Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2014 Issue

Variety from James Cummins Bookseller

92eb0cf7-eece-40bc-95d8-6879c4f3cfd5

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>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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions