Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2013 Issue

Antiquarian Books from Librairie Thomas-Scheler

27090c94-8664-40a4-baa1-1db4fe5c19b9

Livres Anciens.

We have received catalogue number 43 in the series of Livres Ancien (antiquarian books) from Parisian bookseller Librairie Thomas-Scheler. As a caution to English speakers, this catalogue is entirely in French. You will need some familiarity with the language to appreciate it. For this writer, with only French learned in high school many, many years ago, it is a struggle, so if descriptions of items are concise and not terribly informative, it is my fault, not the cataloguer's. Pardon my French (or lack thereof). I was a miserable student, even when my education was still fresh.

 

There is a variety of material to be found in this selection. There are many medical and scientific texts from long ago, but there are also travels, literature, social issues and more. I think we can call it a miscellany, but skewed toward scientific types of writing. Here are a few items being offered.

 

Item 19 is Nuove Sperienze Electriche... (new electrical experiments) by the 18th century Italian physicist Carlo Barletti. Barletti has been overshadowed by his contemporary Italian experimenter in electricity, Alessandro Volta, but he was an important physicist at the time this book was published, 1771. A few years later, Barletti would become chair of the experimental physics department at the University of Pavia. He was a proponent of Benjamin Franklin's fluid theory of electricity. Priced at €450 (euros, or around $606 in U.S. currency).

 

Here is a book about a terrible disease and an even worse “cure”: Lettera sopra l'uso medico interno del mercurio sublimato corrosivo, e sopra il morbo venereo. This is Giovanni Calvi's look at the use of mercury in combating the effects of venereal disease, published in 1762. Mercury was the only treatment available at the time, but the large doses of this highly toxic metal were likely more poisonous than the disease itself. Still, it wouldn't be until the 20th century that useful treatments for Columbus' gift to the Old World would begin to be developed. Item 45. €250 (US $336).

 

Staying on the topic, item 8 is De morbis venereis libri sex, by Jean Astruc, published in 1736. The book is a critical bibliography of literature pertaining to syphilis, from its introduction to Europe in 1493 by Columbus' returning sailors, through 1735. Item 8. €250 (US $336).

 

So where might be a good place to contact venereal disease, if for some unfathomable reason one wanted to? Perhaps this book has the answer: Memoire sur la prostitution publique et parallele complet de la Prostitution romaine et de la Prostitution contemporaine. One does not have to be able to read French to guess what a book that has the word “prostitution” in its title three times is about. This is a memoir about prostitution, including prostitution in Roman times, and prostitution in the contemporary world. That's why the word makes three appearances in the title. The report tells you all you need to know, maybe more, about prostitution in France during the second empire, particularly around Bordeaux. How author J. Jeannel knew so much about the subject is not clear to us. Published in 1862. Item 118. €460 (US $606).

 

Here we have a series of publications in English, published from 1886-1890, The Willits Journal. Charles S. Willits was a Philadelphia Quaker who left a then princely sum of $10,000 when he died in 1883 to be used to distribute religious tracts. He specified that one-half of them should go to “the colored people of the southern states,” and the other half to “the colony of Liberia.” The journal would later be known as The African's Friend. We have been able to determine that it continued to be published, though not always on such a regular basis, into the Nineteen Teens. We find no trace later and presume it was discontinued. A trust fund of $10,000 today would not go very far. Item 213. €250 (US $336).

 

Librairie Thomas-Scheler may be reached at +33 (0)1 43 26 97 69 or basane@thomas-scheler.fr

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <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>

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