Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2014 Issue

25 Items “Handled with Care” from Simon Beattie

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Short List 6 - Handled with Care.

Simon Beattie Rare Books, Manuscripts, Music & Ephemera has issued a Short List 6 – Handled With Care. The list is short – 25 items in all – but the presentation is large. This is somewhere between a large folio and a small elephant folio, perhaps a baby elephant folio, sized like a tabloid newspaper. Most of the space is devoted to images of the books as separate bound-in inserts provide most of the descriptions, as if the catalogue itself wasn't large enough! Beattie notes that they took a year to assemble this group of items so a worthy presentation is logical. Here are a few samples of these 25.

 

We start with an important, very early book from the field of photography. The title is Das Geheimniss der Daguerrotypie (the secret of Dauguerreotype), by Karl von Frankenstein (that is really his name). This is the first photographic manual ever published. It was published in 1839, with it being advertised for sale as early as August 24. The preface is dated July 1839. The early announcements of Daguerre and rival Henry Fox Talbot's inventions came in January of 1839. However, August 19, 1839, is generally considered the birth day of photography as that is when the more detailed announcement of Daguerre's process was made. This book likely precedes it slightly. Von Frankenstein was an Austrian technical writer, and this book was intended to describe Daguerre and Talbot's inventions and how the photographic process worked in layman's terms. Item 14. Priced at £14,000 (British pounds, or roughly $23,435 U.S. dollars).

 

The invention of photography would lead in the not too distant future to the development of moving pictures. However, someone would first have to learn how to make them “move.” Long before there were “movies” using film, there were devices designed to scan through sequential drawings, creating the illusion of motion. It is based on the same principle of drawing sequential images on the edges of a book and flipping through them, or the same principle used in movies, for that matter. Item 25 is entitled The Zoetrope, or the Wheel of Life. It was published by H. G. Clarke circa 1870. It consists of a description of the Zoetrope and strips of sequential images to be used in one. The Zoetrope was a cylindrical device, with slits for openings along the sides. The strips of images would be pasted on the inside of the cylinder. Then it would be spun around. Looking through the slits, it would appear as if the figures in the sequential images were moving. Clarke claims that they were the first to introduce the Zoetrope to England, in July 1867, “several months before its importation from America.” £500 (US $837).

 

How do you make beautiful roads ugly? Give them a name like this: Die Straßen Adolf Hitlers (Adolph Hitler's roads). This is the title of a book of drawings by Ernst Vollbehr, with an introduction by Fritz Todt, Inspector General of German Road Construction. Plans had been drawn up for modern autobahns during the 1920's, and a few such roads built, but the project did not get enthusiastic support until the rise of the Nazis to power. Hitler saw this as a way of putting people to work while improving the nation's infrastructure, in the days before he became more intent on adjusting the infrastructure of other nations. Todt was a logical choice for the project, being an engineer and an early, devoted Nazi. Vollbehr was a journeyman artist, having produced many paintings from various places around the world, including a series depicting the First World War. He, too, became a Hitler and Nazi favorite, though he had not previously been involved with the party. Vollbehr was selected to paint the progress of Todt's autobahns and later, the 1936 Munich Olympics. Item 23. £500 (US $837).

 

In December of 1825, a brief attempt was made in Czarist Russia to force the government into some democratic reforms. Czar Alexander I, a slightly, though not very reformist ruler had just died, and his second brother, Constantine, was expected to succeed to the throne. However, Constantine abdicated the role in favor of his younger brother, Nicholas. Some of the more liberal members of the military expected Constantine would be a reformer, but were not so confident about Nicholas (rightfully so). They gathered in Senate Square in St. Petersburg, 3,000 officers and men, and demanded a constitutional monarchy. Nicholas responded by sending 9,000 troops into the Square. What is now known as the “Decembrist Revolt” lasted only 6 hours. The Decembrists were routed. Item 9 is The Report of the Commission of Inquiry, published in 1826. This is an English translation (it was published in several languages) of the official report of the Investigating Commission, reached after 5 months of, at times, “enhanced” interrogation. A total of 289 people received sentences, ranging from reassignment to remote (probably cold) locations to death. The Revolution was over. £3,000 (US $5,024).

 

Item 21 is an odd fantasy: Hirum Harum, by Johann Wolfgang Andreas Schöpfel. This is apparently a second edition, printed in Nuremberg, though it has the imprint of Traugott Bagge of Salem, North Carolina. According to the Library of Congress, Bagge imported books from Germany with his imprint on them. The book was published in 1789, at the height of the ballooning craze in Europe and America. In the story, a French balloonist takes off from Versailles but ends up in America. He is seized by soldiers and inducted into the military, where he becomes the gatekeeper for the town of Hirum Harum. He is also put in charge of the local newspaper. Small town etiquette and such leads to a variety of comedic situations. £850 (US $1,423).

 

Simon Beattie may be reached at +44 (0) 1494 784954 or simon@simonbeattie.co.uk. Their website is www.simonbeattie.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies,</i> 1632.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.
  • 20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Full scale vintage <i>Sputnik-1</i> EMC/EMI Lab Model, with live transmitter. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown SOYUZ-3 space navigation indicator with unflown on-ground transformer. <br>US$ 30,000-40,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown on SOYUZ 9<br>An exhaustive manuscript on life in space. [Trans: On-Board Flight Journal for Spacecraft Soyuz-9, 1970]. US$ 6,000-9,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> SOYUZ 18? Flown Navigation Celestial Globe. Soyuz 18 lasted from May 24-July 26, 1975. US$ 30,000-40,000
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Space Suit from ISS Expidition 6. Worn by Flight Engineer Don Pettit on his dramitic return to earth. US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Original Gemini 133P Trainer Assembly Five Part Electrical System & Attitude Maneuver ... US$ 60,000-90,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Rover Development. Collection of 11 vintage gelatin silver prints and 4 vintage NASA lithographs. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000.
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Orbiter I. The first image of the earth as seen from the moon. Gelatin silver print. August 23, 1966. US$ 2,500-3,500
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Michael Collins' Flown Crew-Signed Apollo 11 Emblem. One of the very few Armstrong signed mission artifacts. US$ 50,000-70,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart. Taken to Lunar surface mapping the start of the <br>first manned lunar descent. <br>US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> FFlown Apollo 11 Flight Plan Sheetmission Day One. Some of the first words and data values written by Neil Armstrong. US$ 18,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Apollo 12 - Alan Bean in the Ocean of Storms. Signed and inscribed by Bean. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>The Chap Book</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>Troupe de Mlle Églantine</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Philippe Henri Noyer, <br><i>Limonade Brault</i>, 1938. <br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br><i>The Great Men of the World</i>,<br>designer unknown, circa 1945-46. <br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>James Montgomery Flagg,<br><i>Wake Up, America!</i>, 1917.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Alfred F. Burke, <i>Share / Jewish <br>Relief Campaign</i>, circa 1915.<br>$3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Ludwig Hohlwein, <i>Marke Pkz / <br>Burger - Kehl & Co.</i>, circa 1911. <br>$8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br>Gian Emilio Malerba,<i> E.A. Mele / Modo e Novita per Signora</i>, circa 1900. $7,000 to $10,000.

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