Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2013 Issue

At the California Fair with Antiquariat Banzhaf and Antiquariat Michael Kuhn

Banzhaffeb2013

For the California Fair.

Antiquariat Banzhaf and Antiquariat Michael Kuhn issued a brochure for the recent 46th California International Antiquarian Bookfair. The two German booksellers made the trip across the ocean and across the continent to display items from the old country in one of the last places explored by their antecedents back in then era of discovery. Much of what they brought relates to those long ago times, with subjects including science, mathematics, art, botany, trade, and more. Here is a look at some of these old world items.

Here is a book that will appeal to stargazers everywhere: A Selection of Photographs of Stars, Star-Clusters, and Nebulae, together with Information concerning the Instruments and the Methods employed in the Pursuit of Celestial Photography. The author/photographer was Isaac Roberts, an engineer with a passion for astronomy. He purchased a fine telescope which he used for photography of celestial bodies. What is particularly important about Roberts' work was that he employed very long exposures, not that easy since his lens had to move with the rotation of the earth to stay focused. What he was able to photograph with long exposures was very faint objects, things not visible to the naked eye. He revealed structures previously unknown. Most significant was his photograph of the Andromeda galaxy, which revealed it was a spiral structure, unknown at the time. Item 8. Priced at €3,800 (euros, or roughly $5,098 in U.S. dollars).

Ferdinand Vrangel was a German native who became a Russian explorer. He made several long trips on behalf of Russia, but his most notable journey was one was in northeastern Siberia in the early 1820s. He traveled up the Kolyma River, which flows into the Siberian Sea, and from there east to the Bering Strait. Vrangel was able to establish that there was no land north of the Kolyma and that there was no land bridge, as many thought, between Russia and America. Vrangel's complete account of his research is found in this first edition of Physikalische Beobachtungen wahrend seiner Reisen auf dem Eismeere in den Jahren 1821, 1822 und 1823, published in 1827. Vrangel would later become deeply involved in Russian America (Alaska), serving as head of the Russian-American Company and as Governor of the settlements. He was active in expanding and developing those settlements, and late in life after his retirement, he opposed the sale of Alaska to the United States. Item 21. €2,600 (US $3,470).

Here is a guide to preserving plant specimens: Das Auftrocknen der Pflanzen fürs Herbarium, und die Aufbewahrung der Pilze... (The drying of the plants for herbarium, and storage of mushrooms). Author Friedrich Luebersdorff was a scientist, politician and landowner in 19th century Germany. This work was designed to help readers preserve the colors and shapes of their plant specimens. A section of the book is focused on collecting mushrooms. Item 18. €1,200 (US $1,601).

Perhaps this unknown collector made use of Herr Luebersdorff's advice in creating this herbarium. Item 16 is an album of 102 mounted specimens of algae. It comes in two volumes, and evidently has a wealthy provenance. It contains dark brown morocco bindings with lavish gilt decorations. It may have belonged to Princess Marie Sophie Amalie, who later became Queen of the Two Sicilies, though this is uncertain. It was created in Germany around 1850. €2,500 (US $3,338).

Here is a book that's over 500 years old (501 to be exact – it was published in 1512): Summa super libris Physicorum Aristotelis. The actually writing if far older. The author was Robert Grosseteste, who lived from 1168-1253, serving as Bishop of Lincoln the last 18 years of his life. He was something of a reformer for his era, and was highly involved in relations between the Church in Rome and that in England. However, it is not his theological duties for which he is most remembered. Grossteste translated several ancient Greek works, and was highly influenced by the works of Aristotle and others. In what is often referred to as the “Dark Ages,” he was a leader in scientific thought, at least such as it was at the time. He promoted something akin to the scientific method, where principles could be learned from observations and then applied to other situations. He also saw mathematics as being on the highest plain, science emanating from its principles, and developed some unusual theories in the field of optics. Item 1. €20,000 (US $26,572).

Antiquariat Banzhaf may be reached at 0049-(0)7071-552314 or Antiquariat-Banzhaf@t-online.de. Their website is found at www.antiquariat-banzhaf.de.

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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