Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2013 Issue

Antiquarian English Works from Samuel Gedge Ltd.


John Sturges on the cover of Samuel Gedge's latest catalogue.

Samuel Gedge Ltd. Rare Books has issued their Catalogue XV, or Catalogue 15 for those of you who don't speak Latin. As we have come to expect of Gedge, there is a mix of material, books and ephemera. Most of it easily qualifies as antiquarian, and most comes from England. Beyond that, anything might appear. There is even a wooden medallion with Shakespeare's carved somewhat-of-a-likeness, the wood coming from a mulberry tree Shakespeare supposedly planted. The medallion was produced around 250 years after Shakespeare's time, but that still makes it 250 years old today. Here are a few specifics from the pages of Samuel Gedge's 15th catalogue.

The gentleman pictured on the cover of this catalogue is John Sturges. Sturges was an architect working around Northamptonshire and the East Midlands in the late 17th to early 18th century. He was well enough respected to be awarded some significant projects during that time. This drawing is a pastel by John Saunders, evidently based on an earlier mezzotint. Whether Sturges was still alive at the time – 1739 – is not clear. He certainly wouldn't have looked that young if he was. Saunders was an itinerant portrait painter working in the same area as Sturges around the middle of the 18th century. Why Sturges was dressed up in a Turkish costume is unknown as he was not a Turk. That curling mustache also appears to be a bit of styling to perhaps make him look more a Turk, as it was not present in Sturges' mezzotint. Item 95. Priced at £2,200 (British pounds, or roughly US $3,458).

For those who collect the works of the great illustrator and cartoonist John Tenniel, here is an obscure item you probably never knew existed. Tenniel took a job as a lead cartoonist for the British humor and satire magazine Punch in 1850 and stayed for over half a century. To Americans, he is likely better known as the illustrator of Lewis Carroll's two Alice books. However, in 1842, he put his paint brush to work for a different type of painting. The then 22-year-old Tenniel's name shows up on a playbill for The Boundary Question, an “original petite comedy,” which was to be followed by Why did you die, and Advice Gratis. Tenniel and his brother William both had parts, but more importantly, the bill notes, “...the scenery has been painted expressly for the occasion by Mr. John Tenniel.” Over half a century later, Tenniel was knighted by Queen Victoria, henceforth being known as Sir John Tenniel. Item 117 £650 (US $1,021).

In the good for what ails you department, item 77 is a handbill for Rhubarb and Ginger Pills, Prepared by Wm. Randall, Chemist. These pills are ideal for stomach disorders, specifically “disorders of the bowels...cases of indigestion, loss of appetite.” One might think this combination would give you indigestion. You might also be concerned that the good chemist was using the deadly parts of the rhubarb plant, but he assures us “every medicine prepared as directed in the pharmacopeia of the Royal College of Physicians...” This handbill dates to circa 1807. £250 (US $390).

Item 91 affords an opportunity to purchase an indulgence. No, not for yourself. This is a certificate issued in 1675 to Ludovicum Jacobum van Buyten, a Flemish pilgrim who traveled to Rome in the Jubilee Year of 1675. He visited the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul, whose images are displayed in woodcut medallions on the certificate. There is also a papal seal. Around 1.4 million pilgrims are believed to have visited Rome for the Jubilee, presided over by Pope Clement X. £250 (US $391).

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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