Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2014 Issue

A Spring Collection from Asher Rare Books and the Antiquariaat Forum

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A wide selection for spring.

Asher Rare Books and the Antiquariaat Forum have issued a joint catalogue – Spring Catalogue 2014. They offer a wide variety of antiquarian material. We will use their description of what can be found:  Atlases, Autographs, Books, Drawings, Manuscripts, Maps, Print Series and Views, Covering:  Art & Architecture, Cartography & Geography, Exploration & Travel, History, Literature, Natural History, Photography, Religion, Science & Medicine. In other words, virtually anything might be found in this selection. Here are a few of the items.

 

All of our names are proper nouns, but this writer’s name has also become an improper noun. Giacomo Casanova was an 18th century Venetian, a man who held numerous jobs, managed to gather the support of several wealthy individuals when he needed financial assistance, but mostly is known for his romantic liaisons. Late in life, he wrote an autobiography recalling them, sealing his place in history, and his name as a word for a scandalously romantic individual. While a native of Venice, a place he loved, his behavior, with women, political  and church leaders, got him into repeated trouble, and he was forced into exile several times. Such happened to him again in 1783. Still he was able to get a job with Venice’s ambassador to Vienna, a position he held until the ambassador died in 1785. It was during this period that he wrote several pamphlets pertaining to a commercial fraud perpetrated by the Venetian Zannovich brothers against some Dutch merchants. The Netherlands was displeased that Venice took no action against them and suspected a Venetian diplomat was involved. Ambassador Marco Foscarini took on the task of mounting Venice’s defense, and Casanova wrote a series of pamphlets in 1784 and 1785 claiming that Venice’s diplomat was also an ignorant victim of the bothers’ fraud. Item 48 is one of Casanova’s pamphlets, issued in 1785:  Esposizione ragionata della contestazione… Priced at €7,500 (euros, or roughly $10,412 U.S. dollars).

 

Here is a proposal over two centuries old that was never fulfilled, but is under consideration once again today:  Memoire sur un nouveau passage de la Mer du Nord a la Mer du Sud. That translates to proposing a passage from the North Sea (Atlantic Ocean) to the South Sea (Pacific Ocean). The year was 1791, over a century before construction of the Panama Canal. Martin de la Bastide saw the need for such a passageway, but his route, as was most others prior to the authorization to build the Panama Canal, went through Nicaragua. That route is longer, but takes advantage of some existing waterways, the San Juan River and Lake Nicaragua. While Bastide’s proposal was not taken up, the Americans signed several contracts to proceed on his plan during the 19th century, which fell through, before taking up the Panama route. Recently, a wealthy Chinese businessman, likely with the support of the Chinese government, has proposed to finance such a route through Nicaragua, building a deeper and wider canal than the one which runs through Panama. Item 13. €12,500 (US $17,347).

 

The major issue of the 19th century in the United States was that of slavery, eventually requiring a bloody civil war to end it. The British dealt with it earlier, and in a much more peaceful manner. England had the advantage of not employing the practice at home, though it used it in its colonies, leaving America that terrible legacy once it achieved independence. Item 230 is a collection of 17 acts of parliament concerning slavery. The British were able to take steps to gradually eliminate the practice, steps the Americans were unable to take. The first pamphlet comes from 1793, and it mandated humane conditions on slave ships, where conditions were horrific and many died on the journey to the West Indies. The final pamphlet, from 1833, records the abolition of slavery throughout most of the British Empire (a few exceptions were finally terminated in 1843). €5,000 (US $6,938).

 

The Reformation was well over a century old in 1695, around the time Dutch artist Cornelis Dusart created these drawings of French Catholic clergy under Louis XIV. Evidently Dusart couldn’t let go of his anger. Item 46 is Renversement de la morale chretienne par les desordres du monachisme…  (reversal of Christian morals by monastic disorders). This is a collection of caricatures of Catholic clergy, with accompanying text in both French and Dutch so people of both nations can appreciate the sentiments. The caricatures are truly ugly, displaying clergy “indulging in drunkenness, greed, lust, idolatry, gluttony, etc.” The frontispiece, attributed to the notable Dutch illustrator and caricaturist Romeyn de Hooghe, shows “clerics torturing Christ, who is bleeding coins from his Holy Wounds.” €3,750 (US $5,203).

 

You may reach the Antiquariaat Forum at +31 (0)30 6011955 or info@forumrarebooks.com. Their website is www.forumrarebooks.com. Asher Rare Books may be reached at +31 (0)30 6011955 or info@asherbooks.com. Their website is www.asherbooks.com.

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>

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