Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2013 Issue

75 Exceptional Books and Manuscripts from Peter Harrington

Pharrington90

Exceptional Books and Manuscripts.

Peter Harrington of London has issued a catalogue of Exceptional Books and Manuscripts. Offered are 75 items that clearly qualify for the “exceptional” description. The names or events will all be familiar. The material is highly collectible, perhaps not within everyone's budget, but certainly highly collectible. Here are some samples of the exceptional seventy-five.

In 1930, Winston Churchill published a look back at his youth, a book entitled My Early Life. Churchill was a notable British politician at the time, but no one (except, perhaps, Winston himself) could have imagined how important a leader on the world stage he would become. This book covers his life up until 1904, at which time he was 30 years old. It describes his childhood, his time in India, and in South Africa during the Second Boer War. He was a war correspondent in South Africa, was captured, imprisoned, and escaped. His adventures helped to build his reputation, leading to his first election to Parliament in 1900. The rest, as they say, is history. This copy comes with a very interesting inscription, to Conservative Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. Their relationship was contentious, and eventually the split became complete despite their both being members of the Conservative Party. Churchill was a hardliner in opposition to growing demands from India for more independence from Britain. Item 10. Priced at £25,000 (Approximately $39,240 in U.S. currency).

Here is another book with an intriguing inscription. It is one of the already most highly collectible of books, one of the 750 copies of the first edition of James Joyce's Ulysses, published in 1922. It had to be published in Paris to avoid English censorship. The inscription, dated April 8, 1922, is to Sidney Schiff. Schiff was a writer and critic who moved in the best social circles of Paris' artistic community. It was Schiff who would host one of the most notable of parties a month later. Joyce attended, along with Marcel Proust, and other artists including Picasso and Stravinski. However, it was the meeting between Joyce and Proust, the two notable writers, that had everyone on edge. How would this meeting of two great literary minds go? The answer is that it was a dud. The two had little to say to each other. It was a meeting that Schiff and the others anticipated with great expectations, but what sounded good on paper proved to be two personalities that did not mesh. £125,000 (US $196,317).

Here is another man who frequented the soirees of Paris in the 1920s and drank with some of the same cast of characters. That would be Ernest Hemingway, the notable American writer who was not very notable in the early 20's, even though some already recognized his talent. Item 24 is a copy of his in our time (no capitals), published in 1924. It is a collection of short stories, Hemingway's second book and the one that began to bring attention his way, at least from his fellow literati. Only 170 copies were released. An expanded edition was published the following year, but this is the first edition, published in Paris. £18,750 (US $29,442)

For anyone angling for a classic sporting book, item 66 is the big fish: The Compleat Angler, a 1653 first edition of Izaak Walton's book on fishing. The book was written as a dialogue between two men, a fisherman and a traveler. Through their discussion we learn the fine points of fishing, or angling, and the joys of this recreation. There is probably no more notable book in the sporting world than this one. £75,000 (US $117,758).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>
  • <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, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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