Bibliography and Printing History (some imaginary) from Frits Knuf
Another attempt to credit Koster with the invention of printing is found in De Boekdrukkunst En Derzelver Uitvinder Laurens Jansz. Koster, by Petrus Dusseau. Another Dutch book, from 1839, this is a schoolbook, in the form of a father speaking to his children. It presents a nice, if inaccurate, story. Item 25. 975 (US $1,267).
For those looking for a different pretender, how about Johann Mentel as the first printer? Mentel was a famous 15th century German printer, noted for his 1466 Strasbourg Bible. That is very early in printing, but about a dozen years too late to be the first. Mentel never made any claims to being first, but a descendant, Jacques Mentel, made one about two centuries later. The book is De Vera Typographia Paraenensis...from 1650. There is no "vera" in this made-up tale. Knuf tells us the claim was based on a legend created by Mentel's grandson, and that the author added his own forgeries to support a dishonest claim. Item 40. 900 (US $ 1,169).
Thomas Frognall Dibdin is one of the most celebrated of "bibliomaniacs." A collector of books and writer about book collecting, his name is still synonymous with the pursuit almost two hundred years later. The best known of his books is The Bibliomania; or, Book-Madness; Containing Some account of the History, Symptoms, and Cure of This Fatal Disease. Of course Dibdin never was cured, nor were his bibliophilic friends of whom he writes in this book. However, Dibdin became a model for those who could relate to his passion, making his books quite collectible. Item 21 is a first edition, published in 1809. 550 (US $714).
Two decades later, the bibliophile with the funny middle name would lament the current conditions of the book market. An economic recession, along with the fear that handling books might spread cholera, rampant at the time, led to a depression in book prices. Dibdin, under the penname "Mercurius Rusticus," reports on various bookshops he visited and the state of their depressed business. The book is Bibliophobia. Remarks of the Present Languid And Depressed State of Literature and the Book Trade. Only 100 copies of the 1832 book were printed. Item 19. 550. (US $714).
Here is a novel that never made it to print. It is here only in the manuscript, dated 1879, with a signed dedication from the maybe author, one A. Mulins. The title is Saska. Nouvelle Neerlandaise. That dedication, with affection, goes to a Madeleine Lenoir. The story, written in French, is about Saska, an orphan from Prague, who comes to live in Holland around 1810. Knuf notes that the book provides many facts about North Holland at the time and includes illustrations taken from other works. Item 41. 620 (US $805).