Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2013 Issue

James Cummins Bookseller Offers Fall Arrivals

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Fall Arrivals.

James Cummins Bookseller has issued Catalogue 120 Fall Arrivals. Each time we receive a new catalogue from Cummins, we struggle to come up with a description of the material inside. It is always virtually impossible. Cummins offers a wide variety of items, so much so that trying to sum up what it contains is hopeless. Ultimately, we are left with explaining this is all top material, important, highly collectible pieces. Next, we present a few samples, knowing there is much to be found that is totally unrelated to the samples we select. So, here we go.

 

We begin with what is likely the first separately issued pocket map of New York's Central Park. Central Park first opened in 1857. In 1859, P. Burger & Co. issued A Pocket Map and Visitor's Guide to the Central Park, in the City of New York, with all the necessary explanations. It includes a fold-out map, text describing the park, and 15 pages of advertising. Park commissioners and construction officers are listed, including the park's designers, Frederick Law Olmstead and Robert Vaux. The map shows areas that are completed and those that are not, it being almost a decade and a half before all work would be done. The description notes that areas now completed include “...the old and new reservoirs, play ground, parade ground, promenade, arsenal, nursery, botanical garden, skating pond, cave, walks, carriage drives, bridle roads, vista rock, and last, though not least, that at present most beautiful and delightful portion called 'The Ramble.'” Item 12. Priced at $5,000.

 

Item 36 is an interesting survival from over five centuries ago. It is an original woodblock of an elephant with a riding platform on its back. It was created for an illustration in the book Libellus de Natura Animalium, first published in 1508. It was the first book printed by Vincenzo Berruerio of Mondovi, Italy. This book was a bestiary, and evidently a very popular one as it went through several editions. It uses animals to set out moral lessons to be learned from nature. The image is is still in excellent condition in case you would like to use it in a newer book. $9,000.

 

This next document represented a happy day in the life of its recipient, though in time it would prove to be his greatest tragedy. Item 61 is an engraved broadside appointment of Robert S. McNamara as Secretary of Defense. It is dated January 21, 1961, and is signed by President John F. Kennedy and Secretary of State Dean Rusk. McNamara came to the Department of Defense from Ford Motor Company, where he had served as President. He had a sterling reputation and was well regarded during the years of the Kennedy Administration. After Kennedy's assassination, McNamara continued to serve under President Lyndon Johnson, and that is where everything went wrong. He engineered the massive buildup of troops in Vietnam, McNamara being a leading symbol of a war that would later turn terribly unpopular. In time, McNamara became disenchanted and tried to hold back American involvement, but Johnson pushed ahead. McNamara resigned in late 1967, about a year before the end of Johnson's term. In later years he would look back with regret at what proved to be a failed and costly strategy. McNamara died in 2009 at the age of 93. $35,000.

 

There are but a handful of books that count among the most important science texts ever written. They come from names like Kepler, Galileo, Darwin and Einstein. And then there is this one: Philosophiae naturalis Principia mathematica, by Isaac Newton. Galileo had provided the calculations that could predict how the planets and other heavenly bodies would move, but Newton was the one who provided the why. With theories such as that of gravity he could explain why objects moved as they did on earth and in the skies. Offered is the expanded second edition of 1713, the second of three published during Newton's lifetime. Item 68. $27,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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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