Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2013 Issue

Literary Acquisitions from Honey and Wax Booksellers

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The second catalogue from Honey and Wax.

Honey and Wax Booksellers of New York City has released their second catalogue. It does not appear to have a specific title. The cover features their motto, “Use books as bees use flowers,” but that is not a title. The descriptive “second catalogue” will just have to do. Offered are 65 new acquisitions, literary works “beautiful and uncommon.” Included are several children's books, which may or may not be classified as “literary works” depending on your point of view. Either way, who doesn't like a Beatrix Potter rabbit (even if it isn't Peter), or a pre-Curious George H. A. Rey book of French nursery songs? That's enough to make you curious. Here are a few of the literary works offered in the second catalogue from Honey and Wax.

 

We will start with a work that went totally unrecognized when it was first issued, but received a much different reception two years later. The title is Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. There were no Bell brothers, but there were three Bronte sisters. When the three sisters got together to produce their book of poetry in 1846, they were unknown, and felt the collection had a better chance of succeeding if readers thought they were men. The ruse did not work. Reportedly, as few as two copies of this unobtainable first issue were sold. However, the following year, sister Charlotte Bronte had a major success with her book, Jane Eyre. That kindled interest in the sisters original collection, so the unsold copies were given a new title page and reissued, this time to a totally different reception. It would be nice to think all of this had a happy ending, but the Bronte family had about as much good fortune as Job. Two of the five original sisters died when they were young, as did their mother. Emily died in 1848 and Anne died the following year. Their brother, with more than his share of problems, also died in 1848. That left only Charlotte, and she only survived until 1855, when she died during childbirth. They did not survive long, but the Brontes' memories have lived on. Item 12. Priced at $4,200.

 

Item 8 is an inscribed copy of the first American edition of Peter and Wendy, published in 1911. Along with author J. M. Barrie's inscription is an autograph note from him on his stationery. Peter, of course, is Peter Pan. Barrie had introduced him as a baby earlier, but this book took him to boyhood, a place where he would remain forever. It also introduced the character of Wendy Darling, along with Captain Hook and Tinker Bell. Unlike Peter, Wendy knew she must grow up, leading to the story's inevitable dénouement. $12,500.

 

Here is another exceptional item for Pan fans: Arthur Rackham's Peter Pan Portfolio. Rackham, the great children's books illustrator, was originally approached by Barrie to illustrate his first Peter Pan book in 1904. The result was an exceptional collaboration. In 1912, this first edition of his portfolio was published in 600 copies. Rackham selected 12 of his favorite illustrations to be printed in the largest plates Rackham ever printed (this is an elephant folio). Rackham set his fantasy illustrations within the real world of contemporary London, a mix of reality and magic. This London edition preceded an American printing of the portfolio by two years. Item 7. $16,500.

 

This next book may be the first tourist's travel guide. Early in the 17th century, Thomas Coryat, a small player in the English court, set out for a tour of Europe. In those days, travels were the conducted by explorers, diplomats, traders and the like. No one just went as a tourist to see the sights. Coryat did. He visited seven European countries, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany among them. In the 19th century, touring would become a major province of the well-to-do, but if anything, it got Coryat ridicule in 1608. Then again, a somewhat pompous attitude may have been responsible for the fun made of Coryat. His book includes commentary verses from many writers of the era, including John Donne and Ben Jonson, as was the custom of the time. However, several were more subtly mocking than complimentary. Nevertheless, Coryat brought back news of Europe unknown to the English, including being credited with introducing the fork, then in use in Italy, to his native land. Item 1 is a first edition of Coryat's Crudities: Hastily Gobled Up in Five Moneth's Travels, published in 1611. Coryat would later follow up with a trip to Asia, where he took sick and died. $25,000.

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>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Extremely Fine Copy of Fantasy Classic. Tolkien (J.R.R.) <i>The Hobbit, or There and Back Again,</i> L. (George Allen & Unwin Ltd. Museum Street) 1937. €20,000 to €30,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Incunabula. [Sirectus, Antonius] O’Fihely (Maurice)Abp. <i>Formalitates de Mente Doctoris Subtilis Scoti Nec Non Stephai Burlifer cum novis additionibus…</i> Venice 14th December 1051 (ie. 1501). €3,000 to €4,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Original Book Illustrations by Pamela Leonard. Illustrations: Regan (Peter) Touchstone, 8vo D. (Mount Salas Press) 1989. €3,500 to €4,500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> [Petit (Jean), Prevel (Jean) & Gregory (Pope)] [Gregorius]. <i>Compendium Textuale Compillationis decretalium Gregorri noni sine qua…</i>, Paris [Dec. 1524]. €350 to €500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Excessively Rare – V. Fine Copy. [Mac Mahon]. <i>Jus Primatiale Armacanum, In Omnes Archiepiscopos, Episcopos, et Universum Clerum</i>… [n.p.] 1728. €750 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Madden (R.R.). <i>Travels in Turkey, Egypt, Nubia and Palestine in 1824, 1825, 1826 and 1827,</i> 2 vols. 1822. €500 to €700
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Early English Herbal. Gerarde (John). The Herball or General History of Plants, thick folio L. (John Norton) 1597. €700 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The Tehran World War 2 Conference Photograph: [Tehran Conference 1943] An important and iconic Group Photograph showing Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. €80 to €120
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Natural History Specimens from Jersey Jersey Islands: Westacton [Mrs Acton] Collection of 53 original dried examples of Seaweed collected in Jersey, c. 1860. €300 to €400
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers:<br>Rare & Collectors’ Sale. May 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> Plyglot Bible: Hutteri (Eliae). <i>Biblia Sacra, Ebraice, Chaldaice, Graece, Latinae, Germanice, Sclavonice.</i> Lg. folio Nurimberg 1599. €250 to €350
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> The American Invasion 1888: “First Ever G.A.A. Hurling Match in America” Medal: G.A.A., The Invaders, 1888. €2,000 to €3,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, May 2:</b> “Babe” Ruth and the G.A.A. G.A.A. & Baseball: A unique and early Sporting Association. An original Spalding B12 Baseball Bat. €4,000 to €6,000
  • <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>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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