylon in 1726. His three-year rule was one of terror and tyranny. He quickly replaced those who crossed him, then put them on trial, serving as judge and jury, and ultimately, executioner. He would torture people to force confessions, and was eventually convicted of sending 19 innocent persons to their deaths. Not content with just executing those he did not like, he tortured some, breaking their bones, tearing flesh off their bodies, and pouring hot wax in open wounds. Word got back slowly to officials in Batavia, but in 1729, a successor was sent to Ceylon, Vuyst was arrested, sent to Batavia in chains, and condemned to death. He was executed in a manner fitting his own behavior – drawn and quartered, his body parts burned and dumped in the sea. Item 35 is an account of the sentence handed down to Vuyst in 1732: Sententie...Tegens den Heere en Mr. Petrus Vuyst, Gewezene Gouveneur van Ceylon. €3,500 (US $4,317).

Almost a century and a half before Henry Gray published his famous anatomy, Jean Jacques Manget published his detailed, illustrated Theatrum anatomicum... This is the 1716-17 edition (it was first published in 1714) which included new illustrations among its 136 plates. It is devoted almost entirely to human anatomy, though a brief section and one plate is included on man's best friend. Item 124. €8,000 (US $9,868).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Copper Printing Plate for "Marshall's Household Engraving of Washington." $500 to $1000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Important Documentary Painting Showing Baseball Great Ty Cobb in Cuba. $1,000 to $2,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> <i>Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age</i>, Inscribed by Bill Wilson. $500 to $1,000
    <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), <i>Prise à l'hameçon.</i> $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Maurice Dufrène (French, 1876-1955), <i>Rayon des Soieries</i>. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> William Pope.L (American, b. 1955), <i>Intimacy Project</i>. $2,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions