Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2014 Issue

Variety from James Cummins Bookseller

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French Egyptologist Ludovic Lepic graces the cover of James Cummins' latest catalogue.

James Cummins Bookseller has published their Catalogue 122. This is a typical Cummins catalogue – filled with outstanding material, but otherwise hard to peg. You really have to see one of these catalogues to know what is inside. Nonetheless, we will describe a few items that hopefully provide a feel for what you will find.

 

Anyone care to guess the nature of dress of that gentleman making a fashion statement on the cover? I thought maybe some Arctic explorer dressing for dinner, but that is about as far off as it gets. The man is a French Egyptologist, which just goes to show French and Egyptian fashions don't mesh. To be precise, the gentleman is Count Ludovic Lepic. Lepic was an artist, a close friend of the better known painter Edgar Degas. Lepic can be seen in several of Degas' paintings. In the 1870's, Lepic developed another great interest – archeology. He was one of the founders of the Societe d'etudes du Nil, a group of archeologists, scientists, engineers and artists who traveled to Egypt in 1882 to promote the building of dams on the Nile River to control the annual flooding. In 1884, Lepic published a memoir of the expedition. This item is a collection of 8 large photographs in an album with the manuscript title Societe d'etudes du Nil, the photos taken by Antonio Beato. Beato was a noted photographer of Egyptian scenes and others along the Mediterranean. Along with Lepic's portrait in a strange combination of French and Arab dress, there are six more of expedition members plus one of Philae, then an island in the Nile, now an island in a dammed lake. Item 22. Priced at $9,500.

 

Here is an edition that contains many “firsts,” though it is hardly a first edition of the book itself. Item 7 is The Holy Bible, thousands of years in the making, though this edition is from 1790. It is most notable as the first Catholic Bible printed in the United States. This Bible was first printed in England in 1609, but this was the first edition published by the important American printer Mathew Carey. Carey saw a need for an American printing though Catholics were a fairly small minority at the time. He obtained 475 subscribers, and it is believed he limited the run to 500 copies. $12,500.

 

This is another notable bible, though for different reasons. This one is The English Bible, and it is celebrated not for its denominational connections but for its artistic qualities. It was published from 1903-1905 by the Doves Press, and is still considered not only Doves' finest work, but one of the greatest private press printings ever. Its distinguishing features are the large red initials and red “in the beginning” in the beginning of Genesis. $15,000.

 

Item 52 is an archive of 11 letters plus one quite interesting document that tie together some of America's important literary and political figures of the 19th century. The document is a lease for the home of Henry David Thoreau and the Thoreau family. No, it's not for the cabin on Walden Pond, but his residence in Concord. It is a 3-year lease, with an option for another year, dated May 1873. Thoreau died in 1862, so he was not renting out his house. The lease is signed by his last surviving sibling, Sophia Thoreau. The lessee was F. B. Sanborn. Sanborn was a devoted follower of Thoreau and was friendly with those in a circle of transcendentalists, including Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott. When the lease was up, Sanborn moved to his own house and Alcott purchased the Thoreau homestead. The transcendentalists believed in the essential goodness of man and self reliance. They were also abolitionists, Sanborn being so ardent in his beliefs that he was arrested for aiding John Brown, only to be freed as a result of strong objections from the people of Concord. This archive also contains 11 letters written to Francis Henry Underwood. Underwood was the founder of The Atlantic Monthly (still published today as The Atlantic) in 1857. Emerson, Harriett Beecher Stowe, and others supported the endeavor, and not surprisingly, the magazine was pro-abolition in its early days. It is not all that surprising that the Thoreau-Sanborn lease found its way to Underwood's possession. Among Underwood's letter writers were Edward Everett, the great orator, Secretary of State, Governor and Senator for Massachusetts, who gave the main, two-hour speech at Gettysburg (Lincoln's brief address was something of an afterthought at the time); diplomat Charles Francis Adams Sr., son and grandson of Presidents; and historian and Oregon Trail traveler Francis Parkman. $4,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…

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