Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2014 Issue

A Summer Catalogue from Sevin Seydi Rare Books


A summer fair catalogue.

Sevin Seydi Rare Books of London has issued a Summer Fair Catalogue 2014. Sevin Seydi offers an atypical mix of books. Most works are early - 16th-19th century, languages are diverse, though English and French predominate, topics tend to be intellectual in nature, though the intelligence of a few of the writers might be questioned, and there is not a lot here that you will find everyday. Look for the unexpected. Here are a few samples.


Item 30 is an important work in American archeology, the first English (published the same year as the American first) edition of John Lloyd Stephens Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan. Stephens traveled to Central America with artist/architect Frederick Catherwood. They came upon some spectacular Mayan ruins, unknown to the outside world. Stephens began to account for what they saw while Catherwood provided illustrations. They concluded they must have come from some ancient and very skilled civilization long forgotten. Many of the sites depicted in these two volumes have since been destroyed or damaged. This account of Stephens and Catherwood's second journey to Central America was published in 1843. Priced at £500 (British pounds, or $842 U.S. dollars).


Victor Henry was a respected philologist (studier of languages) at the turn of the century in Paris. He was a professor of Sanskrit, but also was expert in numerous other languages. It enabled him to do comparative studies of languages. Henry wrote numerous books about language, but this one stands out as atypical, and a real oddity. Perhaps the professor was a bit gullible. Item 49 is Le Langage Martien (the Martian language). One might wonder how he learned this language back in 1901 when this book was published. It long precedes the various Mars probes. It turns out Henry learned Martian from Helene Smith, a spiritual medium. Ms. Smith was in contact with beings from Mars, who gave her 800 words in the Martian language. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this claim. Henry then analysed the words and Martian sentence structure in detail. He determined that their sentence structure was similar to French, coincidentally enough, the only language Ms. Smith spoke. £250 (US $421).


Thomas Hobbes was one of the most important of political philosophers ever. Living through most of the 17th century, he promoted the concept of a “social contract” between sovereign and people. While believing in the rights of the sovereign, he also promoted the responsibilities of that authority to the people, the equality of men, and many values of liberal society. Hobbes also wrote on numerous other topics, including mathematics and physics, though not as well. Hobbes had much to say, and continued to say it for a very long time. Item 11 is his Decameron Physiologicum: or ten Dialogues of Natural Philosophy. It was published in 1678, when Hobbes was 90 years old. It was his last book. £2,500 (US $4,217).


It's been 200 years since England and America went to war with each other, but this next item harkens back to that last confrontation: Journal of a Cruise made to the Pacific Ocean in the United States Frigate Essex, in the Years 1812, 1813, and 1814. Containing Descriptions of the Cape Verde islands, coasts of Brazil, Patagonia, Chile, and Peru, and of the Gallapagos Islands. This may sound like a travelogue, or an exploratory expedition, but it was not. It was closer to legalized piracy, something the British were long experts on themselves. The book is by David Porter, who is noted for the first capture of a British warship during the War of 1812. He then spent the next couple of years sailing the oceans, seizing British whalers and taking prisoners of their crews. The Essex became the first American warship active in the Pacific. After the war, Porter was placed in charge of suppressing piracy in the West Indies, but when he attacked Spanish Puerto Rico without authority, in response to their imprisoning one of his officers, he was suspended and court martialed. Porter promptly resigned and took on the job as head of the Mexican Navy for three years, where he was free to attack the Spanish. He would later regain the government's good graces and serve as an American ambassador for many years. Item 25. Published in 1815. £1,000 (US $1,683).


Here's a word you don't see everyday: Neurypnology, or, The Rationale of Nervous Sleep... Author James Braid, for whatever reason shortened the term “neurohypnology” to “neurypnology.” That really doesn't make it any easier to spell or pronounce. Braid was an Edinburgh physician, noted for successful surgeries on club foot and correcting other deformities. However, after viewing an exhibition of what was then usually referred to as “mesmerism” or “animal magnetism,” he became interested in hypnotism. He pursued his research, first on himself, then on others, discovering much about how the process works on the mind. It achieved for him the sobriquet of “Father of Modern Hypnotism.” This copy is inscribed to author James Gaskin. Item 44. Published in 1843. £2,000 (US $3,366).


Sevin Seydi Rare Books may be reached at 020 7485 9801 or rarebooks@seydi.co.uk

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000

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