Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2005 Issue

Illustrated Books From John Windle, Antiquarian Bookseller

R1206

Illustrated Books from John Windle, Antiquarian Bookseller


By Michael Stillman

John Windle, Antiquarian Bookseller
, has issued his 39th catalogue, "Illustrated Books and Fine Bindings." If the typical book is purchased based on its text, these books are designed to appeal to other motivations. Their appeal is primarily in their beauty, be it the illustrations within or the bindings which hold them. They are physical as well as intellectual works of art.

John Tenniel was perhaps the most notable cartoonist illustrator of the 19th century. In 1850, he was selected to be one of two cartoonists for Punch, the top humor magazine of the era. He went on to draw over 2,000 such cartoons for the magazine, as well as illustrating many books. The most famous of those illustrations are the ones he provided for Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," and "Through the Looking Glass." His work would earn Tenniel the honor of being knighted by the Queen of England, and with it the title "Sir John Tenniel." The book which garnered the attention of Punch Magazine and set off his great career was Aesop's Fables: A New Version...With More than One Hundred Illustrations Designed by John Tenniel. Item 5 is a first edition from 1848 of Aesop, Tenniel's first major work. Priced at $525.

Speaking of Tenniel's most famous illustrations, here they are in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Item 60 is a later edition of this classic, but comes with an inscription from Charles Dodgson, the real name of "Lewis Carroll." Dodgson/Carroll obscures the name issue by simply signing it "from the author." It is a presentation copy to Florence Darley, who may have been the British actress of the time. $8,500.

One of the best known of illustrated children's books is Helen Bannerman's The Story of Little Black Sambo. It is unlikely that Bannerman imagined the popularity this book would achieve among children, or the controversy it would go on to spawn. The story, set in India where the British author lived at the time, is a wonderful tale of how a little boy appeases a group of hungry tigers by offering them his fine new clothes. The greedy tigers fight each other for them, spinning around in circles so fast they churn themselves into butter, just right for the pancakes his mother is making. If that's all there was to the book, the appealing storyline and illustrations would probably have kept this a beloved classic still today. Unfortunately, the specificity of the boy's race, and his name, generally considered derogatory by the Black community, have made it a controversial piece. It is unlikely Ms. Bannerman ever meant to hurt anyone. Any prejudices she may have harbored were probably part of the assumptions of her time, and unconscious on her part. Given hindsight, she likely would have picked another name for her character, but history cannot be changed, and so this otherwise delightful book will always have its ugly side as well. Item 29 is a fourth edition from 1900. $1,250.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <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>

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