Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2013 Issue

Fine Illustrated Books from Shapero Rare Books


Fine Illustrated Books.

Shapero Rare Books has released a catalogue of Fine Illustrated Books 2013. The catalogue is from 2013, but the illustrated books are mostly much older. There are 100 items offered. The first ten are listed under the heading “Illustrated Incunabula,” the remaining 90 as “Illustrated Books from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century.” The word “books” should not always be taken too literally. While most items are books, there is also some artwork, maps, and photographs. However, the words “fine” and “illustrated” do universally apply to these items. Here are a few of them.

We will start with one of the incunables, De claris mulieribus, by Jacobus Philippus Bergamo. That title translates to “of famous women.” Shapero describes the work of the Augustinian monk Bergamo as “the first encyclopedia of women.” There had actually been an earlier pre-printing manuscript book of the same name. However, that had focused on rediscovering women who were not well known. Bergamo focused on women of the greatest accomplishments. The book contains portraits of the important women, the last seven of whom were contemporaries of Bergamo, likely included near the book's publishing date (1497) and with more accurate portrayals. Among those included in the book are Joan of Arc, Queen Margaret of England, and the legendary Pope Joan. This was a period when belief that there had been a female Pope, who attained the office by disguising herself as a male, was at its height. The theory has since been put to rest by most scholars. This copy comes with a significant provenance. It was once part of the library of Hartman Schedel, whose Nuremberg Chronicle, issued a few years earlier, was at the time the most serious historical account of the world, dating all the way back to Creation. Interestingly, Schedel also included an image of Pope Joan in his book, but in many if not most copies it has been blotted out, her legend being deemed offensive by many. Item 2. Priced at £175,000 (approximately $265,268 U.S. dollars).

Here is another incunable: Revelationes, the revelations of St. Bridget, Birgitta of Sweden. Bridget may have seemed an unlikely candidate to be a founder of a religious order that still exists today (the Bridgettines) or the most noted Swedish saint. She married at a young age and bore 8 children. However, she devoted herself to charitable and religious works even during her marriage, and was in Rome seeking approval to open her monastery when her husband died. She, and a daughter (St. Catherine of Sweden) continued the good works the remainder of her life (she died in in 1373). Bridget had visions, beginning at a young age, and it is those that are explained in the text. The book includes numerous woodcuts, including full-page illustrations. It was published on behalf of the monastery Bridget founded in 1492. Item 4. £90,000 (US $136,470).

Next up is a work that has earned its reputation as “the greatest and finest atlas ever published.” Johannes Blaeu's Atlas Major was the largest and most expensive book published during the 17th century. The entire world is covered in its pages. Its nine volumes contain 600 hand-colored engraved maps. It includes 58 maps from England and Wales, 25 from America. That many American maps is surprising for such an early atlas, it having been published from 1662-1665. Offered is a copy of the Dutch edition of this atlas which represents the high point of the extraordinary Dutch map making tradition. Item 31. £480,000 (US $727,480).

Item 71 is Views of Lansdown Tower, Bath. The favourite edifice of the late William Beckford Esq, by Willes Maddox. It was published in 1844, the year Beckford died. William Beckford was a wealthy, eccentric individual. He inherited a fortune from his father, a commoner who gained his wealth through plantations in Jamaica and later served as Lord Mayor of London. Beckford the son was not as talented at making money, but was quite accomplished at spending it. He was not without achievements, having written the once popular novel Vathek and serving many years as an MP. However, it was the spending for which he is remembered. He accumulated a fine library of books and a valuable collection of art, but most notably built himself an enormously expensive gothic residence known as Fonthill Abbey. He did not get what he paid for. Despite the many years of construction, the workmanship was shoddy. Maintaining it became too much even for Beckford and he was forced to sell the house and much of his art and books in 1822. That was just as well, as in 1825, much of it collapsed under its own weight, and later most of the remainder was demolished. Undaunted, Beckford built a new residence, and part of that property was Lansdown Tower. It housed some of the books and art he retained from Fonthill, but the most notable feature of the tower was its spiral staircase leading to the top where Beckford could observe the surrounding countryside, and even shipping in the Bristol Channel with the aid of a lens. £5,750 (US $8,711).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <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>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>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000

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