Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2014 Issue

Sotheran's Issues Their Latest Piccadilly Notes

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Piccadilly Notes 59.

Sotheran's has issued the latest in a long-running catalogue series entitled Piccadilly Notes 59 Winter 2013. They have been issuing Piccadilly Notes for almost a century, but that is a recent development by Sotheran's standards. They have been selling books for two and one-half centuries. These catalogues are a compilation of various types of books, more a miscellany than subject specific. The presentation is thorough with everything well illustrated. These are outstanding catalogues with much of great interest to be found. These are just a few examples.

 

We start with the first book ever printed. Well...not really. It has been a long time since a copy of anything more than a leaf or two of the Gutenberg Bible has come on the market. It is unimaginable what the price would be if one did, but none of us could afford it. Here is the next best thing. Item 37 is a facsimile edition of the Gutenberg Bible. Published in 1961, it was the first Gutenberg facsimile printed in the United States, and only the second in the world. It was produced from two originals in Germany, one of which is considered by authorities to be the most beautifully illuminated of all copies. The original was completed around 1456, the first printed book ever. It changed the world like few other events. Priced at £3,995 (British pounds, or approximately $6,577 in U.S. dollars).

 

Here is an interesting combination – a cookbook and medical text. Today one would not expect to see these subjects combined, but in 1741, medicine was not so advanced. Item 15 is The Family Magazine: in Two Parts. Part I. Containing Useful Directions in All the Branches of House-Keeping and Cookery... Part II. Containing a Compendious Body of Physick... You may use Part I if you would like to learn how to prepare some traditional meals. Don't use Part II for anything other than entertainment. Arnold Oxford's bibliography of early English cookbooks says the cookery part is excellent, but the medical book is “full of horrors.” For example, the cure for appendicitis is to “apply a live puppy to the naked belly.” Of course, applying a live puppy won't by itself cure appendicitis, so you should also apply a combination of rotten apples and sheep's dung boiled in milk. If you are out of rotten apples and sheep's dung, we recommend getting yourself to a hospital really quickly as an alternative. The author is given as Arabella Atkyns, though the writer admits in the preface that this is a pseudonym. £998 (US $1,643).

 

It is safe to say that Michael Faraday made better use of the scientific method than did “Ms. Atkyns.” Faraday is most noted for his discoveries relating to electricity and electromagnetism. His work led to the electric motor and electric generator, both based on the ability of electricity to create magnetism and vice versa. While Faraday was conducting his experiments, he kept a diary. He continued for 42 years, with his original manuscript being given to the Royal Institution of Great Britain. It was published in eight volumes from 1932-1936 under the title Faraday's Diary. Being the Various Philosophical Notes of Experimental Investigation Made by Michael Faraday...During the Years 1820-1862... It includes not only Faraday's text, but the diagrams he drew in the margins of his diary. Item 143. £1,250 (US $2,058).

 

Here is another diary, though the diarist is not so famous. In fact, we don't know who he is, other than his name is “Sam.” It covers a trip to Europe from New York by three young men, from July 2 – September 3, 1913. They do the grand tour of Europe, including Italy, France, and Holland, before ending up in London. However, it's the voyage to Europe that is most intriguing. They sailed on the RMS Carpathia. As you may recall, it was the Carpathia that rescued those who found room in the lifeboats and thereby survived the sinking of the Titanic the previous year. Sam writes about the girls, games, and good food on the ship, including a shuffleboard tournament. The diary is accompanied by a photo album showing life on board. There was also a needle-threading contest and fancy dress parties. Sam's biggest complaint is their room, which was not very roomy. Such is the fate of low-fare passengers. “Our stateroom is very unsatisfactory, being a small room with four berths, no wardrobe... Only two at a time can dress not very comfortably at that. Room is very hot, and stuffy.” Nonetheless, the Oceanic, on which they made their return trip, was “far inferior.” At one point, the Carpathia rescues another vessel whose engine has broken down. The lack of reference to the ship's dramatic rescue the year before makes Sotheran's wonder whether Sam even knew about the Carpathia's historic role. Item 54. £998 (US $1,644).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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: 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>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Copper Printing Plate for "Marshall's Household Engraving of Washington." $500 to $1000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Important Documentary Painting Showing Baseball Great Ty Cobb in Cuba. $1,000 to $2,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> <i>Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age</i>, Inscribed by Bill Wilson. $500 to $1,000
    <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), <i>Prise à l'hameçon.</i> $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Maurice Dufrène (French, 1876-1955), <i>Rayon des Soieries</i>. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> William Pope.L (American, b. 1955), <i>Intimacy Project</i>. $2,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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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